19 Better to be poor and live with integrity
than a fool with a foul mouth.
2 Surely there’s no advantage for a person without knowledge,
and whoever moves too quickly misses the turn.
3 Foolishness diverts the course of life,
yet the heart rebels against the Eternal.
4 Wealth attracts many friends,
but the poor are soon separated from theirs.
5 A false witness will not escape punishment,
and one who breathes lies will not go free.
6 Many try to win the favor of a generous person,
and everyone is a friend to someone who gives gifts.
7 If a poor man is hated by his relatives,
it is even more likely his friends will avoid him too!
Anyone who is calling after them
[is not to be found].[a]
8 Whoever gains a wise heart loves his own soul,
and whoever preserves understanding experiences true goodness.
9 A false witness will not escape punishment,
and whoever breathes lies will not survive.
10 Something is wrong when a fool lives a pampered life,
but it is much worse when a slave takes charge of princes.
11 A person with discretion is not easily angered;
he gains respect by overlooking an offense.
12 A king’s rage is like the thunderous roar of a lion,
but his favor is like a cooling mist upon the grass.
13 Foolish children bring misery to their fathers,
and a wife’s bickering is a constant dripping as from a leaky roof.
14 Houses and riches may be inherited from parents,
but a sensible wife is a gift from the Eternal.
15 Laziness lulls people into a deep sleep;
a slacker will have nothing to eat.
16 Whoever keeps God’s commands lengthens his life,
but a careless lifestyle ends in death.
17 Whoever cares for the poor makes a loan to the Eternal;
such kindness will be repaid in full and with interest.
18 Discipline your children while there is still hope of influencing their future,
so as not to play a part in their destruction.
19 A hot-tempered man will pay a penalty;
if you bail him out, it will not be the last time; the cycle will repeat.
20 Heed counsel, act on instruction,
and you will become wise later in life.
21 The impulses of the human heart may run wild,
but the Eternal’s plan will prevail.
22 Loyalty is a trait admired in others,
and being destitute is better than being a liar.
23 Reverence for the Eternal leads to a fulfilled life;
those who have it will sleep well,
for disaster will not touch them.
24 Some people are so lazy—they reach for food on the plate
but lack the will to bring it up to their mouths.
25 If you beat one who mocks, the naive will see and learn a lesson;
if you correct someone with understanding, that’s all he needs to grow a little wiser.
26 Children who mistreat their father and run down their mother
are a root of shame and disgrace.
27 My child, should you stop listening to instruction,
you will wander from the voice of knowledge.
28 A worthless witness ridicules justice,
and the mouth of the wrongdoer savors every morsel of trouble.
29 Severe penalties are prepared for those who mock,
and fools expect their backs to be flogged.
- 19:7 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.