20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.[a] 2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life. 3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. 4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. 5 The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. 6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? 7 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! 8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. 9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? 10 Unequal[b] weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. 11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.[c] 12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both. 13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. 14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts. 15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. 16 Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.[d] 17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. 18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war. 19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.[e] 20 If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness. 21 An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end. 22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. 23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good. 24 A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way? 25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows. 26 A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them. 27 The spirit[f] of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. 28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld. 29 The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. 30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.
46 Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. 2 They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; 4 even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
5 “To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike? 6 Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales, hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship! 7 They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries to it, it does not answer or save him from his trouble.
8 “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.
12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.”
The Humiliation of Babylon
47 Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. 2 Take the millstones and grind flour, put off your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your disgrace shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one. 4 Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.
5 Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people; I profaned my heritage; I gave them into your hand; you showed them no mercy; on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy. 7 You said, “I shall be mistress forever,” so that you did not lay these things to heart or remember their end.
8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children”: 9 These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments.
10 You felt secure in your wickedness; you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” 11 But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
12 Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed; perhaps you may inspire terror. 13 You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before! 15 Such to you are those with whom you have labored, who have done business with you from your youth; they wander about, each in his own direction; there is no one to save you.
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b]7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so.11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Wisdom from Above
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
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