1A wise son or daughter desires a father’s discipline,
but the know-it-all never listens to correction.
2The words of the wise are kind and easy to swallow,
but the unbeliever just wants to pick a fight and argue.
3Guard your words and you’ll guard your life,
but if you don’t control your tongue,
it will ruin everything.
4The slacker wants it all and ends up with nothing,
but the hard worker ends up with all that he longed for.
5Lovers of God hate what is phony and false,
but the wicked are full of shame and behave shamefully. # 13:5 The Hebrew word used here literally means “to cause a stink” or “to emit an odor.” This is a figure of speech for what is shameful.
6Righteousness is like a shield of protection,
guarding those who keep their integrity,
but sin is the downfall of the wicked.
7One pretends to be rich but is poor.
Another pretends to be poor but is quite rich. # 13:7 It is never godly to be a phony. It’s always better to be who you are and avoid pretense.
8The self-assurance of the rich is their money, # 13:8 The Aramaic is “The salvation of the soul is a man’s true wealth.”
but people don’t kidnap and extort the poor!
9The virtues of God’s lovers shine brightly in the darkness,
but the flickering lamp of the ungodly will be extinguished.
10Wisdom opens your heart to receive wise counsel,
but pride closes your ears to advice
and gives birth only to quarrels and strife.
11Wealth quickly gained is quickly wasted # 13:11 Or “Wealth gained by fraud will dwindle.” —
easy come, easy go!
But if you gradually gain wealth,
you will watch it grow.
12When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on,
the delay can be depressing.
But when at last your dream comes true,
life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul. # 13:12 Or “it is a tree of life.”
13Despise the word, will you?
Then you’ll pay the price and it won’t be pretty!
But the one who honors the Father’s holy instructions
will be rewarded.
14When the lovers of God teach you truth,
a fountain of life opens up within you,
and their wise instruction will deliver you from the ways of death.
15Everyone admires a wise, sensible person,
but the treacherous walk on the path of ruin. # 13:15 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint. The Hebrew is uncertain.
16Everything a wise and shrewd man does
comes from a source of revelation-knowledge, # 13:16 Or “A wise person thinks ahead.”
but the behavior of a fool puts foolishness on parade! # 13:16 The implication is that the fool is unable to finish anything he begins.
17An undependable messenger causes a lot of trouble,
but the trustworthy and wise messengers
release healing wherever they go. # 13:17 God’s sons and daughters are peacemakers, healers, and faithful deliverers for others.
18Poverty and disgrace come to the one
who refuses to hear criticism. # 13:18 As translated from the Hebrew. The Septuagint is “Instruction removes poverty and disgrace.”
But the one who is easy to correct is on the path of honor.
19When God fulfills your longings,
sweetness fills your soul.
But the wicked refuse to turn from darkness
to see their desires come to pass. # 13:19 Implied by the Hebrew parallelism of the text.
20If you want to grow in wisdom,
spend time with the wise.
Walk with the wicked
and you’ll eventually become just like them.
21Calamity chases the sin-chaser,
but prosperity pursues the God-lover.
22The benevolent man leaves an inheritance
that endures to his children’s children,
but the wealth of the wicked is treasured up for the righteous.
23The lovers of God will live a long life and get to enjoy their wealth,
but the ungodly will suddenly perish. # 13:23 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “In the fallow ground of the poor there is abundance of food, but injustice sweeps it away.” The Aramaic is “Those who don’t find the way of life destroy many years of wealth, and some are utterly destroyed.” There is a vast difference in the three translations. This translation follows the Septuagint.
24If you withhold correction and punishment # 13:24 Or “spare the rod.” Corporal punishment was common in premodern societies. from your children,
you demonstrate a lack of true love.
So prove your love and be prompt to punish them. # 13:24 Or “The one who spares the rod hates his child.”
25The lovers of God will have more than enough,
but the wicked will always lack what they crave.