20 It isn’t smart to get drunk! Drinking makes a fool of you and leads to fights. 2 An angry ruler is like a roaring lion— make either one angry, and you are dead. 3 It makes you look good when you avoid a fight— only fools love to quarrel. 4 If you are too lazy to plow, don’t expect a harvest. 5 Someone’s thoughts may be as deep as the ocean, but if you are smart, you will discover them.
6 There are many who say, “You can trust me!” But can they be trusted? 7 Good people live right, and God blesses the children who follow their example. 8 When rulers decide cases, they weigh the evidence. 9 Can any of us really say, “My thoughts are pure, and my sins are gone”?
10 Two things the Lord hates are dishonest scales and dishonest measures. 11 The good or bad that children do shows what they are like. 12 Hearing and seeing are gifts from the Lord. 13 If you sleep all the time, you will starve; if you get up and work, you will have enough food. 14 Everyone likes to brag about getting a bargain. 15 Sensible words are better than gold or jewels.
16 You deserve to lose your coat if you loan it to someone to guarantee payment for the debt of a stranger. 17 The food you get by cheating may taste delicious, but it turns to gravel. 18 Be sure you have sound advice before making plans or starting a war. 19 Stay away from gossips— they tell everything. 20 Children who curse their parents will go to the land of darkness long before their time. 21 Getting rich quick[a] may turn out to be a curse. 22 Don’t try to get even. Trust the Lord, and he will help you.
23 The Lord hates dishonest scales and dishonest weights. So don’t cheat! 24 How can we know what will happen to us when the Lord alone decides? 25 Don’t fall into the trap of making promises to God before you think! 26 A wise ruler severely punishes every criminal. 27 Our inner thoughts are a lamp from the Lord, and they search our hearts. 28 Rulers are protected by God’s mercy and loyalty, but[b] they must be merciful for their kingdoms to last. 29 Young people take pride in their strength, but the gray hairs of wisdom are even more beautiful. 30 A severe beating can knock all of the evil out of you!
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