On Life and Conduct
1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor [a]have a common bond,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the [b]naive go on, and are punished for it.
4 The reward of humility and the [c]fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.
6 Train up a child [d]in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.
9 He who [e]is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And [f]whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of [g]an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the Lord will fall [h]into it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to make [i]more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
[j]That they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have [k]taught you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you [l]excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you know the [m]certainty of the words of truth
That you may [n]correctly answer him who sent you?
22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their case
And [o]take the life of those who rob them.
24 Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,
25 Or you will learn his ways
And [p]find a snare for yourself.
26 Do not be among those who give [q]pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.