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1Don’t be jealous of evil people. Have no desire to be around them. 2In their hearts they plan to do evil. All they talk about is making trouble.
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3Good homes are built on wisdom and understanding. 4Knowledge fills the rooms with rare and beautiful treasures.
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5Wisdom makes a man more powerful. Knowledge gives a man strength. 6Get good advice before you start a war. To win, you must have many good advisors.
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7Fools cannot understand wisdom. They have nothing to say when people are discussing important things.
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8If you start planning ways to do wrong, people will learn that you are a troublemaker. 9Such foolish plans are wrong, and people have no respect for someone who laughs at what is right.
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10If you are weak in times of trouble, that is real weakness.
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11If you see someone on their way to death or in danger of being killed, you must do something to save them. 12You cannot say, “It’s none of my business.” The Lord knows everything, and he knows why you do things. He watches you, and he will pay you back for what you do.
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13My son, eat honey; it is good. Honey straight from the honeycomb is the sweetest. 14In the same way, know that wisdom is good for you. Wisdom will give you something to hope for that will not disappoint you.
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15Don’t be like a criminal who makes plans to rob those who are good or take away their homes. 16Good people might fall again and again, but they always get up. It is the wicked who are defeated by their troubles.
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17Don’t be happy when your enemy has troubles. Don’t be glad when they fall. 18The Lord will see this, and he might be upset with you and decide not to punish your enemy.
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19Don’t let those who are evil upset you, and don’t be jealous of them. 20They have no hope. Their light will burn out.
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21Son, respect the Lord and the king, and don’t join with those who are against them, 22because people like that can quickly be destroyed. You have no idea how much trouble God and the king can make for their enemies.
More Wise Sayings
23These are also words from the wise:
A judge must be fair. He must not support some people simply because he knows them. 24The people will turn against a judge who lets the guilty go free. Even the people of other nations will curse him. 25But if a judge punishes the guilty, then people will be happy with him, and he will be a blessing to them.
26An honest answer is as pleasing as a kiss on the lips.
27First get your fields ready, next plant your crops, and then build your house.
28Don’t speak against someone without a good reason, or you will appear foolish.
29Don’t say, “You hurt me, so I will do the same to you. I will punish you for what you did to me.”
30I walked past a field that belonged to a lazy man. It was a vineyard that belonged to someone who understood nothing. 31Weeds were growing everywhere! Wild vines covered the ground, and the wall around the vineyard was broken and falling down. 32I looked at this and thought about it. This is what I learned: 33a little sleep, a little rest, folding your arms, and taking a nap— 34these things will make you poor very quickly. Soon you will have nothing, as if a thief broke in and took everything away.