Proverbs 17-30 back to reading plan

17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quiet
than a house full of feasting with strife.
A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and the Lord tests hearts.
An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.
Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a prince.
A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
wherever he turns he prospers.
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
An evil man seeks only rebellion,
and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
rather than a fool in his folly.
If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will not depart from his house.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
when he has no sense?
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.
One who lacks sense gives a pledge
and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
and the father of a fool has no joy.
A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
to pervert the ways of justice.
The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
A foolish son is a grief to his father
and bitterness to her who bore him.
To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the righteous of justice.
A fool's lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool's mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever is slack in his work
is a brother to him who destroys.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
A man's spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man's gift makes room for him
and brings him before the great.
The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.
The lot puts an end to quarrels
and decides between powerful contenders.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
When a man's folly brings his way to ruin,
his heart rages against the Lord.
Wealth brings many new friends,
but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
Many seek the favor of a generous man,
and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
All a poor man's brothers hate him;
how much more do his friends go far from him!
He pursues them with words, but does not have them.
Whoever gets sense loves his own soul;
he who keeps understanding will discover good.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will perish.
It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury,
much less for a slave to rule over princes.
Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
A foolish son is ruin to his father,
and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
and an idle person will suffer hunger.
Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;
he who despises his ways will die.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.
Discipline your son, for there is hope;
do not set your heart on putting him to death.
A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
and a poor man is better than a liar.
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
and whoever has it rests satisfied;
he will not be visited by harm.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
is a son who brings shame and reproach.
Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
A worthless witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
Condemnation is ready for scoffers,
and beating for the backs of fools.
20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
but a faithful man who can find?
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!
A king who sits on the throne of judgment
winnows all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin”?
Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the Lord has made them both.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
If one curses his father or his mother,
his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
and false scales are not good.
A man's steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
and to reflect only after making vows.
A wise king winnows the wicked
and drives the wheel over them.
The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
searching all his innermost parts.
Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.
21:1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it.
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to his ways.
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”
The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Words of the Wise

Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?

Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate,
for the Lord will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
Do not move the ancient landmark
that your fathers have set.
Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.

23:1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies,
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.

My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress is a narrow well.
She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.”
24:1 Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them,
for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.

By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Wisdom is too high for a fool;
in the gate he does not open his mouth.

Whoever plans to do evil
will be called a schemer.
The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.

If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.

Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
and be not envious of the wicked,
for the evil man has no future;
the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

My son, fear the Lord and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

More Sayings of the Wise

These also are sayings of the wise.

Partiality in judging is not good.
Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.

Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.

Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

More Proverbs of Solomon

25:1 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.
As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver,
and the smith has material for a vessel;
take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.
Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
or stand in the place of the great,
for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

What your eyes have seen
do not hastily bring into court,
for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another's secret,
lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.

A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.
Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.
A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls.
26:1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
a curse that is causeless does not alight.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the back of fools.
Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly.
Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one's right hand.
Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.
As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.

Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.
Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
To show partiality is not good,
but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
A stingy man hastens after wealth
and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is a companion to a man who destroys.
A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
By justice a king builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.
A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
If a king faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will be established forever.
The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.
A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
One's pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.
An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

The Words of Agur

30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name?
Surely you know!

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.

There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
There are those who are clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
There are those—how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
There are those whose teeth are swords,
whose fangs are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.

The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.

This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”

Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings' palaces.

Three things are stately in their tread;
four are stately in their stride:
the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and does not turn back before any;
the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.