28 Wicked people run away when no one chases them, but those who live right are as brave as lions. 2 In time of civil war there are many leaders, but a sensible leader restores law and order.[a] 3 When someone poor takes over and mistreats the poor, it’s like a heavy rain destroying the crops.
4 Lawbreakers praise criminals, but law-abiding citizens always oppose them. 5 Criminals don’t know what justice means, but all who respect the Lord understand it completely. 6 It’s better to be poor and live right, than to be rich and dishonest.
7 It makes good sense to obey the Law of God, but you disgrace your parents if you make friends with worthless nobodies. 8 If you make money by charging high interest rates, you will lose it all to someone who cares for the poor. 9 God cannot stand the prayers of anyone who disobeys his Law. 10 By leading good people to sin, you dig a pit for yourself, but all who live right will have a bright future.
11 The rich think highly of themselves, but anyone poor and sensible sees right through them. 12 When an honest person wins, it’s time to celebrate; when crooks are in control, it’s best to hide. 13 If you don’t confess your sins, you will be a failure. But God will be merciful if you confess your sins and give them up. 14 The Lord blesses everyone who is afraid to do evil, but if you are cruel, you will end up in trouble.
15 A ruler who mistreats the poor is like a roaring lion or a bear hunting for food. 16 A heartless leader is a fool, but anyone who refuses to get rich by cheating others will live a long time. 17 Don’t give help to murderers! Make them stay on the run for as long as they live.[b]
18 Honesty will keep you safe, but everyone who is crooked will suddenly fall. 19 Work hard, and you will have a lot of food; waste time, and you will have a lot of trouble.
20 God blesses his loyal people, but punishes all who want to get rich quick. 21 It isn’t right to be unfair, but some people can be bribed with only a piece of bread. 22 Don’t be selfish and eager to get rich— you will end up worse off than you can imagine.
23 Honest correction is appreciated more than flattery. 24 If you cheat your parents and don’t think it’s wrong, you are a common thief. 25 Selfish people cause trouble, but you will live a full life if you trust the Lord. 26 Only fools would trust what they alone think, but if you live by wisdom, you will do all right.
27 Giving to the poor will keep you from poverty, but if you close your eyes to their needs, everyone will curse you. 28 When crooks are in control, everyone tries to hide, but when they lose power, good people are everywhere.
28.2but. . . order: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
28.17live: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 17.
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