28 cThe wicked flee when no one pursues,
but dthe righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses, eit has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3 fA poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law gpraise the wicked,
but those who keep the law hstrive against them.
5 Evil men ido not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord junderstand it completely.
6 kBetter is a poor man who lwalks in his integrity
than a rich man who is lcrooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but ma companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 Whoever multiplies his wealth nby interest and profit1
ogathers it for him who is pgenerous to the poor.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his qprayer is an abomination.
10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
rwill fall into his own pit,
but the blameless swill have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his town eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding uwill find him out.
12 When vthe righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when wthe wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever xconceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who yconfesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who zfears the Lord2 always,
but whoever ahardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like ba roaring lion or ca charging bear
is da wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who elacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 If one is burdened with fthe blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;3
let no one help him.
18 gWhoever hwalks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19 iWhoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich jwill not go unpunished.
21 To show kpartiality is not good,
but for la piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22 A mstingy man4 nhastens after wealth
and does not know that opoverty will come upon him.
23 Whoever prebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than qhe who flatters with his tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is ra companion to a man who destroys.
25 A greedy man sstirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will tbe enriched.
26 Whoever utrusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27 Whoever vgives to the poor will not want,
but he who whides his eyes will get many a curse.
28 When xthe wicked rise, ypeople hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
29 zHe who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be abroken bbeyond healing.
2 When cthe righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when dthe wicked rule, the people groan.
3 He who eloves wisdom makes his father glad,
but fa companion of prostitutes gsquanders his wealth.
4 By justice a king hbuilds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts1 tears it down.
5 iA man who flatters his neighbor
spreads ja net for his feet.
6 An evil man is kensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man lsings and rejoices.
7 A righteous man mknows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not nunderstand such knowledge.
8 oScoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is pno quiet.
10 Bloodthirsty men qhate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.2
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12 If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor rmeet together;
the Lord sgives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king tfaithfully judges the poor,
his throne will ube established forever.
15 vThe rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself wbrings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but xthe righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 yDiscipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18 Where zthere is no prophetic vision the people acast off restraint,3
but blessed is he who bkeeps the law.
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
cThere is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.4
22 dA man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23 eOne’s pride will bring him low,
fbut he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24 The partner of a thief ghates his own life;
hhe hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25 iThe fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
26 Many jseek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man kgets justice.
27 lAn unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
The Words of Agur
30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.1
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.2
2 Surely I am too mstupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of nthe Holy One.
4 Who has oascended to heaven and come down?
Who has pgathered the wind in his fists?
Who has qwrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all rthe ends of the earth?
sWhat is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!
5 tEvery word of God proves true;
he is ua shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 vDo not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me wbefore I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is xneedful for me,
9 lest I be yfull and zdeny you
and say, a“Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
band profane the name of my God.
10 cDo not slander a servant to his master,
dlest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11 There are those3 who ecurse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are fclean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
13 There are those—how glofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are hswords,
whose ifangs are knives,
to jdevour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.4
kThree things are never satisfied;
kfour never say, “Enough”:
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that nmocks a father
and oscorns to obey a mother
will pbe picked out by qthe ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18 kThree things are rtoo wonderful for me;
kfour I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
20 This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21 Under kthree things sthe earth trembles;
under kfour it cannot bear up:
22 ta slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is ufilled with food;
23 van unloved woman when she wgets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24 kFour things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 xthe ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 ythe rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no zking,
yet all of them march in arank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.
29 bThree things are stately in their tread;
bfour are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and cdoes not turn back before any;
31 the dstrutting rooster,5 the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.6
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
eput your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.
The Words of King Lemuel
31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What are you doing, my son?1 What are you doing, fson of my womb?
What are you doing, gson of my vows?
3 Do hnot give your strength to women,
your ways to those iwho destroy kings.
4 jIt is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings kto drink wine,
or for rulers to take lstrong drink,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and mpervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to the one who nis perishing,
and wine to othose in bitter distress;2
7 plet them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 qOpen your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.3
9 Open your mouth, rjudge righteously,
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
10 4 uAn excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than vjewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She wseeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She xrises while it is yet night
and yprovides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She zdresses herself5 with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She aopens her hand to bthe poor
and reaches out her hands to bthe needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in cscarlet.6
22 She makes dbed coverings for herself;
her clothing is efine linen and fpurple.
23 Her husband is known in gthe gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes hlinen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 iStrength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many jwomen have done kexcellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 lCharm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
All Is Vanity
1 The words of athe Preacher,1 the son of David, bking in Jerusalem.
2 cVanity2 of vanities, says athe Preacher,
cvanity of vanities! dAll is vanity.
3 eWhat fdoes man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but gthe earth remains forever.
5 hThe sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens3 to the place where it rises.
6 iThe wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7 All jstreams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8 All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
kthe eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 lWhat has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been malready
in the ages before us.
11 There is no nremembrance of former things,4
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things5 yet to be
among those who come after.
The Vanity of Wisdom
12 I othe Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I papplied my heart6 to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy qbusiness that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is rvanity7 and a striving after wind.8
15 sWhat is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great twisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I uapplied my heart to know wisdom and to know vmadness and folly. I perceived that this also is but ra striving after wind.
18 For win much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.