1It’s better to be honest, even if it leads to poverty,
than to live as a dishonest fool.
2The best way to live is with revelation-knowledge,
for without it, you’ll grow impatient and run right into error. # 19:2 Or “sin.”
3There are some people who ruin their own lives
and then blame it all on God.
4Being wealthy means having lots of “friends,”
but the poor can’t keep the ones they have.
5Perjury won’t go unpunished,
and liars will get all that they deserve.
6Everyone wants to be close to the rich and famous,
but a generous person has all the friends he wants!
7When a man is poor, even his family has no use for him.
How much more will his “friends” avoid him—
for though he begs for help, they won’t respond. # 19:7 The Aramaic and the Septuagint add a sentence not found in the Hebrew: “The one who is malicious with his words is not to be trusted.”
8Do yourself a favor and love wisdom.
Learn all you can,
then watch your life flourish and prosper!
9Tell lies and you’re going to get caught,
and the habitual liar is doomed.
10It doesn’t seem right when you see a fool
living in the lap of luxury
or a prideful servant ruling over princes.
11An understanding person demonstrates patience,
for mercy # 19:11 The word translated “mercy” (merciful) here is found only in the Septuagint. means holding your tongue.
When you are insulted,
be quick to forgive and forget it,
for you are virtuous when you overlook an offense.
12The rage of a king is like the roar of a lion,
but his sweet favor is like a gentle, refreshing rain.
13A rebellious son breaks a father’s heart,
and a nagging wife can drive you crazy!
14You can inherit houses and land from your parents,
but a good # 19:14 Literally “prudent” or “understanding” wife. wife only comes as a gracious gift from God!
15Go ahead—be lazy and passive.
But you’ll go hungry if you live that way.
16Honor God’s holy instructions
and life will go well for you.
But if you despise his ways and choose your own plans,
you will die.
17Every time you give to the poor you make a loan to the Lord.
Don’t worry—you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done.
18Don’t be afraid to discipline your children
while they’re still young enough to learn.
Don’t indulge your children or be swayed by their protests.
19A hot-tempered man has to pay the price for his anger.
If you bail him out once,
you’ll do it a dozen times. # 19:19 There is an implication in the Hebrew that he will get into legal trouble. An alternate translation of this verse could be “An evil-minded man will be injured; if you rescue him, his anger will only intensify.”
20Listen well to wise counsel
and be willing to learn from correction
so that by the end of your life
you’ll be known for your wisdom.
21A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life,
but only the designs of God’s purpose will succeed in the end.
22A man is charming when he displays tender mercies to others.
And a lover of God who is poor and promises nothing
is better than a rich liar who never keeps his promises.
23When you live a life of abandoned love,
surrendered before the awe of God,
here’s what you’ll experience:
Abundant life. Continual protection. # 19:23 Or “You will not be remembered for evil.”
And complete satisfaction!
24There are some people who pretend they’re hurt—
deadbeats who won’t even work to feed themselves. # 19:24 Or “the lazy man buries his fork in his plate and won’t even lift it to his mouth.”
25If you punish the insolent who don’t know any better,
they will learn not to mock.
But if you correct a wise man,
he will grow even wiser.
26Children who mistreat their parents
are an embarrassment to their family and a public disgrace.
27So listen, my child.
Don’t reject correction
or you will certainly wander from the ways of truth. # 19:27 Or “Stop listening to instruction that contradicts what you know is truth.”
28A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice,
for the wicked never play by the rules. # 19:28 Or “the heart of the wicked feeds on evil.”
29Judgment is waiting for those who mock the truth,
and foolish living invites a beating.