A person who will not bend after many warnings will suddenly be broken beyond repair. 2 When righteous people increase, the people of God rejoice, but when a wicked person rules, everybody groans. 3 A person who loves wisdom makes his father happy, but one who pays prostitutes wastes his wealth. 4 By means of justice, a king builds up a country, but a person who confiscates religious contributions tears it down.
5 A person who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for him to step into. 6 To an evil person sin is bait in a trap, but a righteous person runs away from it[a] and is glad. 7 A righteous person knows the just cause of the poor. A wicked person does not understand this. 8 Mockers create an uproar in a city, but wise people turn away anger.
9 When a wise person goes to court with a stubborn fool, he may rant and rave, but there is no peace and quiet. 10 Bloodthirsty people hate an innocent person, but decent people seek to protect his life. 11 A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them. 12 If a ruler pays attention to lies, all his servants become wicked.
13 A poor person and an oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives both of them sight. 14 When a king judges the poor with honesty, his throne will always be secure.
15 A spanking and a warning produce wisdom, but an undisciplined child disgraces his mother. 16 When wicked people increase, crime increases, but righteous people will witness their downfall. 17 Correct your son, and he will give you peace of mind. He will bring delight to your soul.
18 Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow God’s teachings. 19 A slave cannot be disciplined with words. He will not respond, though he may understand. 20 Have you met a person who is quick to answer? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 21 Pamper a slave from childhood, and later he will be ungrateful.[b]
22 An angry person stirs up a fight, and a hothead does much wrong. 23 A person’s pride will humiliate him, but a humble spirit gains honor. 24 Whoever is a thief’s partner hates his own life. He will not testify under oath. 25 A person’s fear sets a trap for him, but one who trusts the Lord is safe. 26 Many seek an audience with a ruler, but justice for humanity comes from the Lord. 27 An unjust person is disgusting to righteous people. A decent person is disgusting to wicked people.
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