27 Don’t brag about tomorrow! Each day brings its own surprises. 2 Don’t brag about yourself— let others praise you. 3 Stones and sand are heavy, but trouble caused by a fool is a much heavier load. 4 An angry person is dangerous, but a jealous person is even worse.
5 A truly good friend will openly correct you. 6 You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies. 7 If you have had enough to eat, honey doesn’t taste good, but if you are really hungry, you will eat anything.
8 When you are far from home, you feel like a bird without a nest. 9 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.
The Law of God Makes Sense
28 Wicked people run away when no one chases them, but those who live right are as brave as lions. 2 In time of civil war there are many leaders, but a sensible leader restores law and order.[b] 3 When someone poor takes over and mistreats the poor, it’s like a heavy rain destroying the crops.
4 Lawbreakers praise criminals, but law-abiding citizens always oppose them. 5 Criminals don’t know what justice means, but all who respect the Lord understand it completely. 6 It’s better to be poor and live right, than to be rich and dishonest.
7 It makes good sense to obey the Law of God, but you disgrace your parents if you make friends with worthless nobodies. 8 If you make money by charging high interest rates, you will lose it all to someone who cares for the poor. 9 God cannot stand the prayers of anyone who disobeys his Law. 10 By leading good people to sin, you dig a pit for yourself, but all who live right will have a bright future.
11 The rich think highly of themselves, but anyone poor and sensible sees right through them. 12 When an honest person wins, it’s time to celebrate; when crooks are in control, it’s best to hide. 13 If you don’t confess your sins, you will be a failure. But God will be merciful if you confess your sins and give them up. 14 The Lord blesses everyone who is afraid to do evil, but if you are cruel, you will end up in trouble.
15 A ruler who mistreats the poor is like a roaring lion or a bear hunting for food. 16 A heartless leader is a fool, but anyone who refuses to get rich by cheating others will live a long time. 17 Don’t give help to murderers! Make them stay on the run for as long as they live.[c]
18 Honesty will keep you safe, but everyone who is crooked will suddenly fall. 19 Work hard, and you will have a lot of food; waste time, and you will have a lot of trouble.
20 God blesses his loyal people, but punishes all who want to get rich quick. 21 It isn’t right to be unfair, but some people can be bribed with only a piece of bread. 22 Don’t be selfish and eager to get rich— you will end up worse off than you can imagine.
23 Honest correction is appreciated more than flattery. 24 If you cheat your parents and don’t think it’s wrong, you are a common thief. 25 Selfish people cause trouble, but you will live a full life if you trust the Lord. 26 Only fools would trust what they alone think, but if you live by wisdom, you will do all right.
27 Giving to the poor will keep you from poverty, but if you close your eyes to their needs, everyone will curse you. 28 When crooks are in control, everyone tries to hide, but when they lose power, good people are everywhere.
Use Good Sense
29 If you keep being stubborn after many warnings, you will suddenly discover you have gone too far. 2 When justice rules a nation, everyone is glad; when injustice rules, everyone groans. 3 If you love wisdom your parents will be glad, but chasing after bad women will cost you everything. 4 An honest ruler makes the nation strong; a ruler who takes bribes will bring it to ruin.
5 Flattery is nothing less than setting a trap. 6 Your sins will catch you, but everyone who lives right will sing and celebrate. 7 The wicked don’t care about the rights of the poor, but good people do. 8 Sneering at others is a spark that sets a city on fire; using good sense can put out the flames of anger.
9 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.[d] 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.[e] 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.
27.9still: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.
28.2but. . . order: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
28.17live: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 17.
29.10and lives right: Or “and those who live right are friends of honest people.”
29.21will. . . sorrow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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