Warnings and Instructions
1Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring.
2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.
3Stone is heavy and the sand weighty,
But a fool’s [unreasonable] wrath is heavier and more burdensome than both of them.
4Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood,
But who is able to endure and stand before [the sin of] jealousy?
5Better is an open reprimand [of loving correction]
Than love that is hidden.
6Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern],
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].
7He who is satisfied loathes honey,
But to the hungry soul any bitter thing is sweet.
8Like a bird that wanders from her nest [with its comfort and safety],
So is a man who wanders from his home.
9Oil and perfume make the heart glad;
So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.
10Do not abandon your own friend and your father’s friend,
And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your disaster.
Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
11My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may reply to him who reproaches (reprimands, criticizes) me.
12A prudent man sees evil and hides himself and avoids it,
But the naive [who are easily misled] continue on and are punished [by suffering the consequences of sin].
13[The judge tells the creditor,] “Take the garment of one who is surety (guarantees a loan) for a stranger;
And hold him in pledge when he is surety for an immoral woman [for it is unlikely the debt will be repaid].”
14He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be counted as a curse to him [for it will either be annoying or his purpose will be suspect].
15A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious (quarrelsome) woman are alike;
16Whoever attempts to restrain her [criticism] might as well try to stop the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17As iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].
18He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
And he who faithfully protects and cares for his master will be honored.
19As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.
20Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the underworld) are never satisfied;
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
21The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold [to separate the impurities of the metal],
And each is tested by the praise given to him [and his response to it, whether humble or proud].
22Even though you pound a [hardened, arrogant] fool [who rejects wisdom] in a mortar with a pestle like grain,
Yet his foolishness will not leave him.
23Be diligent to know the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;
24For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25When the grass is gone, the new growth is seen,
And herbs of the mountain are gathered in,
26The lambs will supply wool for your clothing,
And the goats will bring the price of a field.
27And there will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And for the maintenance of your maids.