29 zHe who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
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,
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.
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.5
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.6
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,
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.
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.8
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
and eaten by the vultures.
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.”
under kfour it cannot bear up:
22 ta slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is ufilled with food;
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;
and a king whose army is with him.10
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:
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,
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.13
9 Open your mouth, rjudge righteously,
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
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.
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.
and reaches out her hands to bthe needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
22 She makes dbed coverings for herself;
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:
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.
A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers,1 we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you dreceived from us ehow you ought to walk and fto please God, just as you are doing, that you gdo so more and more. 2 For hyou know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, iyour sanctification:2 jthat you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own kbody3 in holiness and lhonor, 5 not in mthe passion of lust nlike the Gentiles owho do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and pwrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is qan avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For rGod has not called us for simpurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore twhoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, uwho gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning vbrotherly love wyou have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been xtaught by God yto love one another, 10 for that indeed is what zyou are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to ado this more and more, 11 and to aspire bto live quietly, and cto mind your own affairs, and dto work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may ewalk properly before foutsiders and be dependent on no one.
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, gthat you may not grieve as others do hwho have no hope. 14 For isince we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him jthose who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you kby a word from the Lord,4 that lwe who are alive, who are left until mthe coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For nthe Lord himself will descend ofrom heaven pwith a cry of command, with the voice of qan archangel, and rwith the sound of the trumpet of God. And sthe dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be tcaught up together with them uin the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so vwe will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.