29 The one who stiffens his neck 1 after numerous rebukes 2
will suddenly be destroyed 3 without remedy. 4
2 When the righteous become numerous, 5 the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan. 6
3 The man 7 who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, 8
but whoever associates 9 with prostitutes wastes 10 his wealth. 11
4 A king brings stability 12 to a land 13 by justice,
but one who exacts tribute 14 tears it down.
5 The one 15 who flatters 16 his neighbor
spreads a net 17 for his steps. 18
6 In the transgression of an evil person there is a snare, 19
but a righteous person can sing 20 and rejoice. 21
7 The righteous person cares for 22 the legal rights 23 of the poor;
the wicked does not understand such 24 knowledge.
8 Scornful people 25 inflame 26 a city, 27
but those who are wise turn away wrath.
9 If a wise person 28 goes to court 29 with a foolish person,
there is no peace 30 whether he is angry or laughs. 31
10 Bloodthirsty people 32 hate someone with integrity; 33
as for the upright, they seek his life. 34
11 A fool lets fly with all his temper, 35
but a wise person keeps it back. 36
12 If a ruler listens to 37 lies, 38
all his ministers 39 will be wicked. 40
13 The poor person and the oppressor 41 have this in common: 42
the Lord gives light 43 to the eyes of them both.
14 If a king judges the poor in truth, 44
his throne 45 will be established forever.
15 A rod and reproof 46 impart 47 wisdom,
but a child who is unrestrained 48 brings shame 49 to his mother. 50
16 When the wicked increase, 51 transgression increases,
but the righteous will see 52 their downfall.
17 Discipline your child, and he will give you rest; 53
he will bring you 54 happiness. 55
18 When there is no prophetic vision 56 the people cast off restraint, 57
but the one who keeps the law, 58 blessed is he! 59
19 A servant 60 cannot be corrected 61 by words,
for although 62 he understands, there is no answer. 63
20 Do you see someone 64 who is hasty in his words? 65
There is more hope for a fool than for him. 66
21 If 67 someone pampers his servant from youth,
he will be a weakling 68 in the end.
22 An angry person 69 stirs up dissension,
and a wrathful person 70 is abounding in transgression. 71
23 A person’s pride 72 will bring him low, 73
but one who has a lowly spirit 74 will gain honor.
24 Whoever shares with a thief 75 is his own enemy; 76
he hears the oath to testify, 77 but does not talk.
25 The fear of people 78 becomes 79 a snare, 80
but whoever trusts in the Lord will be set on high. 81
26 Many people seek the face 82 of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one receives justice. 83
27 An unjust person is an abomination to the righteous,
and the one who lives an upright life is an abomination to the wicked. 84
30 The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh; an oracle: 2
This 3 man says 4 to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ukal: 5
2 Surely 6 I am more brutish 7 than any other human being, 8
and I do not have human understanding; 9
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor do I have knowledge 10 of the Holy One. 11
4 Who has ascended into heaven, and then descended? 12
Who has gathered up the winds in his fists? 13
Who has bound up the waters in his cloak? 14
Who has established all the ends of the earth? 15
What is his name, and what is his son’s name? 16 – if you know!
5 Every word of God is purified; 17
he is like 18 a shield for those who take refuge in him. 19
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he reprove you, and prove you to be a liar. 20
7 Two things 21 I ask from you; 22
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Remove falsehood and lies 23 far from me;
do not give me poverty or riches,
feed me with my allotted portion 24 of bread, 25
9 lest I become satisfied and act deceptively 26
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I become poor and steal
and demean 27 the name of my God.
10 Do not slander 28 a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you are found guilty. 29
11 There is a generation 30 who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers. 31
12 There is a generation who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not washed 32 from their filthiness. 33
13 There is a generation whose eyes are so lofty, 34
and whose eyelids are lifted up disdainfully. 35
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like 36 swords 37
and whose molars 38 are like knives
to devour 39 the poor from the earth
and the needy from among the human race.
15 The leech 40 has two daughters: 41
“Give! Give!” 42
There are three things that are never satisfied,
four 43 that never say, “Enough” 44 –
16 the grave, 45 the barren womb, 46
land that is not satisfied with water,
and fire that never says, “Enough!” 47
17 The eye 48 that mocks at a father
and despises obeying 49 a mother –
the ravens of the valley will peck it out
and the young vultures will eat it. 50
18 There are three things that are too wonderful for me, 51
four that I do not understand:
19 the way 52 of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship in the sea,
and the way of a man with a woman. 53
20 This is the way 54 of an adulterous 55 woman:
she eats and wipes her mouth 56
and says, “I have not done wrong.” 57
21 Under three things the earth trembles, 58
and under four things it cannot bear up:
22 under a servant 59 who becomes king,
under a fool who is stuffed with food, 60
23 under an unloved 61 woman who is married,
and under a female servant who dispossesses 62 her mistress.
24 There are four things on earth that are small, 63
but they are exceedingly wise: 64
25 ants are creatures with little strength,
but they prepare 65 their food in the summer;
26 rock badgers 66 are creatures with little power,
but they make their homes in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,
but they all go forward by ranks; 67
28 a lizard 68 you can catch with the hand,
but it gets into the palaces of the king. 69
29 There are three things that are magnificent 70 in their step,
four things that move about magnificently: 71
30 a lion, mightiest 72 of the beasts,
who does not retreat from anything;
31 a strutting rooster, 73 a male goat,
and a king with his army around him. 74
32 If you have done foolishly by exalting yourself 75
or if you have planned evil,
put 76 your hand over your mouth!
33 For as the churning 77 of milk produces butter
and as punching the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger 78 produces strife. 79
The Words of Lemuel
31 The words of King Lemuel, 1
an oracle 2 that his mother taught him:
2 O 3 my son, O son of my womb,
O son 4 of my vows,
3 Do not give your strength 5 to women,
nor your ways 6 to that which ruins 7 kings.
4 It is not for kings, 8 O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine, 9
or for rulers to crave strong drink, 10
5 lest they drink and forget what is decreed,
and remove 11 from all the poor 12 their legal rights. 13
6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, 14
and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; 15
7 let them 16 drink and forget 17 their poverty,
and remember their misery no more.
8 Open your mouth 18 on behalf of those unable to speak, 19
for the legal rights of all the dying. 20
9 Open your mouth, judge in righteousness, 21
and plead the cause 22 of the poor and needy.
The Wife of Noble Character 23
10 Who can find 24 a wife 25 of noble character? 26
For her value 27 is far more than rubies.
11 The heart of her husband has confidence 28 in her,
and he has no lack of gain. 29
12 She brings him 30 good and not evil 31
all the days of her life.
13 She obtains 32 wool and flax,
and she is pleased to work with her hands. 33
14 She is like 34 the merchant ships; 35
she brings her food from afar.
15 She also gets up 36 while it is still night,
and provides food 37 for her household and a portion 38 to her female servants.
16 She considers 39 a field and buys it;
from her own income 40 she plants a vineyard.
17 She begins 41 her work vigorously,
and she strengthens 42 her arms.
18 She knows 43 that her merchandise is good,
and her lamp 44 does not go out in the night.
19 Her hands 45 take hold 46 of the distaff,
and her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends 47 her hand 48 to the poor,
and reaches out her hand to the needy.
21 She is not 49 afraid of the snow 50 for her household,
for all of her household are clothed with scarlet. 51
22 She makes for herself coverlets; 52
her clothing is fine linen and purple. 53
23 Her husband is well-known 54 in the city gate 55
when he sits with the elders 56 of the land.
24 She makes linen garments 57 and sells them,
and supplies the merchants 58 with sashes.
25 She is clothed 59 with strength 60 and honor, 61
and she can laugh 62 at the time 63 to come.
26 She opens her mouth 64 with wisdom,
and loving instruction 65 is on her tongue.
27 She watches over 66 the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness. 67
28 Her children rise up 68 and call her blessed,
her husband 69 also praises her:
29 “Many 70 daughters 71 have done valiantly, 72
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceitful 73 and beauty is fleeting, 74
but a woman who fears the Lord 75 will be praised.
31 Give 76 her credit for what she has accomplished, 77
and let her works praise her 78 in the city gates. 79