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
24 Do not envy evil people, 1
do not desire 2 to be with them;
2 for their hearts contemplate violence,
and their lips speak harm. 3
3 By 4 wisdom a house is built, 5
and through understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge its rooms are filled
with all kinds of precious and pleasing treasures.
5 A wise warrior 6 is strong, 7
and a man of knowledge makes his strength stronger;
6 for with guidance you wage your war,
and with numerous advisers there is victory. 8
7 Wisdom is unattainable 9 for a fool;
in court 10 he does not open his mouth. 11
8 The one who plans to do evil
will be called a scheming person. 12
9 A foolish scheme 13 is sin,
and the scorner is an abomination to people. 14
10 If you faint 15 in the day of trouble, 16
your strength is small! 17
11 Deliver those being taken away to death,
and hold back those slipping to the slaughter. 18
12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,”
does not the one who evaluates 19 hearts consider?
Does not the one who guards your life know?
Will he not repay each person according to his deeds? 20
13 Eat honey, 21 my child, for it is good,
and honey from the honeycomb is sweet to your taste.
14 Likewise, know 22 that wisdom is sweet 23 to your soul;
if you find it, 24 you will have a future, 25
and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait like the wicked 26 against the place where the righteous live;
do not assault 27 his home.
16 Although 28 a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again,
but the wicked will be brought down 29 by calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, 30
and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,
18 lest the Lord see it, and be displeased, 31
and turn his wrath away from him. 32
19 Do not fret because of evil people
or be envious of wicked people,
20 for the evil person has no future, 33
and the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished. 34
21 Fear the Lord, my child, 35 as well as the king,
and do not associate 36 with rebels, 37
22 for suddenly their destruction will overtake them, 38
and who knows the ruinous judgment both the Lord and the king can bring? 39
Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These sayings also are from the wise:
To show partiality 40 in judgment is terrible: 41
24 The one who says to the guilty, 42 “You are innocent,” 43
peoples will curse him, and nations will denounce 44 him.
25 But there will be delight 45 for those who convict 46 the guilty, 47
and a pleasing blessing 48 will come on them.
26 Like a kiss on the lips 49
is the one who gives an honest answer.
27 Establish your work outside and get your fields ready;
afterward build 50 your house. 51
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, 52
and do not deceive with your words. 53
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will pay him back 54 according to what he has done.” 55
30 I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of one who lacks wisdom. 56
31 I saw 57 that thorns had grown up all over it,
the ground 58 was covered with weeds,
and its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw this, I gave careful consideration to it; 59
I received instruction from what I saw: 60
33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to relax,
34 and your poverty will come like a bandit,
and your need like an armed robber.” 61
Proverbs of Solomon Collected by Hezekiah
25 These also are proverbs of Solomon,
which the men of King Hezekiah of Judah copied: 1
2 It is the glory of God 2 to conceal 3 a matter,
and it is the glory of a king to search out a matter.
3 As the heaven is high 4 and the earth is deep
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable. 5
4 Remove the dross from the silver,
and material 6 for the silversmith will emerge;
5 remove the wicked from before the king, 7
and his throne 8 will be established in righteousness. 9
6 Do not honor yourself before the king,
and do not stand in the place of great men;
7 for it is better for him 10 to say to you, “Come up here,” 11
than to put you lower 12 before a prince,
whom your eyes have seen. 13
8 Do not go out hastily to litigation, 14
or 15 what will you do afterward
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 When you argue a case 16 with your neighbor,
do not reveal the secret of another person, 17
10 lest the one who hears it put you to shame
and your infamy 18 will never go away.
11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver, 19
so is a word skillfully spoken. 20
12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold, 21
so is a wise reprover to the ear of the one who listens. 22
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest, 23
so is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
for he refreshes the heart 24 of his masters.
14 Like cloudy skies and wind that produce no rain, 25
so is the one who boasts 26 of a gift not given. 27
15 Through patience 28 a ruler can be persuaded, 29
and a soft tongue 30 can break a bone. 31
16 When you find 32 honey, eat only what is sufficient for you,
lest you become stuffed 33 with it and vomit it up. 34
17 Don’t set foot too frequently 35 in your neighbor’s house,
lest he become weary 36 of you and hate you.
18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow, 37
so is the one who testifies against 38 his neighbor as a false witness. 39
19 Like a bad tooth or a foot out of joint, 40
so is confidence 41 in an unfaithful person at the time of trouble. 42
20 Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, 43
or like vinegar poured on soda, 44
so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. 45
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap coals of fire on his head, 46
and the Lord will reward you. 47
23 The north wind 48 brings forth rain,
and a gossiping tongue 49 brings forth 50 an angry look. 51
24 It is better to live on a corner of the housetop
than in a house in company with a quarrelsome wife. 52
25 Like cold water to a weary person, 53
so is good news from a distant land. 54
26 Like a muddied 55 spring and a polluted 56 well,
so is a righteous person who gives way 57 before the wicked.
27 It is not good 58 to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable for people to seek their own glory. 59
28 Like a city that is broken down and without a wall,
so is a person who cannot control his temper. 60