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Chapters in the book of Proverbs:
CHAPTER 1 Mar. 23
The Purpose of the Book
The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: 2to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding; 3to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man: 5that the wise man may be obedient, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel: 6to understand a proverb, and parables, the words and riddles of the wise. 7The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
8My son, listen to your father’s instruction, and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching: 9for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck. 10My son, if sinners entice you, don’t consent. 11If they say, Come with us, let’s lay in wait for blood; let’s lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 12let’s swallow them up alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down into the pit. 13We’ll find all kinds of wealth. We’ll fill our houses with spoil. 14You shall cast your lot among us, we’ll all have one purse. 15My son, don’t walk in the way with them. Keep your foot from their path, 16for their feet run to evil. They hurry to shed blood. 17For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird: 18but these lay wait for their own blood. They lurk secretly for their own lives. 19So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
Do Not Reject Wisdom
20Wisdom calls aloud in the street. She utters her voice in the public squares. 21She calls at the head of busy places, at the entrance of the city gates she utters her words: 22How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you, I will make known my words to you. 24Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention; 25but you have ignored all my counsel, and wished none of my reproof; 26I also will laugh at your disaster. I will mock when calamity overtakes you; 27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come on you. 28Then will they call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me; 29because they hated knowledge, and didn’t choose the fear of Yahweh. 30They wished for none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof. 31Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with the fruit of their own schemes. 32For the backsliding of the simple will kill them. The careless ease of fools will destroy them. 33But whoever listens to me will dwell securely and will be at ease, without fear of harm.
CHAPTER 2 Mar. 24
The Benefits of Wisdom
My son, if you will receive my words and store up my commandments within you 2so as to turn your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; 3yes, if you cry out for wisdom, and lift up your voice for understanding; 4if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures: 5then you will understand the fear of Yahweh, and find the knowledge of God. 6For Yahweh gives wisdom. Out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. 7He lays up sound wisdom for the upright, He is a shield to those who walk in integrity; 8that He may guard the paths of justice, and preserve the way of His saints. 9Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. 10For wisdom will enter into your heart, knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11Discretion will watch over you. Understanding will keep you, 12to deliver you from the way of evil, from the men who speak perverse things; 13who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; 14who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perverseness of evil; 15who are crooked in their ways, and wayward in their paths: 16to deliver you from the Gentile woman, even from the foreigner who flatters with her words; 17who forsakes the friend of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God: 18for her house leads down to death, her paths to the dead. 19None who go to her return again, neither do they attain to the paths of life: 20that you may walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. 21For the upright will dwell in the land; the perfect will eternally remain in it. 22But the wicked will be cut off from the land, the deceitful will be rooted out of it.
CHAPTER 3 Mar. 25
More Benefits of Wisdom
My son, don’t forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments: 2for length of days and years of life, and peace, will they add to you. 3Don’t let grace and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4So you will find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 7Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil. 8It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones. 9Honour Yahweh with your substance, with the first fruits of all your increase: 10so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. 11My son, don’t despise Yahweh’s discipline, neither be weary of His reproof: 12for whom Yahweh loves, He reproves; even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights. 13Happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gets understanding. 14For her good profit is better than getting silver, and her return is better than fine gold. 15She is more precious than rubies. None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her. 16Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honour. 17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her. Happy is each one who retains her. 19By wisdom Yahweh founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. 20By His knowledge the depths were broken up and the skies drop down the dew. 21My son, let them not depart from your eyes. Keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22so they will be life to your soul, and grace for your neck. 23Then you shall walk in your way securely; your foot won’t stumble. 24When you lie down, you will not be afraid. Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet. 25Don’t be afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked when it comes: 26for Yahweh will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being taken. 27Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in the power of your hand to do it. 28Don’t say to your neighbour, Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it to you, when you have it by you. 29Don’t devise evil against your neighbour, since he dwells securely by you. 30Don’t strive with a man without cause if he has done you no harm. 31Don’t envy the man of violence; choose none of his ways. 32For the perverse person is an abomination to Yahweh, but His friendship is with the upright. 33Yahweh’s curse is in the house of the wicked, but He blesses the habitation of the righteous. 34Surely He mocks the mockers, but He gives grace to the humble. 35The wise will inherit glory, but shame will be the promotion of fools.
CHAPTER 4 Mar. 26
The Supremacy of Wisdom
Listen, sons, to a father’s instruction. Pay attention and know understanding; 2for I give you sound learning. Don’t forsake my law. 3For I was a son to my father, tender and an only child in the sight of my mother. 4He taught me, and said to me: Let your heart retain my words. Keep my commandments, and live. 5Get wisdom. Get understanding. Don’t forget, neither swerve from the words of my mouth. 6Don’t forsake her, and she will preserve you. Love her, and she will keep you. 7Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding. 8Esteem her, and she will exalt you. She will bring you to honour when you embrace her. 9She will give to your head a garland of grace. She will deliver a crown of splendour to you. 10 O my son, receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. 11I have taught you in the way of wisdom, I have led you in straight paths. 12When you go, your steps will not be hampered. When you run, you will not stumble. 13Take firm hold of instruction. Don’t let her go. Keep her, for she is your life. 14Don’t enter into the path of the wicked. Don’t walk in the way of evil men. 15Avoid it, and don’t pass by it; turn from it, and pass on. 16For they don’t sleep, unless they do evil. Their sleep is taken away, unless they make someone fall. 17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18But the path of the righteous is like the light of the dawn, that shines more and more until the perfect day. 19The way of the wicked is like darkness. They don’t know what they stumble over. 20My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings. 21Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body. 23Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. 24Put away from yourself a perverse mouth, put corrupt lips far from you. 25Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. 26Make the path of your feet level. Let all of your ways be established. 27Don’t turn to the right hand nor to the left, remove your foot from evil.
CHAPTER 5 Mar. 27
The Dangers of Adultery
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my understanding: 2that you may maintain discretion, that your lips may preserve knowledge. 3For the lips of an adulteress drip honey. Her mouth is smoother than oil, 4but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, and as sharp as a two-edged sword. 5Her feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to Sheol. 6She gives no thought to the way of life. Her ways are crooked, and she doesn’t know it. 7Now therefore, my sons, listen to me. Don’t depart from the words of my mouth. 8Remove your way far from her. Don’t come near the door of her house, 9lest you give your honour to others, and your years to the cruel one; 10lest foreigners feast on your wealth, and your labours enrich another man’s house. 11You will groan at your latter end, when your flesh and your body are consumed, 12and say, How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13neither have I obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor turned my ear to those who instructed me! 14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, in the midst of the gathered assembly. 15Drink water out of your own cistern, springing water out of your own spring. 16Should your springs overflow in the streets, streams of water in the public squares? 17Let them be for yourself alone, not for strangers with you. 18Let your spring be blessed. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19A loving doe and a graceful deer— let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Be captivated always with her love. 20For why should you, my son, be captivated with an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another? 21For the ways of man are before the eyes of Yahweh, He examines all his paths. 22The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare him. The cords of his sin hold him firmly. 23He will die for lack of instruction. In the greatness of his own folly he will go astray.
CHAPTER 6 Mar. 28
Avoiding the Trap of Debt and Being Industrious
My son, if you have become collateral for your neighbour, if you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger,2you are trapped by the words of your mouth. You are ensnared with the words of your mouth. 3Do this now my son and deliver yourself, since you have come into the hand of your neighbour. Go, humble yourself. Press your plea with your neighbour. 4Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. 5Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. 6Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise; 7which having no chief, overseer or ruler, 8yet provides her bread in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest. 9How long will you sleep, lazy one? When will you arise out of your sleep? 10A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11so your poverty will come as a robber, and your scarcity as an armed man. 12A worthless person, a man of iniquity, is he who walks with a perverse mouth; 13who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, who motions with his fingers; 14in whose heart is perverseness, who devises evil continually, who always sows discord. 15Therefore his calamity will come suddenly. He will be broken suddenly, and that without remedy. 16There are six things which Yahweh hates; yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17proud eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood; 18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, 19a false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.
The Dangers of Promiscuity
20My son, keep your father’s commandment, and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching. 21Bind them continually on your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22When you walk, it will lead you. When you sleep, it will watch over you. When you awake, it will talk with you. 23For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light. Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, 24to keep you from the immoral woman, from the flattery of the wayward wife’s tongue. 25Don’t lust after her beauty in your heart, neither let her captivate you with her eyelids. 26For a prostitute reduces you to a piece of bread. The adulteress hunts for your precious life. 27Can a man scoop fire into his lap, and his clothes not be burned? 28Or can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? 29So is he who goes in to his neighbour’s wife. Whoever touches her will not be unpunished. 30Men don’t despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry: 31but if he is found, he shall restore seven times. He shall give all the wealth of his house. 32He who commits adultery with a woman is void of understanding. He who does it destroys his own soul. 33He will get wounds and dishonour, his reproach will not be wiped away. 34For jealousy arouses the fury of the husband. He won’t spare in the day of vengeance. 35He won’t regard any ransom, neither will he rest content, though you give many gifts.
CHAPTER 7 Mar. 29
Beware of the Adulteress
My son, keep my words. Lay up my commandments within you. 2Keep my commandments and live! Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Tell wisdom, You are my sister. Call understanding your relative, 5that they may keep you from the strange woman, from the foreigner who flatters with her words. 6For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice. 7I saw among the simple ones. I discerned among the youths a young man void of understanding, 8passing through the street near her corner, he went the way to her house, 9in the twilight, in the evening of the day, in the middle of the night and in the darkness. 10Behold, there a woman met him with the attire of a prostitute, and with crafty intent. 11She is loud and defiant. Her feet don’t stay in her house. 12Now she is in the streets, now in the squares, and lurking at every corner. 13So she caught him, and kissed him. With an impudent face she said to him: 14Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me. This day I have paid my vows. 15Therefore I came out to meet you, to diligently seek your face, and I have found you. 16I have spread my couch with carpets of tapestry, with striped cloths of the yarn of Egypt. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let’s take our fill of loving until the morning. Let’s solace ourselves with loving. 19For my husband isn’t at home. He has gone on a long journey. 20He has taken a bag of money with him; he will come home at the full moon. 21With persuasive words she led him astray. With the flattering of her lips, she seduced him. 22He followed her immediately, as an ox goes to the slaughter, as a fool stepping into a noose. 23Until an arrow strikes through his liver, as a bird hurries to the snare, and doesn’t know that it will cost his life. 24Now therefore, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25Don’t let your heart turn to her ways. Don’t go astray in her paths, 26for she has thrown down many wounded. Yes, all her slain are a mighty army. 27Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the rooms of death.
CHAPTER 8 Mar. 30
Doesn’t wisdom cry out? Doesn’t understanding raise her voice? 2On the top of high places by the way, where the paths meet, she stands. 3Beside the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entry doors, she cries aloud: 4To you people I call! I send my voice to the sons of mankind. 5You simple, understand prudence. You fools, be of an understanding heart. 6Hear, for I will speak excellent things. The opening of my lips is for right things. 7For my mouth speaks truth. Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness. There is nothing crooked or perverse in them. 9They are all plain to him who understands, right to those who find knowledge. 10Receive my instruction rather than silver; knowledge rather than choice gold. 11For wisdom is better than rubies. All the things that may be desired can’t be compared to it. 12I, wisdom, have made prudence my dwelling. Find out knowledge and discretion. 13The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth. 14Counsel and sound knowledge are mine. I have understanding and power. 15By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. 16By me princes rule; nobles, and all the righteous rulers of the earth. 17I love those who love me. Those who seek me diligently will find me. 18With me are riches, honour, enduring wealth, and prosperity. 19My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold; my yield than choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice; 21that I may give wealth to those who love me. I fill their treasuries. 22Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of His work, before His deeds of old. 23I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, before the earth existed. 24When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25Before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was brought forth; 26while as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world. 27When He established the skies, I was there; when He set a circle on the surface of the deep, 28when He established the clouds above, when the springs of the deep became strong, 29when He gave to the sea its boundary, that the waters should not violate His commandment, when He marked out the foundations of the earth; 30then I was the craftsman by His side. I was a delight day by day, always rejoicing before Him, 31rejoicing in His whole world. My delight was with the sons of men. 32Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, for blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Hear instruction, and be wise. Don’t refuse it. 34Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my door posts. 35For whoever finds me finds life, and will obtain favour from Yahweh. 36But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul. All those who hate me love death.
CHAPTER 9 Mar. 30
Wisdom and Foolishness Both Invite Us
Wisdom has built her house, she has carved out her seven pillars, 2she has prepared her bread, she has mixed her wine. She has also set her table, 3she has sent out her maidens, she cries from the highest places of the city: 4Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him, 5Come, eat some of my bread, drink some of the wine which I have mixed! 6Leave your simple ways, and live. Walk in the way of understanding. 7He who corrects a mocker invites insult; he who reproves a wicked man invites abuse. 8Don’t reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man, and he will love you; 9instruct a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For by me your days will be multiplied. The years of your life will be increased. 12If you are wise, you are wise for yourself. If you mock, you alone will bear it. 13The foolish woman is loud, undisciplined, and knows nothing. 14She sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their ways, 16Whoever is simple, let him turn in here. As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him, 17Stolen water is sweet. Food eaten in secret is pleasant. 18But he doesn’t know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
CHAPTER 10 Mar. 31
The Proverbs of Solomon
The Righteous and the Wicked- Their Attitudes Contrasted
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father; but a foolish son brings grief to his mother. 2Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. 3Yahweh will not allow the soul of the righteous to go hungry, but He thrusts away the desire of the wicked. 4He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth. 5He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame. 6Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. 7The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot. 8The wise in heart accept commandments, but a chattering fool will fall. 9He who walks blamelessly walks surely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out. 10One winking with the eye causes sorrow, and a chattering fool will fall. 11The mouth of the righteous is a spring of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. 12Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all wrongs. 13Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has discernment, but a rod is for the back of him who is void of understanding. 14Wise men lay up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near ruin.
A Disciplined Life
15The rich man’s wealth is his fortified city; the destruction of the poor is their poverty. 16The labour of the righteous leads to life; the increase of the wicked leads to sin. 17He is in the way of life who heeds correction, but he who forsakes reproof leads others astray. 18He who hides hatred has lying lips; he who utters a slander is a fool. 19In the multitude of words there is no lack of disobedience, but he who restrains his lips does wisely. 20The tongue of the righteous is like choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. 21The lips of the righteous feed many, but the foolish die for lack of understanding.
Life Expanded by the Fear of God
22Yahweh’s blessing brings wealth, and He adds no trouble to it. 23It is a fool’s pleasure to do wickedness, but wisdom is a man of understanding’s pleasure. 24What the wicked fear will overtake them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. 25When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more; but the righteous stand firm forever. 26As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him. 27The fear of Yahweh prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. 28The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hope of the wicked will perish. 29The way of Yahweh is a stronghold to the upright, but it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity. 30The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land. 31The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. 32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.
CHAPTER 11 Apr. 1
The Righteous and the Wicked- Their Behaviour and Destiny Contrasted
A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh, but accurate weights are His delight. 2When pride comes then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom. 3The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them. 4Riches don’t profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way, but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. 6The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them, but the unfaithful will be trapped by evil desires. 7When a wicked man dies, hope perishes, and expectation of power comes to nothing. 8A righteous person is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked walks into it in his place. 9With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbour, but the righteous will be delivered through knowledge. 10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there is shouting. 11By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. 12One who despises his neighbour is without wisdom, but a man of understanding holds his peace. 13One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret. 14Where there is no wise guidance the nation falls, but in the multitude of counsellors there is victory. 15He who is collateral for a stranger will suffer for it, but he who refuses pledges of collateral is secure. 16A gracious woman obtains honour, but violent men obtain riches.
Base Your Life on God
17The merciful man does good to his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. 18Wicked people earn deceitful wages, but one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. 19He who is truly righteous gets life; he who pursues evil gets death. 20Those who are perverse in heart are an abomination to Yahweh, but those whose ways are blameless are His delight. 21Most certainly, the evil man will not be unpunished, but the seed of the righteous will be delivered. 22Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. 23The desire of the righteous is only for good; the expectation of the wicked is wrath. 24There is one who scatters, and increases yet more. There is one who withholds more than is appropriate, but gains poverty. 25The generous soul shall be made fat; he who waters shall be watered also himself. 26People curse someone who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. 27He who diligently seeks good seeks favour, but he who searches after evil, it shall come to him. 28He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf. 29He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. 30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; he who is wise wins souls. 31Behold, the righteous shall be repaid in the earth; how much more the wicked and the sinner!
CHAPTER 12 Apr. 2
The Basis of a Righteous Life
Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. 2A good man shall obtain favour from Yahweh, but He will condemn a man of wicked devices. 3A man shall not be established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4A worthy woman is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful wife is as rottenness in his bones. 5The thoughts of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. 6The words of the wicked are about lying in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. 7The wicked are overthrown, and are no more, but the house of the righteous shall stand. 8A man shall be commended according to his wisdom, but he who has a warped mind shall be despised. 9Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant, than he who honours himself, and lacks bread. 10A righteous man respects the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. 11He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding. 12The wicked desires the plunder of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.
The Importance of Truthfulness
13An evil man is trapped by the sinfulness of his lips, but the righteous shall come out of trouble. 14A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth; the work of a man’s hands shall be rewarded to him. 15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who is wise listens to counsel. 16A fool shows his annoyance the same day, but one who overlooks an insult is prudent. 17He who is truthful testifies honestly, but a false witness lies. 18There is one who speaks rashly like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise heals. 19Truth’s lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only momentary. 20Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but joy comes to the promoters of peace. 21No mischief shall happen to the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil. 22Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh, but those who do the truth are His delight. 23A prudent man keeps his knowledge, but the hearts of fools proclaim foolishness. 24The hands of the diligent ones shall rule, but laziness ends in slave labour. 25Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a kind word makes it glad. 26A righteous person is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27The slothful man doesn’t roast his game, but the possessions of diligent men are prized. 28In the way of righteousness is life; in its path there is no death.
CHAPTER 13 Apr. 3
Discipline, Instruction and Prosperity
A wise son listens to his father’s instruction, but a scoffer doesn’t listen to rebuke. 2By the fruit of his lips, a man enjoys good things; but the unfaithful crave violence. 3He who guards his mouth guards his soul; one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. 4The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing, but the desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied. 5A righteous man hates lies, but a wicked man brings shame and disgrace. 6Righteousness guards the way of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. 7There are some who are made rich, yet have nothing. There are some who are made poor, yet have great wealth. 8The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, but the poor hear no threats. 9The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out. 10Pride only breeds quarrels, but with ones who take advice is wisdom. 11Wealth gained dishonestly dwindles away, but he who gathers by hand makes it grow. 12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. 13Whoever despises instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command will be rewarded. 14The teaching of the wise is a spring of life, to turn others away from the snares of death. 15Good understanding wins favour; but the way of the unfaithful is hard. 16Every prudent man acts from knowledge, but a fool exposes folly. 17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy gains healing. 18Poverty and shame come to him who refuses discipline, but he who heeds correction shall be honoured. 19Longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. 20One who walks with wise men grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. 21Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous. 22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored for the righteous. 23An abundance of food is in poor people’s fields, but injustice sweeps it away. 24One who spares the rod hates his son, but one who loves him is careful to discipline him. 25The righteous one eats to the satisfying of his soul, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.
CHAPTER 14 Apr. 4
Fools: Their Characteristics and Destiny
Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands. 2He who walks in his uprightness fears Yahweh, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. 3The fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them. 4Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox. 5A truthful witness will not lie, but a false witness pours out lies. 6A scoffer seeks wisdom, and doesn’t find it, but knowledge comes easily to a discerning person. 7Stay away from a foolish man, for you won’t find knowledge on his lips. 8The wisdom of the prudent is to think about his way, but the folly of fools is deceit. 9Fools mock at making atonement for sins, but among the upright there is good will. 10The heart knows its own bitterness and joy; he will not share these with a stranger. 11The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 13Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful, and mirth may end in heaviness.
Consider Carefully Every Word
14The unfaithful will be repaid for his own ways; likewise a good man will be rewarded for his ways. 15A simple man believes everything, but the prudent man carefully considers his ways. 16A wise man fears, and shuns evil, but the fool is hotheaded and reckless. 17He who is quick to become angry will commit folly, and a crafty man is hated. 18The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19The evil bow down before the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20The poor person is shunned even by his own neighbour, but the rich person has many friends. 21He who despises his neighbour sins, but blessed is he who has pity on the poor. 22Don’t they go astray who plot evil? But love and faithfulness belong to those who plan good. 23In all hard work there is profit, but the talk of the lips leads only to poverty. 24The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools crowns them with folly. 25A truthful witness saves souls, but a false witness is deceitful. 26In the fear of Yahweh is a secure fortress, and He will be a refuge for His children. 27The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life, turning people from the snares of death. 28In the multitude of people is the king’s glory, but without people the prince is nothing. 29He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a quick temper displays folly. 30The life of the body is a heart at peace, but envy rots the bones. 31He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honours Him. 32The wicked is brought down in his calamity, but in death, the righteous has a refuge. 33Wisdom remains in the heart of one who has understanding, and is even made known in the inward part of fools. 34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. 35The king’s favour is toward a servant who deals wisely, but his wrath is toward one who causes shame.
CHAPTER 15 Apr. 5
The Power of the Tongue and the Fear of Yahweh
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of fools gushes out folly. 3Yahweh’s eyes are everywhere, keeping watch on the evil and the good. 4A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but deceit in it crushes the spirit. 5A fool despises his father’s correction, but he who heeds reproof shows prudence. 6In the house of the righteous is much treasure, but the income of the wicked brings trouble. 7The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so with the heart of fools. 8The sacrifice made by the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. 9The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh, but He loves him who follows after righteousness. 10There is stern discipline for one who forsakes the way: whoever hates reproof shall die. 11Sheol and Abaddon are before Yahweh— how much more then the hearts of the children of men!
The Great Things of Life
12A scoffer doesn’t love to be reproved; he will not go to the wise. 13A glad heart makes a cheerful face; but an aching heart breaks the spirit. 14The heart of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. 15All the days of the afflicted are wretched, but one who has a cheerful heart enjoys a continual feast. 16Better is little with the fear of Yahweh, than great treasure with trouble. 17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fattened calf with hatred. 18A wrathful man stirs up contention, but one who is slow to anger appeases strife. 19The way of the sluggard is like a thorn patch, but the path of the upright is a highway. 20A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother. 21Folly is joy to one who is void of wisdom, but a man of understanding keeps his way straight. 22Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counsellors they are established. 23Joy comes to a man as a result of the reply of his mouth. How good is an appropriate word at the right time! 24The path of life spirals upward for the wise, to keep him from going downward to Sheol. 25Yahweh will uproot the house of the proud, but He will keep the widow’s borders intact. 26Yahweh detests the thoughts of the wicked, but the thoughts of the pure are pleasing. 27He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live. 28The heart of the righteous weighs answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes out evil. 29Yahweh is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. 30The light of the eyes rejoices the heart; good news gives health to the bones. 31The ear that listens to reproof lives, and will be at home among the wise. 32He who refuses correction despises his own soul, but he who listens to reproof gets understanding. 33The fear of Yahweh teaches wisdom; before honour is humility.
CHAPTER 16 Apr. 6
Our Lives Open before Yahweh
The plans of the heart within man, and the answer of the tongue, is from Yahweh. 2All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but Yahweh weighs the motives. 3Commit your deeds to Yahweh, and your plans shall succeed. 4Yahweh has made everything for its own end— yes, even the wicked for the day of evil. 5Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to Yahweh: they shall certainly not be unpunished. 6By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for; by the fear of Yahweh men depart from evil. 7When a man’s ways please Yahweh, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice. 9A man’s heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps.
Take Life Seriously
10Inspired judgments are on the lips of the king. He shall not betray his mouth. 11Honest balances and scales are Yahweh’s; all the weights in the bag are His work. 12It is an abomination for kings to do wrong, for the throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings; they value one who speaks the truth. 14The king’s wrath is as a messenger of death, but a wise man will pacify it. 15In the light of the king’s face is life. His favour is like a cloud of the spring rain. 16How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. He who keeps His way preserves his soul. 18Pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. 19It is better to be of a humble spirit with the poor, than to divide the plunder with the proud. 20He who heeds the word finds prosperity; whoever has faith in Yahweh is blessed. 21The wise in heart shall be called prudent. Pleasantness of the lips promotes instruction. 22Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the punishment of fools is their folly. 23The heart of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. 24Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. 25There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 26The appetite of the labouring man labours for him; for his mouth urges him on. 27A worthless man devises mischief; his speech is like a scorching fire. 28A perverse man stirs up strife, a gossiper separates close friends. 29A man of violence entices his neighbour, and leads him in a way that is not good. 30One who winks his eyes to plot perversities, one who compresses his lips, is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is attained by a life of righteousness. 32One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh.
CHAPTER 17 Apr. 7
The Family, Relationships and Integrity
Better is a dry morsel of bread with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who causes shame, and shall have a part in the inheritance among the brothers. 3The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but Yahweh tests the hearts. 4An evildoer heeds wicked lips; a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker. He who is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished. 6Children’s children are the crown of old men; the glory of children are their parents. 7Arrogant speech isn’t fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince. 8A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns, he apparently prospers. 9He who covers an offence promotes love; but he who repeats a matter separates best friends. 10A rebuke enters deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred lashes into a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. 12Let a bear robbed of her cubs meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. 14The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam, therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out. 15He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh. 16Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, since he has no understanding?
The Wisdom of Silence
17A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man without understanding strikes hands, and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbour. 19He who loves disobedience loves strife. One who builds a high gate seeks destruction. 20One who has a perverse heart doesn’t find prosperity, and one who has a deceitful tongue falls into trouble. 21He who becomes the father of a fool grieves; the father of a fool has no joy. 22A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23A wicked man receives a bribe in secret, to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the face of one who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son brings grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him. 26Also to punish the righteous is not good, nor to flog officials for their integrity. 27He who spares his words has knowledge. He who is even tempered is a man of understanding. 28Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.
CHAPTER 18 Apr. 8
Attitudes about Judgments and Disputes
An unfriendly man pursues selfishness, and defies all sound judgment. 2A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion. 3When wickedness comes, contempt also comes, and with shame comes disgrace. 4The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook. 5To be partial to the faces of the wicked is not good, nor to deprive the innocent of justice. 6A fool’s lips come into strife, and his speech asks for beatings. 7A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are a snare to his soul. 8The words of a gossip are like tasty morsels: they go down into a person’s innermost parts. 9One who is slack in his work is brother to him who is a master of destruction. 10The name of Yahweh is a strong tower: the righteous run into Him, and are safe. 11The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, like an unscalable wall in his own imagination. 12Before destruction the heart of man is proud, but before honour is humility. 13He who gives answer before he hears, that is folly and shame to him. 14A man’s spirit will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear? 15The heart of the discerning gets knowledge; the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 16A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. 17He who pleads his cause first seems right; until another comes and questions him. 18The lot settles disputes, and keeps strong ones apart. 19A brother offended is more difficult to be won than a fortified city; and disputes are like the bars of a castle. 20A man’s stomach is filled with the fruit of his mouth. With the harvest of his lips he is satisfied. 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit. 22Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains grace of Yahweh. 23The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly. 24A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
CHAPTER 19 Apr. 9
Discipline, Poverty and Families
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in his lips and is a fool. 2It isn’t good to have zeal without knowledge; nor being hasty with one’s feet and missing the way. 3The foolishness of man subverts his way; his heart rages against Yahweh. 4Wealth adds many friends, but the poor is separated from his friend. 5A false witness shall not be unpunished; he who pours out lies shall not go free. 6Many will entreat the favour of a ruler, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. 7All the relatives of the poor shun him: how much more do his friends avoid him! He pursues them with pleas, but they are gone. 8He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding shall find good. 9A false witness shall not be unpunished; he who utters lies shall perish. 10Delicate living is not appropriate for a fool, much less for a servant to have rule over princes. 11The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger; it is his glory to overlook an offence. 12The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favour is like dew on the grass. 13A foolish son is the calamity of his father. A wife’s quarrels are a continual dripping. 14House and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from Yahweh. 15Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; the idle person shall suffer hunger. 16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is disrespectful in his ways shall die. 17He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh; He will reward him. 18Discipline your son while there is hope; don’t be a willing party to his death. 19A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty, for if you rescue him, you must do it again. 20Listen to counsel and receive instruction, so that you may be wise in your very end. 21There are many plans in a man’s heart, but Yahweh’s counsel will prevail. 22That which makes a man to be desired is his kindness; a poor man is better than a liar. 23The fear of Yahweh leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. 24The lazy buries his hand in the dish; he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 25Flog a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke one who has understanding, and he will gain knowledge. 26He who robs his father and drives away his mother, is a son who causes shame and brings reproach. 27If you stop listening to instruction, my son, you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28A corrupt witness mocks justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down iniquity. 29Penalties are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools.
CHAPTER 20 Apr. 10
The Deep Things of the Heart
Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. 2The terror of a king is like the roaring of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his own life. 3It is an honour for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be quarrelling. 4The lazy will not plough by reason of the winter; therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing. 5Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. 6Many men claim to be men of unfailing love, but who can find a faithful man? 7A righteous man walks in integrity; blessed are his children after him. 8A king who sits on the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes. 9Who can say, I have made my heart pure. I am clean and without sin? 10Differing weights and differing measures, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh. 11Even a child makes himself known by his doings, whether his work is pure, or whether it is right.
Drink from the Cup of Knowledge
12The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, Yahweh has made even both of them. 13Don’t love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread. 14It’s no good, it’s no good, says the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasts. 15There is gold and abundance of rubies; but the lips of knowledge are a rare jewel. 16Take the garment of one who puts up collateral for a stranger; and hold him in pledge for a wayward woman. 17Fraudulent food is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth is filled with gravel. 18Plans are established by advice; by wise guidance you wage war! 19He who goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets; therefore don’t keep company with him who opens wide his lips. 20Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in blackness of darkness.
Truth in the Innermost Parts
21An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning won’t be blessed in the end. 22Don’t say, I will pay back evil. Wait for Yahweh, and He will save you. 23Yahweh detests differing weights, and dishonest scales are not pleasing. 24A man’s steps are from Yahweh; how then can man understand his way? 25It is a snare to a man to make a rash dedication, then later to consider his vows. 26A wise king winnows out the wicked, and drives the threshing wheel over them. 27The spirit of man is Yahweh’s lamp, searching all his innermost parts. 28Love and faithfulness keep the king safe; his throne is sustained by love. 29The glory of young men is their strength. The splendour of old men is their gray hair. 30Wounding blows cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the innermost parts.
CHAPTER 21 Apr. 11
God Know All about Us
The king’s heart is in Yahweh’s hand like the watercourses; He turns it wherever He desires. 2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but Yahweh weighs the hearts. 3To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to Yahweh than sacrifice. 4A high look and a proud heart are the lamp of the wicked, and are sin. 5The plans of the diligent surely lead to profit; and everyone who is hasty surely rushes to poverty. 6Getting wealth by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour for those who seek death. 7The violence of the wicked will drive them away, because they refuse to do what is right. 8The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
Don’t Live Just for Today
9It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a contentious woman. 10The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbour finds no mercy in his eyes. 11When the mocker is punished, the simple gains wisdom. When the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. 12The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked, and brings the wicked to ruin. 13Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he will also cry out, but shall not be heard. 14A gift in secret pacifies anger; and a bribe in the cloak, strong wrath. 15It is joy to the righteous to do justice; but it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity. 16The man who wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the assembly of the dead. 17He who loves pleasure shall be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil shall not be rich. 18The wicked is a ransom for the righteous; the treacherous for the upright. 19It is better to dwell in a desert land, than with a contentious and fretful woman. 20There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man swallows it up. 21He who follows after righteousness and kindness finds life, righteousness, and honour. 22A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and brings down the strength of its confidence. 23Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles. 24The proud and haughty man, scoffer is his name; he works in the arrogance of pride. 25The desire of the lazy kills him, for his hands refuse to labour. 26There are those who covet greedily all day long; but the righteous give and don’t withhold. 27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination: how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind! 28A false witness will perish, but a man who listens speaks consistently. 29A wicked man hardens his face; but as for the upright, he establishes his ways. 30There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against Yahweh. 31The horse is prepared for the day of battle; but victory is with Yahweh.
CHAPTER 22 Apr. 12
Discipline Provides the Answer
A good name is more desirable than great riches, and loving favour is better than silver and gold. 2The rich and the poor have this in common: Yahweh is the maker of them all. 3A prudent man sees danger, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and suffer for it. 4The result of humility and the fear of Yahweh is wealth, honour, and life. 5Thorns and snares are in the path of the wicked: whoever guards his soul stays away from them. 6Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 7The rich rule over the poor; the borrower is servant to the lender. 8He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed. 9He who has a generous eye will be blessed; for he shares his food with the poor. 10Drive out the mocker, and strife will go out; yes, quarrels and insults will stop. 11He who loves purity of heart and speaks gracefully is the king’s friend. 12The eyes of Yahweh watch over knowledge; but He frustrates the words of the unfaithful. 13The lazy one says, There is a lion outside! I will be killed in the streets! 14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit: he who is under Yahweh’s wrath will fall into it. 15Folly is bound up in the heart of a child: the rod of discipline drives it far from him. 16Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.
The Thirty Pieces of Advice
17Turn your ear, and listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my teaching. 18For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. 19That your trust may be in Yahweh, I teach you today, even you. 20Haven’t I written to you thirty excellent things of counsel and knowledge, 21to teach you truth, reliable words, to give sound answers to the ones who sent you? 22Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor and don’t crush the needy in court; 23for Yahweh will plead their case, and plunder the life of those who plunder them. 24Don’t befriend a hot-tempered man, and don’t associate with one who harbours anger: 25lest you learn his ways, and ensnare your soul. 26Don’t you be one of those who strike hands, of those who are collateral for debts. 27If you don’t have means to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you? 28Don’t move the ancient boundary stone, which your fathers have set up. 29Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve kings. He won’t serve obscure men.
CHAPTER 23 Apr. 13
When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you; 2put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite. 3Don’t be desirous of his dainties, since they are deceitful food. 4Don’t weary yourself to be rich; in your wisdom, show restraint. 5Why do you set your eyes on that which is not? For it certainly sprouts wings like an eagle and flies in the sky. 6Don’t eat the food of him who has a stingy eye, and don’t crave his delicacies: 7for as he thinks about the cost, so he is. Eat and drink! he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8The morsel which you have eaten you shall vomit up, and lose your good words. 9Don’t speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words. 10Don’t move the ancient boundary stone; don’t encroach on the fields of the fatherless; 11for their Defender is strong, He will plead their case against you. 12Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge. 13Don’t withhold correction from a child. If you punish him with the rod, he will not die. 14Punish him with the rod, and save his soul from Sheol. 15My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad, even mine: 16yes, my heart will rejoice, when your lips speak what is right. 17Don’t let your heart envy sinners; but rather fear Yahweh all the day long. 18Indeed surely there is a future hope, and your hope will not be cut off. 19Listen, My son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path! 20Don’t keep company with those who drink too much wine, or those who gorge themselves on meat; 21for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor; and drowsiness clothes them in rags. 22Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old. 23Buy the truth, and don’t sell it. Get wisdom, discipline, and understanding. 24The father of the righteous has great joy. Whoever fathers a wise child delights in him. 25Let your father and your mother be glad! Let her who bore you rejoice! 26My son, give me your heart; and let your eyes observe my ways. 27For a prostitute is a deep pit; and a Gentile woman is a narrow well. 28Yes, she lies in wait like a robber, and increases the unfaithful among men. 29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30Those who stay long at the wine; those who go to seek out mixed wine. 31Don’t look at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. 32In the end, it bites like a snake, and poisons like a viper. 33Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will imagine confusing things. 34Yes, you will be as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, or as he who lies on top of the rigging: 35They hit me, and I was not hurt! They beat me, and I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so that I can do it again?
CHAPTER 24 Apr. 14
The Ways of the Wise
Don’t be envious of evil men; neither desire to be with them: 2for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about mischief. 3Through wisdom a house is built; by understanding it is established; 4by knowledge the rooms are filled with all rare and beautiful treasure. 5A wise man has great power and a knowledgeable man increases strength; 6for by wise guidance you wage your war; and victory is in many advisors. 7Wisdom is too high for a fool: he doesn’t open his mouth in the gate. 8One who plots to do evil will be called a schemer. 9The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men. 10If you falter in the time of trouble, your strength is small. 11Rescue those who are being led away to death! Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter! 12If you say, Behold, we didn’t know this; doesn’t He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn’t He know it? Shall He not render to every man according to his work? 13My son, eat honey, for it is good; the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste: 14so you shall feel wisdom to be to your soul; if you have found it, then there will be a reward, your hope will not be cut off. 15Don’t lay in wait, wicked man, against the habitation of the righteous. Don’t destroy his resting place: 16for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. 17Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls, don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown; 18lest Yahweh see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him. 19Don’t fret yourself because of evildoers; neither be envious of the wicked: 20for there will be no reward to the evil man; and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out. 21My son, fear Yahweh and the king. Don’t join those who are rebellious: 22for their calamity will rise suddenly; and who knows the destruction of them both?
Other Wise Sayings
23These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgment is not good. 24He who says to the wicked, You are righteous; peoples shall curse him, and nations shall abhor him— 25but it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and a rich blessing will come on them. 26An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. 27Prepare your work outside, and get your fields ready. Afterwards, build your house. 28Don’t be a witness against your neighbour without cause. Don’t deceive with your lips. 29Don’t say, I will do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work. 30I went by the field of the lazy, by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31behold, it was all grown over with thorns. Its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32Then I saw, and considered well. I saw, and received instruction: 33a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; 34so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.
CHAPTER 25 Apr. 15
Say the Right Thing at the Right Time
These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. 2It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. 3As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable. 4Take away the dross from the silver, and material comes out for the refiner; 5remove the wicked from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established in righteousness. 6Don’t exalt yourself in the presence of the king, or claim a place among great men; 7for it is better that it be said to you, Come up here, than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen. 8Don’t be hasty in bringing charges to court. What will you do in the end when your neighbour shames you? 9Debate your case with your neighbour, and don’t betray the confidence of another; 10lest one who hears it put you to shame, and your bad reputation never depart. 11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 12As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover to an obedient ear. 13As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to those who send him; for he refreshes the soul of his masters. 14As clouds and wind without rain, so is he who boasts of gifts deceptively. 15By patience a ruler is persuaded; a soft tongue breaks the bone.
Causes of Misery and Joy
16Have you found honey? Eat as much as is sufficient for you, lest you eat too much and vomit it. 17Let your foot be seldom in your neighbour’s house, lest he be weary of you and hate you. 18A man who gives false testimony against his neighbour is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow. 19Confidence in someone unfaithful in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a lame foot. 20As one who takes away a garment in cold weather, or vinegar on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. 21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink: 22for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and Yahweh will reward you. 23The north wind brings forth rain: so a backbiting tongue brings an angry face. 24It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a contentious woman. 25Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. 26Like a muddied spring, and a polluted well, so is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. 27It is not good to eat much honey; nor is it honourable to seek one’s own honour. 28Like a city that is broken down and without walls is a man whose spirit is without restraint.
CHAPTER 26 Apr. 16
The Folly of Fools
Like snow in summer and as rain in harvest, so honour is not fitting for a fool. 2Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest. 3A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools! 4Don’t answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. 6One who sends a message by the hand of a fool is cutting off his own feet and drinking violence. 7Like the legs of the lame that hang loose: so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 8As one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honour to a fool. 9Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunk person, so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 10As an archer who wounds all, so is he who hires a fool or he who hires those who pass by. 11As a dog that returns to his vomit, so is a fool who repeats his folly. 12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 13The lazy person says, There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion roams the streets! 14As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy one on his bed. 15The lazy one buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
The Power of Bad Words
16The lazy one is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer with discretion. 17Like one who grabs a dog’s ears is one who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own. 18Like a madman who shoots burning torches, arrows, and death, 19so is the man who deceives his neighbour and says, Am I not joking? 20For lack of wood a fire goes out; without gossip, a quarrel dies down. 21As coals are to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindling strife. 22The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, they go down into the innermost parts. 23Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are smooth words with an evil heart. 24A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but he harbours evil in his heart. 25When his speech is charming, don’t believe him; for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it; whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him. 28A lying tongue hates those it hurts; and a flattering mouth works ruin.
CHAPTER 27 Apr. 17
Faithfulness to Friends and Recognising True Values
Don’t boast about tomorrow; for you don’t know what a day may bring forth. 2Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. 3A stone is heavy and sand is a burden; but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. 4Wrath is cruel and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before jealousy? 5Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; although the kisses of an enemy are profuse. 7A full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet. 8As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home. 9Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart; so does earnest counsel from a man’s friend. 10Don’t forsake your friend and your father’s friend. Don’t go to your brother’s house in the day of your disaster: better is a neighbour who is near than a distant brother. 11Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart, then I can answer my tormentor. 12A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge; but the simple pass on and suffer for it. 13Take his garment when he puts up collateral for a stranger; hold it for a wayward woman! 14He who blesses his neighbour with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse by him. 15A continual dropping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike: 16restraining her is like restraining the wind, or like grasping oil in his right hand.
Your Heart Shows in Your Face
17Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance. 18Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit; he who looks after his master shall be honoured. 19As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. 20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; and a man’s eyes are never satisfied. 21The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but man is tested by his praise. 22Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him. 23Know well the state of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds: 24for riches are not forever, nor does even the crown endure to all generations. 25The hay is removed, and the new growth appears, the grasses of the hills are gathered in. 26The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of a field. 27There will be plenty of goats’ milk for your food, for your family’s food, and for the nourishment of your servant girls.
CHAPTER 28 Apr. 18
If You Turn Aside from God’s Law
The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion. 2In rebellion, a land has many rulers, but order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge. 3A needy man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no crops. 4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked; but those who keep the law contend with them. 5Evil men don’t understand justice; but those who seek Yahweh understand it fully. 6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is perverse in his ways, and he is rich. 7Whoever keeps the law is a wise son; but he who is a companion of gluttons shames his father. 8He who increases his wealth by excessive interest gathers it for one who has pity on the poor. 9He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. 10Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he will fall into his own trap; but the blameless will inherit good. 11The rich man is wise in his own eyes; but the poor who has understanding sees through him. 12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves. 13He who conceals his sins doesn’t prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14Blessed is the man who always fears; but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble. 15As a roaring lion or a charging bear, so is a wicked ruler over helpless people. 16A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment. One who hates ill-gotten gain will have long days. 17A man who is tormented by having taken life blood will be a fugitive until death; no one will support him. 18Whoever walks blamelessly is kept safe; but one with perverse ways will fall suddenly.
Great Harm in Apparently Harmless Ways
19One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 20A faithful man is rich with blessings; but one who is eager to be rich will not go unpunished. 21To show partiality is not good; yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread. 22A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn’t know that poverty waits for him. 23One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favour than one who flatters with the tongue. 24Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, It’s not wrong is a partner with a destroyer. 25One who is greedy stirs up strife; but one who trusts in Yahweh will prosper. 26One who trusts in himself is a fool; but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe. 27One who gives to the poor has no lack; but one who closes his eyes will have many curses. 28When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous thrive.
CHAPTER 29 Apr. 19
Consequences of Bad Government
He who is often rebuked and stiffens his neck will be destroyed suddenly, with no remedy. 2When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan. 3Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father; but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. 4The king by justice makes the land stable, but he who takes bribes tears it down. 5A man who flatters his neighbour spreads a net for his own feet. 6An evil man is snared by his sin, but the righteous can sing and rejoice. 7The righteous care about justice for the poor; the wicked aren’t concerned about knowledge. 8Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger. 9If a wise man goes to court with a foolish man, the fool rages or scoffs, and there is no peace. 10The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity; and they seek the life of the upright. 11A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control. 12If a ruler listens to lies, all of his officials are wicked. 13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: Yahweh gives sight to the eyes of both. 14The king who fairly judges the poor, his throne shall be established forever.
The Value of Correction
15The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a child left to himself causes shame to his mother. 16When the wicked increase, sin increases; but the righteous will see their downfall. 17Correct your son, and he will give you peace; yes, he will bring delight to your soul. 18Where there is no Divine revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the law is blessed. 19A servant can’t be corrected by words; alhough he understands, yet he will not respond. 20Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 21He who pampers his servant from youth will have him become a son in the end. 22An angry man stirs up strife, and a wrathful man abounds in sin. 23A man’s pride brings him low, but one of lowly spirit gains honour. 24Whoever is an accomplice of a thief is an enemy of his own soul; he takes an oath, but dares not testify. 25The fear of man proves to be a snare, but whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe. 26Many seek the ruler’s favour, but a man’s justice comes from Yahweh. 27A dishonest man detests the righteous, and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.
CHAPTER 30 Apr. 20
The Words of Agur
The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle: the man said to Ithiel, even to Ithiel and Ucal: 2Surely I am the most ignorant man, and don’t have a man’s understanding. 3I have not learned wisdom, neither do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. 4Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you know? 5Every word of God is flawless. He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6Don’t you add to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar. 7Two things I have asked of You; don’t deny me before I die: 8Remove far from me falsehood and lies. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me; 9lest I be full, deny You, and say, ‘Who is Yahweh?’, or lest I be poor, and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God. 10Don’t accuse a servant along with his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty. 11There is a generation that curses their father, and doesn’t bless their mother. 12There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, yet are not washed from their filthiness. 13There is a generation, oh how proud are their eyes! Their eyelids are lifted up. 14There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and their jaws like knives, to devour the poor from the earth, and the needy from among men.
Four Things Never Satisfied
15The leach has two daughters: ‘Give, give’. There are three things that are never satisfied; four that don’t say, ‘Enough:’ 16Sheol; the barren womb; the earth that is not satisfied with water; and the fire that doesn’t say, ‘Enough’. 17The eye that mocks at his father, and scorns obedience to his mother: the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, the young eagles shall eat it.
Four Things too Amazing
18There are three things which are too amazing for me, four which I don’t understand: 19The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent on a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maiden. 20So is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’.
Four Intolerable Things
21For three things the earth trembles, and under four, it can’t bear up: 22For a servant when he is king; a fool when he is filled with food; 23for an unloved woman when she is married; and a handmaid who is heir to her mistress.
Four Amazing Things
24There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: 25The ants are not a strong people, yet they provide their food in the summer. 26The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks. 27The locusts have no king, yet they advance in ranks. 28You can catch a lizard with your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.
Four Dignified Things
29There are three things which are stately in their march, four which are stately in going: 30The lion, which is mightiest among animals, and doesn’t turn away for any; 31the greyhound, the male goat also; and the king against whom there is no rising up. 32If you have done foolishly in lifting up yourself, or if you have thought evil, put your hand over your mouth. 33For as the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of wrath brings forth judgment.
CHAPTER 31 Apr. 21
Make a Case for Justice
The words of king Lemuel; the oracle with which his mother warned him. 2Oh, my son! Oh, son of my womb! Oh, son of my vows! 3Don’t give your strength to women, nor your ways to that which destroys kings. 4It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes to say, ‘Where is strong drink?’ 5lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice due to anyone who is afflicted. 6Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish; and wine to the bitter in soul: 7let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 8Open your mouth for the mute, in the cause of all who are left desolate. 9Open your mouth, judge righteously, and serve justice to the poor and needy.
The Worthy Woman
10 Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies. 11The heart of her husband trusts in her; he shall have no lack of profit. 12She does him good and not harm all the days of her life. 13She seeks wool and flax and works eagerly with her hands. 14She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. 15She rises also while it is yet night, gives food to her household and portions for her servant girls. 16She considers a field and then buys it. With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17She arms her waist with strength and makes her arms strong. 18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp doesn’t go out by night; 19she lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20She opens her arms to the poor; yes, she extends her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22She makes for herself carpets of tapestry, her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23Her husband is respected in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them, and delivers sashes to the merchant. 25Strength and dignity are her clothing, she laughs at the time to come. 26She opens her mouth with wisdom, faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27She looks well to the ways of her household, and doesn’t eat the bread of laziness. 28Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: 29Many women do noble things, but you excel them all! 30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands! Let her works praise her in the gates!