On Life and Conduct
1Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than a [rich] man who is twisted in his speech and is a [shortsighted] fool.
2Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark).
3The foolishness of man undermines his way [ruining whatever he undertakes];
Then his heart is resentful and rages against the Lord [for, being a fool, he blames the Lord instead of himself].
4Wealth makes many friends,
But a poor man is separated from his friend.
5A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who breathes out lies will not escape.
6Many will seek the favor of a generous and noble man,
And everyone is a friend to him who gives gifts.
7All the brothers of a poor man hate him;
How much more do his friends abandon him!
He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
8He who gains wisdom and good sense loves (preserves) his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good and prosper.
9A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who breathes lies will perish.
10Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger,
And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].
12The king’s wrath terrifies like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is as [refreshing and nourishing as] dew on the grass.
13A foolish (ungodly) son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a [quarrelsome] wife are like a constant dripping [of water].
14House and wealth are the inheritance from fathers,
But a wise, understanding, and sensible wife is [a gift and blessing] from the Lord.
15Laziness casts one into a deep sleep [unmindful of lost opportunity],
And the idle person will suffer hunger.
16He who keeps and obeys the commandment [of the Lord] keeps (guards) his own life,
But he who is careless of his ways and conduct will die.
17He who is gracious and lends a hand to the poor lends to the Lord,
And the Lord will repay him for his good deed.
18Discipline and teach your son while there is hope,
And do not [indulge your anger or resentment by imposing inappropriate punishment nor] desire his destruction.
19A man of great anger will bear the penalty [for his quick temper and lack of self-control];
For if you rescue him [and do not let him learn from the consequences of his action], you will only have to rescue him over and over again.
20Listen to counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction,
That you may be wise in the time to come.
21Many plans are in a man’s mind,
But it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand (be carried out).
22That which is desirable in a man is his loyalty and unfailing love,
But it is better to be a poor man than a [wealthy] liar.
23The fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
24The lazy man buries his hand in the [food] dish,
But will not even bring it to his mouth again.
25Strike a scoffer [for refusing to learn], and the naive may [be warned and] become prudent;
Reprimand one who has understanding and a teachable spirit, and he will gain knowledge and insight.
26He who assaults his father and chases away his mother
Is a son who brings shame and disgrace.
27Cease listening, my son, to instruction and discipline
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28A wicked and worthless witness mocks justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.
29Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And beatings for the backs of [thickheaded] fools.