1 Do not envy evil people
or wish you were with them,
2 because their minds plot violence,
and their lips talk trouble.
3 With wisdom a house is built.
With understanding it is established.
4 With knowledge its rooms are filled
with every kind of riches, both precious and pleasant.
5 A strong man knows how to use his strength,
but a person with knowledge is even more powerful.
6 After all, with the right strategy you can wage war,
and with many advisers there is victory.
7 Matters of wisdom are beyond the grasp of a stubborn fool.
At the city gate he does not open his mouth.
8 Whoever plans to do evil will be known as a schemer.
9 Foolish scheming is sinful,
and a mocker is disgusting to everyone.
10 If you faint in a crisis, you are weak.
11 Rescue captives condemned to death,
and spare those staggering toward their slaughter.
12 When you say, “We didn’t know this,”
won’t the one who weighs hearts take note of it?
Won’t the one who guards your soul know it?
Won’t he pay back people for what they do?
13 Eat honey, my son, because it is good.
Honey that flows from the honeycomb tastes sweet.
14 The knowledge of wisdom is like that for your soul.
If you find it, then there is a future,
and your hope will never be cut off.
15 You wicked one,
do not lie in ambush at the home of a righteous person.
Do not rob his house.
16 A righteous person may fall seven times, but he gets up again.
However, in a disaster wicked people fall.
17 Do not be happy when your enemy falls,
and do not feel glad when he stumbles.
18 The Lord will see it, he won’t like it,
and he will turn his anger away from that person.
19 Do not get overly upset with evildoers.
Do not envy wicked people,
20 because an evil person has no future,
and the lamps of wicked people will be snuffed out.
21 Fear the Lord, my son.
Fear the king as well.
Do not associate with those who always insist upon change,
22 because disaster will come to them suddenly.
Who knows what misery both may bring?
Learning from Wise People
23 These also are the sayings of wise people:
Showing partiality as a judge is not good.
24 Whoever says to a guilty person, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by people and condemned by nations.
25 But people will be pleased with those who convict a guilty person,
and a great blessing will come to them.
26 Giving a straight answer is ⌊like⌋ a kiss on the lips.
27 Prepare your work outside,
and get things ready for yourself in the field.
Afterwards, build your house.
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without a reason,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say,
“I’ll treat him as he treated me.
I’ll pay him back for what he has done to me.”
30 I passed by a lazy person’s field,
the vineyard belonging to a person without sense.
31 I saw that it was all overgrown with thistles.
The ground was covered with weeds,
and its stone fence was torn down.
32 When I observed ⌊this⌋, I took it to heart.
I saw it and learned my lesson.
33 “Just a little sleep,
just a little slumber,
just a little nap.”
34 Then your poverty will come like a drifter,
and your need will come like a bandit.