Proverbs 22–24; 2 Corinthians 8

22  pA good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,

and favor is better than silver or gold.

qThe rich and the poor meet together;

the Lord is rthe Maker of them all.

sThe prudent sees danger and hides himself,

but the simple go on and suffer for it.

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord

is triches and honor and life.1

uThorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;

whoever vguards his soul will keep far from them.

wTrain up a child in the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.

xThe rich rules over the poor,

and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Whoever ysows injustice will reap calamity,

and zthe rod of his fury will fail.

aWhoever has a bountiful2 eye will be blessed,

for he bshares his bread with the poor.

10  cDrive out a scoffer, dand strife will go out,

and equarreling and abuse will cease.

11  He who floves purity of heart,

and whose gspeech is gracious, hwill have the king as his friend.

12  The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,

but he ioverthrows the words of the traitor.

13  jThe sluggard says, There is a lion outside!

I shall be killed in the streets!

14  The mouth of kforbidden3 women is la deep pit;

mhe with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.

15  Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,

but nthe rod of discipline drives it far from him.

16  Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,

or gives to the rich, owill only come to poverty.

Words of the Wise

17  pIncline your ear, and hear qthe words of the wise,

rand apply your heart to my knowledge,

18  for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,

if all of them are ready on your lips.

19  That your trust may be in the Lord,

I have made them known to you today, even to you.

20  Have I not written for you sthirty sayings

of counsel and knowledge,

21  to tmake you know what is right and true,

that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?

22  uDo not rob the poor, because he is poor,

or vcrush the afflicted at wthe gate,

23  for xthe Lord will plead their cause

and rob of life those who rob them.

24  Make no friendship with a man given to anger,

nor go with a wrathful man,

25  lest you learn his ways

and entangle yourself in a snare.

26  Be not one of those who ygive pledges,

who put up security for debts.

27  If you have nothing with which to pay,

why should zyour bed be taken from under you?

28  Do not move the ancient alandmark

that your fathers have set.

29  Do you see a man skillful in his work?

He will bstand before kings;

he will not stand before obscure men.

23  When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

observe carefully what4 is before you,

and put a knife to your throat

if you are given to appetite.

cDo not desire his delicacies,

for they are deceptive food.

dDo not toil to acquire wealth;

ebe discerning enough to desist.

When your eyes light on it, it is gone,

ffor suddenly it sprouts wings,

flying like an eagle toward heaven.

gDo not eat the bread of a man who is hstingy;5

ido not desire his delicacies,

for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.6

Eat and drink! he says to you,

but his jheart is not with you.

You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,

and waste your pleasant words.

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,

for he will despise the good sense of your words.

10  kDo not move an ancient landmark

or enter the fields of the fatherless,

11  for their lRedeemer is strong;

he will mplead their cause against you.

12  Apply your heart to instruction

and your ear to words of knowledge.

13  Do not withhold ndiscipline from a child;

oif you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

14  If you strike him with the rod,

you will psave his soul from Sheol.

15  qMy son, if your heart is wise,

my heart too will be glad.

16  My rinmost being7 will exult

when your lips speak swhat is right.

17  Let not your heart tenvy sinners,

but continue in uthe fear of the Lord all the day.

18  Surely vthere is a future,

and your whope will not be cut off.

19  Hear, my son, and xbe wise,

and ydirect your heart in the way.

20  Be not among zdrunkards8

or among agluttonous eaters of meat,

21  for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

and bslumber will clothe them with rags.

22  cListen to your father who gave you life,

dand do not despise your mother when she is old.

23  eBuy truth, and do not sell it;

buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24  fThe father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;

he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

25  fLet your father and mother be glad;

let gher who bore you rejoice.

26  My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes observe9 my ways.

27  For a prostitute is ha deep pit;

ian adulteress10 is a narrow jwell.

28  kShe lies in wait like a robber

and increases the traitors among mankind.

29  lWho has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has strife? Who has complaining?

Who has mwounds without cause?

Who has nredness of eyes?

30  Those who otarry long over wine;

those who go to try pmixed wine.

31  Do not look at wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32  In the end it qbites like a serpent

and stings like an adder.

33  Your eyes will see strange things,

and your heart utter rperverse things.

34  You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,

like one who lies on the top of a mast.11

35  They sstruck me, you will say,12 but I was not hurt;

they beat me, but I did not feel it.

When shall I awake?

I tmust have another drink.

24  Be not uenvious of evil men,

nor desire to be vwith them,

for their hearts wdevise violence,

and their lips xtalk of trouble.

By ywisdom a house is built,

and by understanding it is established;

by knowledge the rooms are filled

with all zprecious and pleasant riches.

aA wise man is full of strength,

and a man of knowledge enhances his might,

for by bwise guidance you can wage your war,

and in cabundance of counselors there is victory.

Wisdom is dtoo high for a fool;

in ethe gate he does not open his mouth.

Whoever fplans to do evil

will be called a schemer.

gThe devising13 of folly is sin,

and hthe scoffer is an abomination to mankind.

10  If you ifaint in the day of adversity,

your strength is small.

11  jRescue those who are being taken away to death;

hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.

12  If you say, Behold, we did not know this,

kdoes not he who lweighs the heart perceive it?

Does not he who mkeeps watch over your soul know it,

and will he not repay man naccording to his work?

13  My son, oeat honey, for it is good,

and pthe drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.

14  Know that wisdom is such to your soul;

if you find it, there will be qa future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

15  rLie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;

do no violence to his home;

16  sfor the righteous falls tseven times and rises again,

but uthe wicked stumble in times of calamity.

17  vDo not rejoice when your enemy falls,

and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

18  lest the Lord see it and be displeased,

and turn away his anger from him.

19  wFret not yourself because of evildoers,

and be not xenvious of the wicked,

20  for the evil man has no qfuture;

ythe lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21  My son, zfear the Lord and the king,

and do not join with those who do otherwise,

22  for disaster will arise suddenly from them,

and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

More Sayings of the Wise

23 These also are sayings of athe wise.

bPartiality in judging is not good.

24  Whoever csays to the wicked, You are in the right,

dwill be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,

25  but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,

and a good blessing will come upon them.

26  Whoever gives an honest answer

kisses the lips.

27  ePrepare your work outside;

get everything ready for yourself in the field,

and after that build your house.

28  fBe not a witness against your neighbor without cause,

and do not deceive with your lips.

29  Do not say, gI will do to him as he has done to me;

I will pay the man back for what he has done.

30  hI passed by the field of a sluggard,

by the vineyard of a man ilacking sense,

31  and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;

the ground was covered with nettles,

and its stone jwall was broken down.

32  Then I saw and kconsidered it;

I looked and received instruction.

33  lA little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

34  and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man.


Encouragement to Give Generously

We want you to know, brothers,1 about the grace of God that has been hgiven among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and itheir extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave jaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly kfor the favor2 of taking part in lthe relief of the saints and this, not as we expected, but they mgave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, nwe urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you othis act of grace. But as pyou excel in everythingin faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you3qsee that you excel in this act of grace also.

rI say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sthough he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter tI give my judgment: uthis benefits you, who va year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable waccording to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply xtheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, yWhoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.

Commendation of Titus

16 But zthanks be to God, awho put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For bhe not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going4 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending5 cthe brother who is famous among dall the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been eappointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of fgrace that is being ministered by us, gfor the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for hwe aim at what is honorable inot only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is jmy partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers6 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of kour boasting about you to these men.