21 The king’s heart 1 is in the hand 2 of the Lord like channels of water; 3
he turns it wherever he wants.
2 All of a person’s ways seem right in his own opinion, 4
but the Lord evaluates 5 the motives. 6
3 To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable 7 to the Lord than sacrifice. 8
4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart –
the agricultural product 9 of the wicked is sin.
5 The plans of the diligent 10 lead 11 only to plenty, 12
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. 13
6 Making a fortune 14 by a lying tongue is like 15 a vapor driven back and forth; 16
they seek death. 17
7 The violence 18 done by the wicked 19 will drag them away
because 20 they refuse to do what is right. 21
8 The way of the guilty person 22 is devious, 23
but as for the pure, 24 his way is upright.
9 It is better to live on a corner of the housetop 25
than in a house in company 26 with a quarrelsome wife. 27
10 The appetite 28 of the wicked desires 29 evil;
his neighbor is shown no favor 30 in his eyes.
11 When a scorner is punished, the naive 31 becomes wise;
when a wise person is instructed, 32 he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One 33 considers 34 the house 35 of the wicked;
he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. 36
13 The one who shuts his ears 37 to the cry 38 of the poor,
he too will cry out and will not be answered. 39
14 A gift given 40 in secret subdues 41 anger,
and a bribe given secretly 42 subdues 43 strong wrath. 44
15 Doing 45 justice brings 46 joy to the righteous
and terror 47 to those who do evil.
16 The one who wanders 48 from the way of wisdom 49
will end up 50 in the company of the departed. 51
17 The one who loves 52 pleasure 53 will be 54 a poor person; 55
whoever loves wine and anointing oil 56 will not be rich.
18 The wicked become 57 a ransom 58 for the righteous,
and the faithless 59 are taken 60 in the place of the upright.
19 It is better to live 61 in a desert land 62
than with a quarrelsome and easily-provoked 63 woman.
20 There is desirable treasure and olive oil 64 in the dwelling of the wise,
but a foolish person 65 devours all he has. 66
21 The one who pursues righteousness and love 67
finds life, bounty, 68 and honor.
22 The wise person 69 can scale 70 the city of the mighty
and bring down the stronghold 71 in which they trust. 72
23 The one who guards his mouth and his tongue 73
keeps his life 74 from troubles. 75
24 A proud 76 and arrogant 77 person, whose name is “Scoffer,” 78
acts 79 with overbearing pride. 80
25 What the sluggard desires 81 will kill him, 82
for his hands 83 refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves greedily, 84
but the righteous gives and does not hold back. 85
27 The wicked person’s sacrifice 86 is an abomination;
how much more 87 when he brings it with evil intent! 88
28 A lying witness 89 will perish, 90
but the one who reports accurately speaks forever. 91
29 A wicked person 92 shows boldness with his face, 93
but as for the upright, 94 he discerns 95 his ways.
30 There is no wisdom and there is no understanding,
and there is no counsel against 96 the Lord. 97
31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory is from the Lord. 98
22 A good name 1 is to be chosen 2 rather than great wealth,
good favor 3 more than silver or gold.
2 The rich and the poor meet together; 4
the Lord is the creator of them both. 5
3 A shrewd person 6 sees danger 7 and hides himself,
but the naive keep right on going 8 and suffer for it. 9
4 The reward 10 for humility 11 and fearing the Lord 12
is riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares 13 are in the path of the perverse,
but the one who guards himself keeps far from them.
6 Train 14 a child 15 in the way that he should go, 16
and when he is old he will not turn from it. 17
7 The rich rule over 18 the poor,
and the borrower is servant 19 to the lender.
8 The one who sows 20 iniquity will reap trouble,
and the rod of his fury 21 will end.
9 A generous person 22 will be blessed, 23
for he gives some of his food 24 to the poor.
10 Drive out the scorner 25 and contention will leave;
strife and insults will cease. 26
11 The one who loves a pure heart 27
and whose speech is gracious 28 – the king will be his friend. 29
12 The eyes of the Lord 30 guard knowledge, 31
but he overthrows the words of the faithless person. 32
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion 33 outside!
I will be killed in the middle of the streets!” 34
14 The mouth 35 of an adulteress is like 36 a deep pit; 37
the one against whom the Lord is angry 38 will fall into it. 39
15 Folly is bound up 40 in the heart of a child, 41
but the rod of discipline 42 will drive it far from him.
16 The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain
and the one who gives to the rich 43 – both end up only in poverty.
The Sayings of the Wise 44
17 Incline your ear 45 and listen to the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my instruction. 46
18 For it is pleasing if 47 you keep these sayings 48 within you,
and 49 they are ready on your lips. 50
19 So that 51 your confidence may be in the Lord,
I am making them known to you today 52 – even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings 53 for you,
sayings 54 of counsel and knowledge,
21 to show you true and reliable words, 55
so that you may give accurate answers 56 to those who sent you?
22 Do not exploit 57 a poor person because he is poor
and do not crush the needy in court, 58
23 for the Lord will plead their case 59
and will rob those who are robbing 60 them.
24 Do not make friends with an angry person, 61
and do not associate with a wrathful person,
25 lest you learn 62 his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare. 63
26 Do not be one who strikes hands in pledge
or who puts up security for debts.
27 If you do not have enough to pay,
your bed 64 will be taken 65 right out from under you! 66
28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone 67
which was put in place by your ancestors. 68
29 Do you see a person skilled 69 in his work?
He will take his position before kings;
he will not take his position 70 before obscure people. 71
23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
consider carefully 1 what 2 is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat 3
if you possess a large appetite. 4
3 Do not crave that ruler’s 5 delicacies,
for 6 that food is deceptive. 7
4 Do not wear yourself out to become rich;
be wise enough to restrain yourself. 8
5 When you gaze upon riches, 9 they are gone,
for they surely make wings for themselves,
and fly off into the sky like an eagle! 10
6 Do not eat the food of a stingy person, 11
do not crave his delicacies;
7 for he is 12 like someone calculating the cost 13 in his mind. 14
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you;
8 you will vomit up 15 the little bit you have eaten,
and will have wasted your pleasant words. 16
9 Do not speak in the ears of a fool, 17
for he will despise the wisdom of your words. 18
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone,
or take over 19 the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Protector 20 is strong;
he will plead their case against you. 21
12 Apply 22 your heart to instruction
and your ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
even if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike 23 him with the rod,
you will deliver him 24 from death. 25
15 My child, 26 if your heart is wise,
then my heart also will be glad;
16 my soul 27 will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right. 28
17 Do not let your heart envy 29 sinners,
but rather be zealous in fearing the Lord 30 all the time.
18 For surely there is a future, 31
and your hope will not be cut off. 32
19 Listen, my child, 33 and be wise,
and guide your heart on the right way.
20 Do not spend time 34 among drunkards, 35
among those who eat too much 36 meat,
21 because drunkards and gluttons become impoverished,
and drowsiness 37 clothes them with rags. 38
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Acquire 39 truth and do not sell it –
wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.
24 The father of a righteous person will rejoice greatly; 40
whoever fathers a wise child 41 will have joy in him.
25 May your father and your mother have joy;
may she who bore you rejoice. 42
26 Give me your heart, my son, 43
and let your eyes observe my ways;
27 for a prostitute is like 44 a deep pit;
a harlot 45 is like 46 a narrow well. 47
28 Indeed, she lies in wait like a robber, 48
and increases the unfaithful 49 among men. 50
29 Who has woe? 51 Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause? Who has dullness 52 of the eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
those who go looking for mixed wine. 53
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
when it sparkles 54 in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly. 55
32 Afterward 56 it bites like a snake,
and stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things, 57
and your mind will speak perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the midst 58 of the sea,
and like one who lies down on the top of the rigging. 59
35 You will say, 60 “They have struck me, but I am not harmed!
They beat me, but I did not know it! 61
When will I awake? I will look for another drink.” 62