Proverbs (RSV) 24
24 1 Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them;
2 for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief.
3 By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is mightier than a strong man, and a man of knowledge than he who has strength;
6 for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.
8 He who plans to do evil will be called a mischief-maker.
9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
11 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, "Behold, 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 requite man according to his work?
13 My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do not violence to his home;
16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 lest the LORD see it, and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.
19 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked;
20 for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21 My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not disobey either of them;
22 for disaster from them will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
23 These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, "You are innocent," will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations;
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will be upon them.
26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
27 Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.
28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, "I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done."
30 I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man without sense;
31 and lo, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
25 1 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.
3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the mind of kings is unsearchable.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;
5 take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great;
7 for it is better to be told, "Come up here," than to be put lower in the presence of the prince. What your eyes have seen
8 do not hastily bring into court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not disclose another's secret;
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, he refreshes the spirit of his masters.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you be sated with it and vomit it.
17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.
18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19 Trust in a faithless man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20 He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on a wound.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain; and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat much honey, so be sparing of complimentary words.
28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
26 1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools.
4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7 Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling is he who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everybody is he who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!"
14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer discreetly.
17 He who meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out; and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are smooth lips with an evil heart.
24 He who hates, dissembles with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with guile, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back upon him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27 1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming; but who can stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 He who is sated loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest, is a man who strays from his home.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, but the soul is torn by trouble.
10 Your friend, and your father's friend, do not forsake; and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12 A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
13 Take a man's garment when he has given surety for a stranger, and hold him in pledge when he gives surety for foreigners.
14 He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
15 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a contentious woman are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in his right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
18 He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.
19 As in water face answers to face, so the mind of man reflects the man.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is judged by his praise.
22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not last for ever; and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 When the grass is gone, and the new growth appears, and the herbage of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field;
27 there will be enough goats' milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your maidens.
28 1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses it has many rulers; but with men of understanding and knowledge its stability will long continue.
3 A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is perverse in his ways.
7 He who keeps the law is a wise son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 He who augments his wealth by interest and increase gathers it for him who is kind to the poor.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
10 He who misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit; but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14 Blessed is the man who fears the LORD always; but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor; but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 If a man is burdened with the blood of another, let him be a fugitive until death; let no one help him.
18 He who walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is perverse in his ways will fall into a pit.
19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21 To show partiality is not good; but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22 A miserly man hastens after wealth, and does not know that want will come upon him.
23 He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.
24 He who robs his father or his mother and says, "That is no transgression," is the companion of a man who destroys.
25 A greedy man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
26 He who trusts in his own mind is a fool; but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27 He who gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.
29 1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but one who keeps company with harlots squanders his substance.
4 By justice a king gives stability to the land, but one who exacts gifts ruins it.
5 A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
6 An evil man is ensnared in his transgression, but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but wise men turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless, and the wicked seek his life.
11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12 If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges the poor with equity his throne will be established for ever.
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases; but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
18 Where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not give heed.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 He who pampers his servant from childhood, will in the end find him his heir.
22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and a man given to anger causes much transgression.
23 A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24 The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25 The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.
26 Many seek the favor of a ruler, but from the LORD a man gets justice.
27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but he whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
30 1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh of Massa. The man says to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
2 Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!
5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of thee; deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11 There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are pure in their own eyes but are not cleansed of their filth.
13 There are those -- how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are swords, whose teeth are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among men.
15 The leech has two daughters; "Give, give," they cry. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, "Enough":
16 Sheol, the barren womb, the earth ever thirsty for water, and the fire which never says, "Enough."
17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.
18 Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.
20 This is the way of an adulteress: she eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wrong."
21 Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up:
22 a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food;
23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maid when she succeeds her mistress.
24 Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the rocks;
27 the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.
29 Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any;
31 the strutting cock, the he-goat, and a king striding before his people.
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.
31 1 The words of Lemuel, king of Massa, which his mother taught him:
2 What, my son? What, son of my womb? What, son of my vows?
3 Give not your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink;
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;
7 let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all who are left desolate.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy.
10 A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs (RSV) 24