1No evil will ever come to a person who fears the Lord; however often danger comes, the Lord will come to the rescue. 2A person who has no use for the Law doesn't have good sense, and anyone who is insincere about it is going to be tossed about like a boat in a storm. 3#Ex 28.30; Si 45.10 If you are wise, you will believe in the Law; you will find it as reliable as the sacred lots.
4Prepare what you are going to say and people will listen to you. Use what you have learned before you start talking. 5A foolish person's mind works like a cartwheel, going round and round in circles. 6A sarcastic friend is like a wild horse that neighs no matter who tries to ride him.
People Are Not Alike
7Why are some days holier than others, even though the same sun rises on every day of the year? 8It is because the Lord made them different by setting them apart as religious holidays and festivals. 9He made some days holy and important, and made other days ordinary.
10Every human being was made from the earth, just as Adam was. 11But the Lord, in his wisdom, made them all different and gave them different tasks. 12He blessed some, making them honored and holy, keeping them near him. Others he cursed, humbling them and removing them from their positions. 13Just as clay is in the potter's hands for him to shape as he pleases, so we are in the hands of our Creator for him to do with as he wishes.
14Good is the opposite of evil, life is the opposite of death, and sin is the opposite of devotion to the Lord. 15Think about it: the Most High has made everything in pairs, each thing the opposite of something else.
16As for me, I have been the last to come on duty, as if going through vineyards to gather whatever the grape-pickers had left behind. But the Lord blessed me, and I did well,#33.16: did well; or overtook the others. like a grape-picker who has filled the wine press. 17But I want you to know that I have not done all this work for myself alone, but for everyone who wants to learn. 18Listen to me, all you great leaders! All you leaders of the assemblies, hear what I have to say!
19Never, as long as you live, give anyone power over you—whether son, wife, brother, or friend. Don't give your property to anyone; you might change your mind and have to ask for it back. 20As long as you have breath in your body, don't let anyone lead your life for you. 21It is better that your children be dependent on you than the other way around. 22Keep control over all that you do; don't let anything stain your reputation. 23Wait until the last moment of your life, when you are breathing your last, and then divide your property among your heirs.
Treatment of Slaves
24A donkey should be given its fodder and its burden, and it should be beaten. A slave should be given food and work, and should be disciplined. 25If you make your slave work, you can set your mind at ease. If you don't keep him busy, he will be looking for freedom. 26You can use a harness and yoke to tame an animal, and a slave can be tortured in the stocks. 27Keep him at work, and don't let him be idle; idleness can only teach him how to make trouble. 28Work is what he needs. If he won't obey you, put him in chains.
29But don't be too severe with anyone, and never be unfair. 30If you have a slave, treat him as you would want to be treated; you bought him with your hard-earned money. 31Treat him as a brother; you need him as you need yourself. If you mistreat him and he runs away, where are you going to look for him?