A good name is more desirable than great wealth. Respect is better than silver or gold. 2 The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all. 3 Sensible people foresee trouble and hide from it, but gullible people go ahead and suffer the consequence. 4 On the heels of humility (the fear of the Lord) are riches and honor and life.
5 A devious person has thorns and traps ahead of him. Whoever guards himself will stay far away from them. 6 Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not turn away from it. 7 A rich person rules poor people, and a borrower is a slave to a lender. 8 Whoever plants injustice will harvest trouble, and this weapon of his own fury will be destroyed. 9 Whoever is generous will be blessed because he has shared his food with the poor.
10 Drive out a mocker, and conflict will leave. Quarreling and abuse will stop. 11 Whoever loves a pure heart and whoever speaks graciously has a king as his friend. 12 The Lord’s eyes watch over knowledge, but he overturns the words of a treacherous person.
13 A lazy person says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be murdered in the streets!” 14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit. The one who is cursed by the Lord will fall into it. 15 Foolishness is firmly attached to a child’s heart. Spanking will remove it far from him. 16 Oppressing the poor for profit or giving to the rich certainly leads to poverty.
Listen to My Advice
17 Open your ears, and hear the words of wise people, and set your mind on the knowledge I give you. 18 It is pleasant if you keep them in mind so that they will be on the tip of your tongue, 19 so that your trust may be in the Lord. Today I have made them known to you, especially to you. 20 Didn’t I write to you previously with advice and knowledge 21 in order to teach you the words of truth so that you can give an accurate report to those who send you?
Living with Your Neighbor
22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor or trample on the rights of an oppressed person at the city gate, 23 because the Lord will plead their case and will take the lives of those who rob them. 24 Do not be a friend of one who has a bad temper, and never keep company with a hothead, 25 or you will learn his ways and set a trap for yourself.
26 Do not be found among those who make deals with a handshake, among those who guarantee other people’s loans. 27 If you have no money to pay back a loan, why should your bed be repossessed? 28 Do not move an ancient boundary marker that your ancestors set in place. 29 Do you see a person who is efficient in his work? He will serve kings. He will not serve unknown people.
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