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Warnings and Instructions28:1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 By the transgression of a land many are its princes, But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.
3 A poor man who oppresses the lowly Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But those who keep the law strive with them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all things.
6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than he who is crooked though he be rich.
7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.
8 He who increases his wealth by interest and usury Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.
9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him.
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 find compassion.
14 How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.
18 He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once.
19 He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.
21 To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
22 A man with an evil eye 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 the tongue.
24 He who robs his father or his mother And says, “It is not a transgression,” Is the companion of a man who destroys.
25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.
27 He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.
Warnings and Instructions29:1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.
3 A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.
4 The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.
5 A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.
6 By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.
7 The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.
8 Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.
9 When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
10 Men of bloodshed hate the blameless, But the upright are concerned for his life.
11 A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.
12 If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall.
17 Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.
18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
19 A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response.
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 slave from childhood Will in the end find him to be a son.
22 An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.
23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.
24 He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He hears the oath but tells nothing.
25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.
26 Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the LORD.
27 An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.
The Words of Agur 30:1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle.
The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, And I do not have the understanding of a man.
3 Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!
5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
7 Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9 That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
11 There is a kind of man who curses his father And does not bless his mother.
12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
13 There is a kind--oh how lofty are his eyes! And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
14 There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords And his jaw teeth like knives, To devour the afflicted from the earth And the needy from among men.
15 The leech has two daughters, “Give,” “Give.” There are three things that will not be satisfied, Four that will not say, “Enough”:
16 Sheol, and the barren womb, Earth that is never satisfied with water, And fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that mocks a father And scorns a mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.
18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Four which 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 in the middle of the sea, And the way of a man with a maid.
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, “I have done no wrong.”
21 Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up:
22 Under a slave when he becomes king, And a fool when he is satisfied with food,
23 Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.
24 Four things are small on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are not a strong people, But they prepare their food in the summer;
26 The shephanim are not mighty people, Yet they make their houses in the rocks;
27 The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks;
28 The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings’ palaces.
29 There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk:
30 The lion which is mighty among beasts And does not retreat before any,
31 The strutting rooster, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him.
32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 For the churning of milk produces butter, And pressing the nose brings forth blood; So the churning of anger produces strife.
The Words of Lemuel 31:1 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:
2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys 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 For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
Description of a Worthy Woman10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above 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 evil All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself; 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, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in 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 bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.
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