Sayings of the Wise
17The words of the wise:
Incline your ear and hear my words,
and apply your mind to my teaching;18for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.19So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today—yes, to you.20Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of admonition and knowledge,21to show you what is right and true,
so that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22Do not rob the poor because they are poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate;23for the Lord pleads their cause
and despoils of life those who despoil them.24Make no friends with those given to anger,
and do not associate with hotheads,25or you may learn their ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.26Do not be one of those who give pledges,
who become surety for debts.27If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?28Do not remove the ancient landmark
that your ancestors set up.29Do you see those who are skillful in their work?
they will serve kings;
they will not serve common people.
Chapter 231When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,2and put a knife to your throat
if you have a big appetite.3Do not desire the ruler's delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.4Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
be wise enough to desist.5When your eyes light upon it, it is gone;
for suddenly it takes wings to itself,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.6Do not eat the bread of the stingy;
do not desire their delicacies;7for like a hair in the throat, so are they.
“Eat and drink!” they say to you;
but they do not mean it.8You will vomit up the little you have eaten,
and you will waste your pleasant words.9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
who will only despise the wisdom of your words.10Do not remove an ancient landmark
or encroach on the fields of orphans,11for their redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.12Apply your mind to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.13Do not withhold discipline from your children;
if you beat them with a rod, they will not die.14If you beat them with the rod,
you will save their lives from Sheol.15My child, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.16My soul will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.17Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always continue in the fear of the Lord.18Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19Hear, my child, and be wise,
and direct your mind in the way.20Do not be among winebibbers,
or among gluttonous eaters of meat;21for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and drowsiness will clothe them with rags.
22Listen to your father who begot you,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.23Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.25Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
26My child, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.27For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress is a narrow well.28She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the number of the faithless.
29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?30Those who linger late over wine,
those who keep trying mixed wines.31Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.32At the last it bites like a serpent,
and stings like an adder.33Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind utter perverse things.34You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.35“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”Chapter 241Do not envy the wicked,
nor desire to be with them;2for their minds devise violence,
and their lips talk of mischief.
3By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;4by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.5Wise warriors are mightier than strong ones,
and those who have knowledge than those who have strength;6for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.7Wisdom is too high for fools;
in the gate they do not open their mouths.
8Whoever plans to do evil
will be called a mischief-maker.9The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to all.
10If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength being small;11if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death,
those who go staggering to the slaughter;12if you say, “Look, we did not know this”—
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?
And will he not repay all according to their deeds?
13My child, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.14Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, you will find a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
15Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against the home of the righteous;
do no violence to the place where the righteous live;16for though they fall seven times, they will rise again;
but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
17Do not rejoice when your enemies fall,
and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble,18or else the Lord will see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from them.
19Do not fret because of evildoers.
Do not envy the wicked;20for the evil have no future;
the lamp of the wicked will go out.
21My child, fear the Lord and the king,
and do not disobey either of them;22for disaster comes from them suddenly,
and who knows the ruin that both can bring?