1Better a dry piece of bread with calm
than a house full of food but also full of strife.
2An intelligent slave will rule a shameful son
and share the inheritance with the brothers.
3The crucible [tests] silver, and the furnace [tests] gold,
but the one who tests hearts is Adonai.
4An evildoer heeds wicked lips;
a liar listens to destructive talk.
5He who mocks the poor insults his maker;
he who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.
6Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
while the glory of children is their ancestors.
7Fine speech is unbecoming to a boor,
and even less lying lips to a leader.
8A bribe works like a charm, in the view of him who gives it —
wherever it turns, it succeeds.
9He who conceals an offense promotes love,
but he who harps on it can separate even close friends.
10A rebuke makes more impression on a person of understanding
than a hundred blows on a fool.
11An evil person seeks only rebellion,
but a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12Rather meet a bear robbed of its cubs
than encounter a fool in his folly.
13Evil will not depart from the house
of him who returns evil for good.
14Starting a fight is like letting water through [a dike] —
better stop the quarrel before it gets worse.
15He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous —
both alike are an abomination to Adonai.
16Why would a fool wish to pay for wisdom
when he has no desire to learn?
17A friend shows his friendship at all times —
it is for adversity that [such] a brother is born.
18He who gives his hand to guarantee a loan
for his neighbor lacks good sense.
19Those who love quarreling love giving offense;
those who make their gates tall are courting disaster.
20A crooked-hearted person will find nothing good,
and the perverse of speech will end in calamity.
21He who fathers a fool does so to his sorrow,
and the father of a boor has no joy.
22A happy heart is good medicine,
but low spirits sap one’s strength.
23From under a cloak a bad man takes a bribe
to pervert the course of justice.
24The discerning person focuses on wisdom there before him,
but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
25A son who is a fool means anger for his father
and bitterness for the mother who gave him birth.
26To punish the innocent is not right,
likewise to flog noble people for their uprightness.
27A knowledgeable person controls his tongue;
a discerning person controls his temper.
28Even a fool, if he stays silent, is thought wise;
he who keeps his mouth shut can pass for smart.