1Being respected is more important than having great riches.
To be well thought of is better than owning silver or gold.
2The rich and the poor are alike
in that the Lord made them all.
3When a wise person sees danger ahead, he avoids it.
But a foolish person keeps going and gets into trouble.
4Respecting the Lord and not being proud
will bring you wealth, honor and life.
5The lives of evil people are like paths covered with thorns and traps.
People who protect themselves don’t have such problems.
6Train a child how to live the right way.
Then even when he is old, he will still live that way.
7The rich rule over the poor.
And borrowers become servants to those who lend.
8A person who does evil things will receive trouble in return.
Then he won’t be cruel to others any longer.
9A generous person will be blessed
because he shares his food with the poor.
10Get rid of the person who makes fun of wisdom.
Then fighting, quarrels and insults will stop.
11A person who loves innocent thoughts and kind words
will have even the king as a friend.
12The Lord protects knowledge from being lost.
But he destroys false words.
13The lazy person says, “There’s a lion outside!
I might get killed out in the street!”
14The words of an unfaithful wife are like a deep trap.
Those who make the Lord angry will get caught by them.
15Every child is full of foolishness.
But punishment can get rid of it.
16The one who gets rich by being cruel to the poor will become poor.
And so will the one who gives presents to the wealthy.
Other Wise Sayings
17Pay attention and listen to what wise people say.
Remember what I am teaching you.
18It will be good to keep these things in mind.
Be prepared to repeat them.
19I am teaching them to you now
so that you will put your trust in the Lord.
20I have written down 30 sayings for you.
They give knowledge and good advice.
21I am teaching you true and reliable words.
Then you can give true answers to anyone who asks.
22Do not abuse poor people because they are poor.
And do not take away the rights of the needy in court.
23The Lord will defend them in court.
And he will take the life of those who take away their rights.
24Don’t make friends with someone who easily gets angry.
Don’t spend time with someone who has a bad temper.
25If you do, you may learn to be like him.
Then you will be in real danger.
26Don’t promise to pay what someone else owes.
And don’t give guarantees that you will pay what he owes.
27If you cannot pay what he owes,
your own bed will be taken and sold.
28Don’t move an old stone that shows where a person’s land is.
These stones were set up by your ancestors.
29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
That man will work for kings.
He won’t have to work for ordinary people.