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It’s Wise To Be Patient

19 It’s better to be poor
and live right
    than to be a stupid liar.
Willingness and stupidity
    don’t go well together.
    If you are too eager,
    you will miss the road.
We are ruined
by our own stupidity,
    though we blame the Lord.

The rich have many friends;
    the poor have none.
    Dishonest witnesses and liars
    won’t escape punishment.
Everyone tries to be friends
    of those who can help them.
If you are poor,
your own relatives reject you,
    and your friends are worse.
When you really need them,
    they are not there.[a]

Do yourself a favor
by having good sense—
    you will be glad you did.
Dishonest witnesses and liars
    will be destroyed.
10 It isn’t right for a fool
    to live in luxury
    or for a slave to rule
    in place of a king.
11 It’s wise to be patient
    and show what you are like
    by forgiving others.
12 An angry king roars
    like a lion,
    but when a king is pleased,
    it’s like dew on the crops.

13 A foolish son brings disgrace
    to his father.
A nagging wife goes on and on
    like the drip, drip, drip
    of the rain.
14 You may inherit all you own
    from your parents,
    but a sensible wife
    is a gift from the Lord.
15 If you are lazy
and sleep your time away,
    you will starve.

16 Obey the Lord’s teachings
and you will live—
    disobey and you will die.
17 Caring for the poor
is lending to the Lord,
    and you will be well repaid.
18 Correct your children
    before it’s too late;
    if you don’t punish them,
    you are destroying them.
19 People with bad tempers
    are always in trouble,
    and they need help
    over and over again.[b]
20 Pay attention to advice
and accept correction,
    so you can live sensibly.

21 We may make a lot of plans,
    but the Lord will do
    what he has decided.
22 What matters most is loyalty.
    It’s better to be poor
    than to be a liar.
23 Showing respect to the Lord
    brings true life—
    if you do it, you can relax
    without fear of danger.

24 Some people are too lazy
    to lift a hand
    to feed themselves.
25 Stupid fools learn good sense
    by seeing others punished;
    a sensible person learns
    by being corrected.
26 Children who bring disgrace
rob their father
    and chase their mother away.
27 If you stop learning,
    you will forget
    what you already know.
28 A lying witness makes fun
    of the court system,
    and criminals think crime
    is really delicious.
29 Every stupid fool
is just waiting
    to be punished.


  1. 19.7 When. . . there: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 19.19 and they. . . again: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.