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 what1 is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3 cDo not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4 dDo not toil to acquire wealth;
ebe discerning enough to desist.
5 When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
ffor suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
6 gDo not eat the bread of a man who is hstingy;2
ido not desire his delicacies,
7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.3
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his jheart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9 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 being4 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.
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 observe6 my ways.
27 For a prostitute is ha deep pit;
ian adulteress7 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.8
35 “They sstruck me,” you will say,9 “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,
2 for their hearts wdevise violence,
and their lips xtalk of trouble.
3 By ywisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all zprecious and pleasant riches.
5 aA wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
6 for by bwise guidance you can wage your war,
and in cabundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is dtoo high for a fool;
in ethe gate he does not open his mouth.
8 Whoever fplans to do evil
will be called a schemer.
9 gThe devising10 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, g“I 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.