26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool. 2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight. 3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools. 4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. 6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 7 Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool. 9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 10 Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[a] 11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. 12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!” 14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed. 15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. 16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly. 17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears. 18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death 19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!” 20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. 21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. 22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. 23 Like the glaze[b] covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart. 24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; 25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; 26 though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling. 28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin. 27 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. 2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. 3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both. 4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? 5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. 7 One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. 8 Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home. 9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.[c] 10 Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend, and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away. 11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me. 12 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. 13 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 an adulteress.[d] 14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing. 15 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; 16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp[e] oil in one's right hand. 17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.[f] 18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored. 19 As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. 20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man. 21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise. 22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, 24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? 25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, 26 the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. 27 There will be enough goats' milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls. 28 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. 2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue. 3 A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food. 4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them. 5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lordunderstand it completely. 6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways. 7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but a companion of gluttons shames his father. 8 Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit[g] gathers it for him who is generous to the poor. 9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. 10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance. 11 A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves. 13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. 14 Blessed is the one who fears the Lord[h] always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. 15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people. 16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. 17 If one is burdened with the blood of another, he will be a fugitive until death;[i] let no one help him. 18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall. 19 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. 20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong. 22 A stingy man[j]hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him. 23 Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue. 24 Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, “That is no transgression,” is a companion to a man who destroys. 25 A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched. 26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. 27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. 28 When the wicked rise, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase. 29 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. 2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. 3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. 4 By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts[k] tears it down. 5 A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. 6 An evil man is ensnared in his transgression, but a righteous man sings and rejoices. 7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge. 8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. 10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless and seek the life of the upright.[l] 11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. 12 If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked. 13 The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the Lordgives light to the eyes of both. 14 If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever. 15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. 16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall. 17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. 18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,[m] but blessed is he who keeps the law. 19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond. 20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 21 Whoever pampers his servant from childhood will in the end find him his heir.[n] 22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. 23 One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. 24 The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing. 25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. 26 Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice. 27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.[p] 2 Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. 3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!
5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11 There are those[q] who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers. 12 There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth. 13 There are those—how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift! 14 There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters: Give and Give.[r] Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”: 16 Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.
18 Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: 19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
20 This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21 Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up: 22 a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food; 23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24 Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: 25 the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; 26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; 27 the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; 28 the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.
29 Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride: 30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any; 31 the strutting rooster,[s] the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.[t]
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth. 33 For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.
The Words of King Lemuel
31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What are you doing, my son?[u] What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;[v] 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.[w] 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
10 [x]An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself[y] with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[z] 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
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