1My child, have you sinned? Don't do it again, and pray for forgiveness for what you have already done. 2Avoid sin as if it were a snake. If you get too near, it will sink its teeth into your soul like a lion, and destroy you. 3Every lawless act leaves an incurable wound, like one left by a double-edged sword.
4If a person is insolent and arrogant, he may lose everything he has.
When poor people pray, God hears them and quickly answers their prayers.
6If you refuse to accept correction, you are committing a sin; and if you fear the Lord, you will make a sincere change in your ways.
7Someone may be famous as a good speaker, but when he is wrong, a sensible person will detect it.
8Anyone who borrows money to build a house is just collecting stones for his own tomb.#21.8: his own tomb; some manuscripts have the winter.
9A group of people who have no respect for the Law is like a pile of kindling; they will meet a fiery end. 10The road that sinners walk is smooth and paved, but it leads to the world of the dead.
Wisdom and Foolishness
11Whoever wants to keep the Law must learn what the Law means. If you fear the Lord in every sense of the term, you will have wisdom. 12You have to be intelligent to learn anything; but there is such a thing as just pretending to be intelligent, which only makes people bitter. 13A wise person's knowledge is like a river that never runs dry, like an everflowing stream of good advice.
14A fool, on the other hand, has a mind like a jar with a hole in it; anything he learns is soon lost.
15When an educated person hears something that shows insight, it stimulates his mind and leads him on to other ideas. But when someone who is satisfied with ignorance hears it, he won't like it, and will forget it as soon as he can. 16Listening to a foolish person talk is like traveling with a heavy load on your back, but it is a pleasure to hear what intelligent people have to say. 17The assembly will be eager to hear from an intelligent person and will take his opinion seriously.
18To an ignorant person, wisdom is as useless as a house gone to ruin. He has never even thought about the things he is so sure of. 19To a person without any sense, an education is like handcuffs, 20-21but to a sensible person, it is like gold bracelets. An intelligent person will smile quietly while a fool roars with laughter. 22-23A stupid person will peep into someone's house through the door and then march right in, but someone with experience and good manners will have enough respect to wait outside. 24Eavesdropping at doors is bad manners, and anyone with a sense of decency would be ashamed to do it.
25Presumptuous people talk about things that are none of their business,#21.25: Probable text Presumptuous … business; Greek The lips of strangers speak of these things. but the wise will consider the consequences of what they say. 26Fools say whatever comes to mind; wise people think before they speak.
27When a wicked person curses his enemy#21.27: his enemy; or Satan. he is cursing himself.
28A gossip ruins his own character, and everyone in the neighborhood hates him.