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Use Good Sense

29 If you keep being stubborn
    after many warnings,
    you will suddenly discover
    you have gone too far.
When justice rules a nation,
    everyone is glad;
    when injustice rules,
    everyone groans.
If you love wisdom
    your parents will be glad,
    but chasing after bad women
    will cost you everything.
An honest ruler
    makes the nation strong;
    a ruler who takes bribes
    will bring it to ruin.

Flattery is nothing less
    than setting a trap.
Your sins will catch you,
    but everyone who lives right
    will sing and celebrate.
The wicked don’t care
about the rights of the poor,
    but good people do.
Sneering at others is a spark
    that sets a city on fire;
    using good sense can put out
    the flames of anger.

Be wise and don’t sue a fool.
    You won’t get satisfaction,
    because all the fool will do
    is sneer and shout.
10 A murderer hates everyone
who is honest
    and lives right.[a]
11 Don’t be a fool
and quickly lose your temper—
    be sensible and patient.

12 A ruler who listens to lies
    will have corrupt officials.
13 The poor and all who abuse them
    must each depend on God
    for light.
14 Kings who are fair to the poor
    will rule forever.

15 Correct your children,
    and they will be wise;
    children out of control
    disgrace their mothers.
16 Crime increases
    when crooks are in power,
    but law-abiding citizens
    will see them fall.
17 If you correct your children,
    they will bring you peace
    and happiness.

18 Without guidance from God
    law and order disappear,
    but God blesses everyone
    who obeys his Law.
19 Even when servants are smart,
    it takes more than words
    to make them obey.
20 There is more hope for a fool
    than for someone who speaks
    without thinking.
21 Slaves that you treat kindly
from their childhood
    will cause you sorrow.[b]
22 A person with a quick temper
stirs up arguments
    and commits a lot of sins.

23 Too much pride brings disgrace;
    humility leads to honor.
24 If you take part in a crime
    you are your worst enemy,
    because even under oath
    you can’t tell the truth.
25 Don’t fall into the trap
    of being a coward—
    trust the Lord,
    and you will be safe.
26 Many try to make friends
    with a ruler,
    but justice comes
    from the Lord.
27 Good people and criminals
    can’t stand each other.

Footnotes

  1. 29.10 and lives right: Or “and those who live right are friends of honest people.”
  2. 29.21 will. . . sorrow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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