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Exhortation to Uprightness

Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth;
think of the Lord in goodness
and seek him with sincerity of heart,(A)
because he is found by those who do not put him to the test
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.(B)
For perverse thoughts separate people from God,
and when his power is tested, it exposes the foolish,(C)
because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul
or dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit
and will leave foolish thoughts behind
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.(D)

For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
but it will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words,
because God is witness of their inmost feelings
and a true observer of their hearts and a hearer of their tongues.(E)
Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world
and that which holds all things together knows what is said,(F)
therefore those who utter unrighteous things will not escape notice,
and justice, when it punishes, will not pass them by.
For inquiry will be made into the counsels of the ungodly,
and a report of their words will come to the Lord,
to convict them of their lawless deeds,
10 because a jealous ear hears all things,
and the sound of grumbling does not go unheard.(G)
11 Beware, then, of useless grumbling,
and keep your tongue from slander,
because no secret word is without result,[a]
and a lying mouth destroys the soul.(H)

12 Do not court death by the error of your life
or bring on destruction by the works of your hands,(I)
13 because God did not make death,
and he does not delight in the destruction of the living.(J)
14 For he created all things so that they might exist;
the generative forces[b] of the world are wholesome,
and there is no destructive poison in them,
and the dominion[c] of Hades is not on earth.(K)
15 For righteousness is immortal.[d]

Life as the Ungodly See It

16 But the ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death;[e]
considering him a friend, they pined away
and made a covenant with him,
because they are fit to belong to his company.(L)


  1. 1.11 Or will go unpunished
  2. 1.14 Or the creatures
  3. 1.14 Or palace
  4. 1.15 OL adds but unrighteousness is the acquisition of death
  5. 1.16 Gk him