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Sayings of the Wise

17 Listen to the words of the wise;
    apply your heart to my instruction.
18 For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart
    and always ready on your lips.
19 I am teaching you today—yes, you—
    so you will trust in the Lord.
20 I have written thirty sayings[a] for you,
    filled with advice and knowledge.
21 In this way, you may know the truth
    and take an accurate report to those who sent you.

22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can,
    or exploit the needy in court.
23 For the Lord is their defender.
    He will ruin anyone who ruins them.

24 Don’t befriend angry people
    or associate with hot-tempered people,
25 or you will learn to be like them
    and endanger your soul.

26 Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt
    or put up security for someone else.
27 If you can’t pay it,
    even your bed will be snatched from under you.

28 Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers
    set up by previous generations.

29 Do you see any truly competent workers?
    They will serve kings
    rather than working for ordinary people.

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Footnotes

  1. 22:20 Or excellent sayings; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.