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Proverbs 29-30 Common English Bible (CEB)

29 One who stays stubborn after many corrections
    will be suddenly broken, beyond healing.
When the righteous become numerous, the people rejoice,
    but when the wicked dominate, the people moan.
A man who loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
    but one who spends time with prostitutes destroys riches.
A king gives stability to the land by justice,
    but one who imposes heavy taxes tears it down.
People who flatter their friends
    spread out a net for their feet.
The wicked are snared by their own sin;[a]
    the righteous sing and rejoice.
The righteous know the rights of the poor,
    but the wicked don’t understand.
Mockers set a city on fire,
    but the wise turn back anger.
When the wise make a legal charge against the foolish,
    the fools shout, they laugh—there is no calm.
10 Murderous people hate the innocent,
    and they seek the lives of the virtuous.
11 Fools show all their anger,
    but the wise hold it back.
12 If a ruler listens to lies,
    those who serve him will be wicked.
13 The poor and their oppressors have a common bond—
    the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges the poor honestly,
    his throne will be established forever.
15 The rod and correction lead to wisdom,
    but children out of control shame their mothers.
16 When the wicked become numerous, so do crimes;
    the righteous will see their downfall.
17 Instruct your children; they will give you peace of mind
    and bring delight into your life.
18 When there’s no vision, the people get out of control,
    but whoever obeys instruction is happy.
19 Servants aren’t disciplined by words;
    they might understand, but they don’t respond.
20 Do you see people who are quick to speak?
    There is more hope for fools than for them.
21 Pamper servants from a young age,
    and later on there will be trouble.
22 Angry people stir up conflict;
    hotheads cause much offense.
23 Pride lays people low,
    but those of humble spirit gain honor.
24 Those who share plunder with thieves hate themselves;
    even under oath, they don’t testify.
25 People are trapped by their fear of others;
    those who trust the Lord are secure.
26 Many seek access to the ruler,
    but justice comes from the Lord.
27 The unjust person is disgusting to the righteous;
    the straight path is disgusting to the wicked.

Words of Agur

30 The words of Agur, Jakeh’s son, from Massa.

The man declares: I’m tired, God;
    I’m tired, God, and I’m exhausted.
Actually, I’m too stupid to be human,
    a man without understanding.
I haven’t learned wisdom,
    nor do I have knowledge of the holy one.

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
    Who has gathered the wind by the handful?
    Who has bound up the waters in a garment?
    Who has established all the ends of the earth?
    What is this person’s name and the name of this person’s child—
            if you know it?

All God’s words are tried and true;
    a shield for those who take refuge in him.
Don’t add to his words,
    or he will correct you and show you to be a liar.

Two things I ask of you;
    don’t keep them from me before I die:
Fraud and lies—
    keep far from me!
Don’t give me either poverty or wealth;
    give me just the food I need.
    Or I’ll be full and deny you,
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    Or I’ll be poor and steal,
    and dishonor my God’s name.

More sayings of the wise

10 Don’t slander a servant to his master;
    otherwise, the servant will curse you, and you will be guilty.

11 There are those who curse their father
    and don’t bless their mother.
12 There are those who think they are clean,
    but haven’t washed off their own excrement.
13 There are those—
    how arrogant are their eyes;
    how their eyebrows are raised!
14 There are those whose teeth are swords;
    their jaw is a butcher’s knife,
    ready to devour the needy from the earth,
    and the poor from humanity.

15 The leech has two daughters: “Give, give!”
    There are three things that are never satisfied,
    four that never say, “Enough!”:
16         the grave[b] and a barren womb,
        a land never filled with water,
        and fire that doesn’t say, “Enough!”

17 An eye that mocks a father
    and rejects obedience to a mother,
    may the ravens of the river valley peck it out,
    and the eagle’s young eat it.
18 Three things are too wonderful for me,
    four that I can’t figure out:
19         the way of an eagle in the sky,
        the way of a snake on the rock,
        the way of a ship out on the open sea,
        and the way of a man with a young woman.

20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
    she eats and wipes her mouth,
    and she says, “I’ve done nothing wrong!”

21 At three things the earth trembles,
    at four it can’t bear up:
22         at a servant when he becomes king
        and fools when they are full of food;
23         at a detested woman when she gets married
        and a female servant when she replaces her mistress.

24 Four things are among the smallest on earth,
    but they are extremely wise:
25     Ants as creatures aren’t strong,
            but they store away their food in the summer.
26     Badgers as creatures aren’t powerful,
            but they make their homes in the rocks.
27     Locusts don’t have a king,
            but they march together in ranks.
28     You can catch lizards in your hand,
            but they are in kings’ palaces.

29 There are three things that are excellent in their stride,
    four that are excellent as they walk:
30     a lion, a warrior among beasts,
            which doesn’t back down at anything;
31     the strut of a rooster or a male goat;
    and a king with his army.

32 If you’ve been foolish and arrogant,
    if you’ve been scheming,
    put your hand to your mouth,
33         because churning milk makes curds,
        squeezing the nose brings blood,
        and stirring up anger produces strife.


  1. Proverbs 29:6 Tg, Syr; MT In the sin of an evil man is a snare
  2. Proverbs 30:16 Heb Sheol
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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