Living in Righteousness
1Dishonest business practice # 11:1 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “scales of deception [false balances].”
is something that Yahweh truly hates.
But it pleases him when we apply the right standards
of measurement. # 11:1 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “a perfect stone.” Stones were used as the legitimate weights of balance. Jesus is the perfect stone. See Rev. 2:17.
2When you act with presumption,
convinced that you’re right,
don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face!
But humility leads to wisdom.
3Integrity will lead you to success,
but treachery will destroy your dreams.
4When judgment day comes,
all the wealth of the world won’t help you one bit.
So be rich in righteousness,
for that’s the only thing that can save you in death.
5Those with good character walk on a smooth path,
with no detour or deviation.
But the wicked keep falling because of their own wickedness.
6Integrity will keep a good man from falling.
But the unbeliever is trapped,
held captive to his sinful desires.
7When an evil man dies, all hope is lost,
for his misplaced confidence goes in the coffin,
buried along with him.
8The righteous are snatched away from trouble,
and the wicked show up in their place. # 11:8 Haman is a classic example of this principle. See Est. 7:10; 9:24–25.
9The teachings of hypocrites can destroy you,
but revelation-knowledge will rescue the righteous. # 11:9 Or “the righteous will be strengthened.”
10The blessing that rests on the righteous
releases strength and favor to the entire city, # 11:10 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint.
but shouts of joy will be heard when the wicked one dies.
11The blessing of favor resting upon the righteous
influences a city to lift it higher, # 11:11 Jesus describes the church as a city. See Matt. 5:14.
but wicked leaders tear it apart by their words.
12To quarrel with a neighbor is senseless. # 11:12 Or “To disparage your neighbor is being heartless.”
Bite your tongue; be wise and keep quiet!
13You can’t trust gossipers with a secret;
they’ll just go blab it all.
Put your confidence instead in a trusted friend,
for he will be faithful to keep it in confidence.
14People lose their way without wise leadership,
but a nation succeeds and stands in victory
when it has many good counselors to guide it.
15The evil man will do harm when confronted by a righteous man,
because he hates those who await good news. # 11:15 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “You’ll be ruined if you cosign for a stranger, and a hater of handshakes will be safe.”
16A gracious, generous woman
will be honored with a splendid # 11:16 Or “glorious.” reputation,
but the woman who hates the truth
lives with disgrace # 11:16 As translated from the older Aramaic and Septuagint texts, but not included in newer Hebrew manuscripts. There is an additional line added by the Aramaic and the Septuagint: “The lazy will lack, but the diligent support themselves financially.” and is surrounded by men
who are cutthroats, only greedy for money. # 11:16 The Septuagint is “the diligent obtain wealth.”
17A man of kindness attracts favor,
while a cruel man attracts nothing but trouble. # 11:17 The Hebrew text indicates this trouble could be physical, related to one’s health.
18Evil people may get a short-term gain, # 11:18 Or “wages of deception.”
but to sow seeds of righteousness
will bring a true and lasting reward.
19A son of righteousness # 11:19 As translated from one Hebrew manuscript, the Aramaic, and the Septuagint. Most Hebrew manuscripts have “The one who pursues righteousness.” experiences the abundant life,
but the one who pursues evil hurries to his own death.
20The Lord can’t stand the stubborn heart bent toward evil,
but he treasures those whose ways are pure. # 11:20 Or “wholehearted.”
21Assault your neighbor and you will certainly be punished, # 11:21 As translated from the Aramaic and the Targum (Hebrew-Aramaic commentary).
but God will rescue the children of the godly.
22A beautiful woman who abandons good morals
is like a fine gold ring dangling from a pig’s snout.
23True lovers of God are filled with longings
for what is pleasing and good,
but the wicked can only expect doom.
24Generosity brings prosperity,
but withholding from charity brings poverty.
25Those who live to bless others
will have blessings heaped upon them,
and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings
will be saturated with favor. # 11:25 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “The soul of blessing will grow fat.”
26People will curse the businessman with no ethics,
but the one with a social conscience receives praise from all. # 11:26 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “The one who withholds produce will be cursed, but blessing will be on the head of the one who sells it.”
27Living your life seeking what is good for others brings untold favor,
but those who wish evil for others will find it coming back on them.
28Keep trusting in your riches and down you’ll go!
But the lovers of God rise up like flowers in the spring.
29The fool who brings trouble to his own family
will be cut out of the will,
and the family servant will do better than he.
30But a life lived loving God bears lasting fruit,
for the one who is truly wise wins souls. # 11:30 As translated from the Hebrew. The Aramaic and the Septuagint read “the souls of violent ones will be removed.”
31If the righteous are barely saved,
what’s in store for all the wicked? # 11:31 As translated from the Septuagint. See 1 Peter 4:18.