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Don’t Brag about Tomorrow

27 Don’t brag about tomorrow!
    Each day brings
    its own surprises.
Don’t brag about yourself—
    let others praise you.
Stones and sand are heavy,
    but trouble caused by a fool
    is a much heavier load.
An angry person is dangerous,
    but a jealous person
    is even worse.

A truly good friend
    will openly correct you.
You can trust a friend
    who corrects you,
    but kisses from an enemy
    are nothing but lies.
If you have had enough to eat,
    honey doesn’t taste good,
    but if you are really hungry,
    you will eat anything.

When you are far from home,
    you feel like a bird
    without a nest.
The sweet smell of incense
    can make you feel good,
    but true friendship
    is better still.[a]
10 Don’t desert an old friend
    of your family
    or visit your relatives
    when you are in trouble.
A friend nearby is better
    than relatives far away.

11 My child, show good sense!
    Then I will be happy
    and able to answer anyone
    who criticizes me.
12 Be cautious and hide
    when you see danger—
    don’t be stupid and walk
    right into trouble.
13 Don’t loan money to a stranger
    unless you are given something
    to guarantee payment.
14 A loud greeting
early in the morning
    is the same as a curse.
15 The steady dripping of rain
and the nagging of a wife
    are one and the same.
16 It’s easier to catch the wind
or hold olive oil in your hand
    than to stop a nagging wife.

17 Just as iron sharpens iron,
    friends sharpen the minds
    of each other.
18 Take care of a tree,
    and you will eat its fruit;
    look after your master,
    and you will be praised.
19 You see your face in a mirror
    and your thoughts
    in the minds of others.
20 Death and the grave
are never satisfied,
    and neither are we.
21 Gold and silver are tested
in a red-hot furnace,
    but we are tested by praise.
22 No matter how hard
    you beat a fool,
    you can’t pound out
    the foolishness.

23 You should take good care
    of your sheep and goats,
24     because wealth and honor
    don’t last forever.
25 After the hay is cut
and the new growth appears
    and the harvest is over,
26     you can sell lambs and goats
    to buy clothes and land.
27 From the milk of the goats,
    you can make enough cheese
    to feed your family
    and all your servants.

Footnotes

  1. 27.9 still: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.