1If you have to choose between a good reputation and great wealth, choose a good reputation.
2The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD made them both.
3Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.
4Obey the LORD, be humble, and you will get riches, honour, and a long life.
5If you love your life, stay away from the traps that catch the wicked along the way.
6Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives.
7Poor people are slaves of the rich. Borrow money and you are the lender's slave.
8If you sow the seeds of injustice, disaster will spring up, and your oppression of others will end.
9Be generous and share your food with the poor. You will be blessed for it.
10Get rid of a conceited person, and then there will be no more arguments, quarrelling, or calling of names.
11If you love purity of heart and graciousness of speech, the king will be your friend.
12The LORD sees to it that truth is kept safe by disproving the words of liars.
13Lazy people stay at home; they say a lion might get them if they go outside.
14Adultery is a trap — it catches those with whom the LORD is angry.
15Children just naturally do silly, careless things, but a good spanking will teach them how to behave.
16If you make gifts to rich people or oppress the poor to get rich, you will become poor yourself.
The Thirty Wise Sayings
17Listen, and I will teach you what the wise have said. Study their teachings, 18and you will be glad if you remember them and can quote them. 19I want you to put your trust in the LORD; that is why I am going to tell them to you now. 20I have written down thirty sayings for you. They contain knowledge and good advice, 21and will teach you what the truth really is. Then when you are sent to find it out, you will bring back the right answer.
The First Saying
22Don't take advantage of the poor just because you can; don't take advantage of those who stand helpless in court. 23The LORD will argue their case for them and threaten the life of anyone who threatens theirs.
The Second Saying
24Don't make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. 25You might learn their habits and not be able to change.
The Third Saying
26Don't promise to be responsible for someone else's debts. 27If you should be unable to pay, they will take away even your bed.
The Fourth Saying
28Never move an old boundary mark that your ancestors established.
The Fifth Saying
29Show me someone who does a good job, and I will show you someone who is better than most and worthy of the company of kings.