20 Too much wine begins to mock you,
too much strong drink leads to noisy fights,
and whoever is misled by either is not wise.
2 A king’s wrath strikes fear like a lion’s roar;
those who provoke him to anger sentence themselves to death.
3 Honor is due those who refuse to fight at the drop of a hat,
but every fool jumps at an opportunity to quarrel.
4 A slacker procrastinates when it is time to plow;
so when it’s time for harvest, there are no crops in the field.
5 The real motives come from deep within a person—as from deep waters—
but a discerning person is able to draw them up and expose them.
6 Most people claim to be loyal,
but can anyone find a trustworthy person?
7 The right-living act with integrity;
the children who follow their example are happy.
8 When a king sits on his throne as judge,
he ferrets out all evil and scatters it with his royal stare.
9 Who can say, “I have cleaned my heart”?
or who can proclaim, “I am purified from sin”?
10 False weights and differing measures are alike:
both are disgusting to the Eternal.
11 Youth reveal their true natures by their actions
whether they do what is pure and right or not.
12 Ears to listen, eyes to see—
the Eternal designed them both.
13 Do not fall in love with sleep, or you will awake a poor person.
Stay awake, get to work, and you will have more than enough food.
14 “Bad quality for a bad price,” bargains the buyer;
but then he runs off with his prize in tow, bragging, “What a steal!”
15 Gold and rubies abound,
but lips that utter knowledge are a rare jewel.
16 If someone guarantees a stranger’s debt, hold his garment as collateral;
if that stranger is a foreigner, hold the creditor responsible.
17 At first the bread of lies tastes sweet
until guilt reduces it to gravel in the mouth.
18 Plans are finalized on the basis of good counsel,
so only go to war when you have wise instructions.
19 A gossip will reveal your secrets!
So avoid the company of people who talk openly and foolishly.
20 If someone pronounces a curse on his parents,[a]
the lamp of his life will be snuffed out as complete darkness creeps in.
21 An inheritance acquired hastily at first
will end up not being blessed after all.
22 Do not say, “I will get even for this evil.”
Wait for the Eternal; He will defend you.
23 He despises dishonesty in business;
false weights and deceptive scales are wrong.
24 Every one of our steps is directed by Him;
so how can we attempt to figure out our own way?
25 Those who rashly dedicate something to God are trapped;
only afterward do they realize what they’ve promised.
26 A wise king weeds out the wrongdoers,
then drives over them with his threshing wheel of justice.
27 The lamp of the Eternal illuminates the human spirit,
searching our most intimate thoughts.
28 Loyal love and faithfulness safeguard the king;
his throne is perpetuated through loyal love.
29 The best asset of youth is the strength of the body,
but the beauty of age is gray hair.
30 Severe punishment scrubs away evil,
and tough blows scour the innermost parts.