1 The wicked are afraid of everything, but those who live right are as brave as lions.
2 A lawless nation will have many bad leaders. But a smart leader will rule for a long time in a land where people obey the law.
3 A leader who takes advantage of the poor is like a hard rain that destroys the crops.* Or “A poor person who takes advantage of beggars is like a hard rain and no food.”
4 Those who refuse to obey the law promote evil. Those who obey the law oppose evil.
5 The wicked don’t understand justice, but those who love the LORD understand it completely.
6 It is better to be poor and honest than rich and evil.
7 A smart son obeys the laws, but a son who spends time with worthless people brings shame to his father.
8 If you get rich by charging high interest rates, your wealth will go to someone who is kind to the poor.
9 When people do not listen to God’s teachings, he does not listen to their prayers.
10 Those who plan to hurt good people will fall into their own traps, but good things will happen to those who are good.
11 The rich always think they are wise, but a poor person who is wise can see the truth.
12 When good people become leaders, everything is great, but when the wicked rise to power, everyone hides.
13 Whoever hides their sins will not be successful, but whoever confesses their sins and stops doing wrong will receive mercy.
14 People who respect others will be blessed, but stubborn people will have plenty of troubles.
15 An evil ruler over those who are helpless is like an angry lion or a charging bear.
16 A foolish ruler hurts the people under him, but a ruler who hates wrong will rule for a long time.
17 A murderer will never have peace. Don’t support such a person.
18 Honest people will be safe, but dishonest people will be ruined.
19 Whoever works hard will have plenty to eat, but whoever wastes their time with dreams will always be poor.
20 People who can be trusted will have many blessings, but those who are just trying to get rich in a hurry will be punished.
21 It is wrong for a judge to support someone simply because he knows them. But some judges will change their decisions for the price of a loaf of bread.
22 Selfish people only want to get rich. They do not realize that they are very close to being poor.
23 Correct someone, and later they will thank you. That is much better than just saying something to be nice.
24 Someone might steal from their parents and say, “I did nothing wrong.” But that person is as bad as an enemy who smashes everything in the house.
25 Greedy people might sue you in court, but those who trust the LORD are rewarded.
26 It is foolish to be too confident. Those who ask for advice are wise and will escape disaster.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will have plenty. Whoever refuses to help them will get nothing but curses.
28 When the wicked rise to power, everyone hides. When they are defeated, good people multiply.
*28:3 Or “A poor person who takes advantage of beggars is like a hard rain and no food.”