1–5 6 Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
You’re in that man’s clutches!
Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
there’s no time to lose.
fly like a bird from the trapper!
6–11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
How long before you get out of bed?
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
poverty your permanent houseguest!
12–15 Riffraff and rascals
talk out of both sides of their mouths.
they cross their fingers behind their backs.
always stirring up trouble.
a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.
16–19 Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a troublemaker in the family.
20–23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
wear them like a scarf around your neck.
whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.
from the seductive talk of some temptress.
nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.
but a wanton woman may well eat you alive.
and not burn your pants?
and not get blisters?
Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.
for a thief to steal;
even if he has to put his whole house in hock.
and a reputation ruined for good.
wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances.
neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him.
About The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language
Many people assume that a book about a holy God should sound elevated, stately, and ceremonial. If this is how you’ve always viewed the Bible, you’re about to make a surprising discovery. The Message brings the life-changing power of the New Testament, the vibrant passion of the Psalms, and the rich, practical wisdom of Proverbs into easy-to-read modern language that echoes the rhythm and idioms of the original Greek and Hebrew. Written in the same kind of language you’d use to talk with friends, write a letter, or discuss politics, The Message preserves the authentic, earthy flavor and the expressive character of the Bible’s best-loved books. Whether you’ve been reading the Bible for years or are exploring it for the first time, The Message will startle and surprise you. And it will allow you to experience firsthand the same power and directness that motivated its original readers to change the course of history so many centuries ago.
Copyright 2005 Eugene H. Peterson.
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