Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
1A wise son heeds and accepts [and is the result of] his father’s discipline and instruction,
But a scoffer does not listen to reprimand and does not learn from his errors.
2From the fruit of his mouth a [wise] man enjoys good,
But the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
3The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life;
The one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin.
4The soul (appetite) of the lazy person craves and gets nothing [for lethargy overcomes ambition],
But the soul (appetite) of the diligent [who works willingly] is rich and abundantly supplied.
5A righteous man hates lies,
But a wicked man is loathsome, and he acts shamefully.
6Righteousness (being in right standing with God) guards the one whose way is blameless,
But wickedness undermines and overthrows the sinner.
7There is one who pretends to be rich, yet has nothing at all;
Another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8The ransom for a man’s life is his wealth,
But the poor man does not even have to listen to a rebuke or threats [from the envious].
9The light of the righteous [within him—grows brighter and] rejoices,
But the lamp of the wicked [is a temporary light and] goes out.
10Through pride and presumption come nothing but strife,
But [skillful and godly] wisdom is with those who welcome [well-advised] counsel.
11Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles,
But he who gathers gradually by [honest] labor will increase [his riches].
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises the word and counsel [of God] brings destruction upon himself,
But he who [reverently] fears and respects the commandment [of God] will be rewarded.
14The teaching of the wise is a fountain and source of life,
So that one may avoid the snares of death.
15Good understanding wins favor [from others],
But the way of the unfaithful is hard [like barren, dry soil].
16Every prudent and self-disciplined man acts with knowledge,
But a [closed-minded] fool [who refuses to learn] displays his foolishness [for all to see].
17A wicked messenger falls into hardship,
But a faithful ambassador brings healing.
18Poverty and shame will come to him who refuses instruction and discipline,
But he who accepts and learns from reproof or censure is honored.
19Desire realized is sweet to the soul;
But it is detestable to fools to turn away from evil [which they have planned].
20He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,
But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.
21Adversity pursues sinners,
But the [consistently] upright will be rewarded with prosperity.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for [the hands of] the righteous.
23Abundant food is in the fallow (uncultivated) ground of the poor,
But [without protection] it is swept away by injustice.
24He who withholds the rod [of discipline] hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines and trains him diligently and appropriately [with wisdom and love].
25The [consistently] righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
But the stomach of the wicked is in need [of bread].