The New Revised Standard Version
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Prudence and Common Sense

8 Do not contend with the powerful,

or you may fall into their hands.

2 Do not quarrel with the rich,

in case their resources outweigh yours;

for gold has ruined many,

and has perverted the minds of kings.

3 Do not argue with the loud of mouth,

and do not heap wood on their fire.

4 Do not make fun of one who is ill-bred,

or your ancestors may be insulted.

5 Do not reproach one who is turning away from sin;

remember that we all deserve punishment.

6 Do not disdain one who is old,

for some of us are also growing old.

7 Do not rejoice over anyone’s death;

remember that we must all die.

8 Do not slight the discourse of the sages,

but busy yourself with their maxims;

because from them you will learn discipline

and how to serve princes.

9 Do not ignore the discourse of the aged,

for they themselves learned from their parents;a

from them you learn how to understand

and to give an answer when the need arises.

10 Do not kindle the coals of sinners,

or you may be burned in their flaming fire.

11 Do not let the insolent bring you to your feet,

or they may lie in ambush against your words.

12 Do not lend to one who is stronger than you;

but if you do lend anything, count it as a loss.

13 Do not give surety beyond your means;

but if you give surety, be prepared to pay.

14 Do not go to law against a judge,

for the decision will favor him because of his standing.

15 Do not go traveling with the reckless,

or they will be burdensome to you;

for they will act as they please,

and through their folly you will perish with them.

16 Do not pick a fight with the quick-tempered,

and do not journey with them through lonely country,

because bloodshed means nothing to them,

and where no help is at hand, they will strike you down.

17 Do not consult with fools,

for they cannot keep a secret.

18 In the presence of strangers do nothing that is to be kept secret,

for you do not know what they will divulge.b

19 Do not reveal your thoughts to anyone,

or you may drive away your happiness.c


About The New Revised Standard Version

The original Revised Standard Version served as a standard for nearly forty years. The New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha maintains the traditions of the older version with fresh new vocabulary and modern English construction.


Up to five hundred (500) verses of The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible text may be quoted or reprinted without the express written permission of the publisher, provided that the verses quoted neither amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for 50% or more of the written text of the total work in which they are quoted.

When the NRSV text is quoted, notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows:

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

When quotations from the NRSV text are used in a non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, the initials (NRSV) may be used at the end of each quotation.

Quotations or reprints in excess of five hundred (500) verses (as well as other permissions requests) must be approved in writing by the NRSV Permissions Office, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115-0050.

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