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The Sayings of the Wise44

22:17 Incline your ear45 and listen to the words of the wise,

and apply your heart to my instruction.46

22:18 For it is pleasing if47 you keep these sayings48 within you,

and49 they are ready on your lips.50

22:19 So that51 your confidence may be in the Lord,

I am making them known to you today52—even you.

22:20 Have I not written thirty sayings53 for you,

sayings54 of counsel and knowledge,

22:21 to show you true and reliable words,55

so that you may give accurate answers56 to those who sent you?

22:22 Do not exploit57 a poor person because he is poor

and do not crush the needy in court,58

22:23 for the Lord will plead their case59

and will rob those who are robbing60 them.

22:24 Do not make friends with an angry person,61

and do not associate with a wrathful person,

22:25 lest you learn62 his ways

and entangle yourself in a snare.63

22:26 Do not be one who strikes hands in pledge

or who puts up security for debts.

22:27 If you do not have enough to pay,

your bed64 will be taken65 right out from under you!66

22:28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone67

which was put in place by your ancestors.68

22:29 Do you see a person skilled69 in his work?

He will take his position before kings;

he will not take his position70 before obscure people.71

23:1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

consider carefully1 what2 is before you,

23:2 and put a knife to your throat3

if you possess a large appetite.4

23:3 Do not crave that ruler’s5 delicacies,

for6 that food is deceptive.7

23:4 Do not wear yourself out to become rich;

be wise enough to restrain yourself.8

23:5 When you gaze upon riches,9 they are gone,

for they surely make wings for themselves,

and fly off into the sky like an eagle!10

23:6 Do not eat the food of a stingy person,11

do not crave his delicacies;

23:7 for he is12 like someone calculating the cost13 in his mind.14

“Eat and drink,” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you;

23:8 you will vomit up15 the little bit you have eaten,

and will have wasted your pleasant words.16

23:9 Do not speak in the ears of a fool,17

for he will despise the wisdom of your words.18

23:10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone,

or take over19 the fields of the fatherless,

23:11 for their Protector20 is strong;

he will plead their case against you.21

23:12 Apply22 your heart to instruction

and your ears to the words of knowledge.

23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;

even if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

23:14 If you strike23 him with the rod,

you will deliver him24 from death.25

23:15 My child,26 if your heart is wise,

then my heart also will be glad;

23:16 my soul27 will rejoice

when your lips speak what is right.28

23:17 Do not let your heart envy29 sinners,

but rather be zealous in fearing the Lord30 all the time.

23:18 For surely there is a future,31

and your hope will not be cut off.32

23:19 Listen, my child,33 and be wise,

and guide your heart on the right way.

23:20 Do not spend time34 among drunkards,35

among those who eat too much36 meat,

23:21 because drunkards and gluttons become impoverished,

and drowsiness37 clothes them with rags.38

23:22 Listen to your father who begot you,

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23:23 Acquire39 truth and do not sell it—

wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.

23:24 The father of a righteous person will rejoice greatly;40

whoever fathers a wise child41 will have joy in him.

23:25 May your father and your mother have joy;

may she who bore you rejoice.42

23:26 Give me your heart, my son,43

and let your eyes observe my ways;

23:27 for a prostitute is like44 a deep pit;

a harlot45 is like46 a narrow well.47

23:28 Indeed, she lies in wait like a robber,48

and increases the unfaithful49 among men.50

23:29 Who has woe?51 Who has sorrow?

Who has contentions? Who has complaints?

Who has wounds without cause? Who has dullness52 of the eyes?

23:30 Those who linger over wine,

those who go looking for mixed wine.53

23:31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,

when it sparkles54 in the cup,

when it goes down smoothly.55

23:32 Afterward56 it bites like a snake,

and stings like a viper.

23:33 Your eyes will see strange things,57

and your mind will speak perverse things.

23:34 And you will be like one who lies down in the midst58 of the sea,

and like one who lies down on the top of the rigging.59

23:35 You will say,60 “They have struck me, but I am not harmed!

They beat me, but I did not know it!61

When will I awake? I will look for another drink.”62

24:1 Do not envy evil people,1

do not desire2 to be with them;

24:2 for their hearts contemplate violence,

and their lips speak harm.3

24:3 By4 wisdom a house is built,5

and through understanding it is established;

24:4 by knowledge its rooms are filled

with all kinds of precious and pleasing treasures.

24:5 A wise warrior6 is strong,7

and a man of knowledge makes his strength stronger;

24:6 for with guidance you wage your war,

and with numerous advisers there is victory.8

24:7 Wisdom is unattainable9 for a fool;

in court10 he does not open his mouth.11

24:8 The one who plans to do evil

will be called a scheming person.12

24:9 A foolish scheme13 is sin,

and the scorner is an abomination to people.14

24:10 If you faint15 in the day of trouble,16

your strength is small!17

24:11 Deliver those being taken away to death,

and hold back those slipping to the slaughter.18

24:12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,”

does not the one who evaluates19 hearts consider?

Does not the one who guards your life know?

Will he not repay each person according to his deeds?20

24:13 Eat honey,21 my child, for it is good,

and honey from the honeycomb is sweet to your taste.

24:14 Likewise, know22 that wisdom is sweet23 to your soul;

if you find it,24 you will have a future,25

and your hope will not be cut off.

24:15 Do not lie in wait like the wicked26 against the place where the righteous live;

do not assault27 his home.

24:16 Although28 a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again,

but the wicked will be brought down29 by calamity.

24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,30

and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,

24:18 lest the Lord see it, and be displeased,31

and turn his wrath away from him.32

24:19 Do not fret because of evil people

or be envious of wicked people,

24:20 for the evil person has no future,33

and the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished.34

24:21 Fear the Lord, my child,35 as well as the king,

and do not associate36 with rebels,37

24:22 for suddenly their destruction will overtake them,38

and who knows the ruinous judgment both the Lord and the king can bring?39


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