1 It is better to be respected than to be rich. A good name is worth more than silver or gold.
2 The rich and the poor are the same. The LORD made them all.
3 Wise people see trouble coming and get out of its way, but fools go straight to it and suffer for it.
4 Respect the LORD and be humble. Then you will have wealth, honor, and true life.
5 Evil people are trapped by many troubles, but those who want to live avoid them.
6 Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path.
7 The rich rule over the poor. The one who borrows is a slave to the one who lends.
8 Those who spread trouble will harvest trouble. In the end, they will be destroyed for the trouble they caused.
9 Generous people will be blessed, because they share their food with the poor.
10 Get rid of the proud who laugh at what is right, and trouble will leave with them. All arguments and insults will end.
11 Love a pure heart and kind words, and the king will be your friend.
12 The LORD watches over true knowledge, and he opposes those who try to deceive others.
13 A person who is lazy and wants to stay home says, “There is a lion outside, and I might be killed in the streets!”
14 The sin of adultery is a trap, and the LORD gets very angry with those who fall into it.
15 Children do foolish things, but if you punish them, they will learn not to do them.
16 These two things will make you poor: hurting the poor to make yourself rich and giving gifts to the rich.
Thirty Wise Sayings
17 Listen carefully to these words from the wise. Pay attention to what I have learned. 18 It will be good for you to remember these words and have them ready when they are needed. 19 I will teach you these things now. I want you to trust the LORD. 20 I have written 30 sayings for you.* I have … for you Or “I wrote this for you earlier.” These are words of advice and wisdom. 21 They will teach you things that you can know for sure to be true. Then you can give good answers to the one who sent you.
— 1 —
22 It is easy to steal from the poor, but don’t do it. And don’t take advantage of them in court. 23 The LORD is on their side. He supports the poor, and he will take from those who take from them.
— 2 —
24 Don’t be friends with people who become angry easily. Don’t stay around quick-tempered people. 25 If you do, you may learn to be like them. Then you will have the same problems they do.
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26 Don’t promise to pay someone else’s debt. 27 If you cannot pay, you will lose everything you have. So why should you lose the bed you sleep on?
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28 Never move an old property line that was marked long ago by your ancestors.
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29 Skilled workers will always serve kings. They will never have to work for less important people.
*22:20 I have … for you Or “I wrote this for you earlier.”