The Cure Comes Through Discipline
1A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich;
a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.
2The rich and the poor shake hands as equals—
God made them both!
3A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
4The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God
is plenty and honor and a satisfying life.
5The perverse travel a dangerous road, potholed and mud-slick;
if you know what’s good for you, stay clear of it.
6Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.
7The poor are always ruled over by the rich,
so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power.
8Whoever sows sin reaps weeds,
and bullying anger sputters into nothing.
9Generous hands are blessed hands
because they give bread to the poor.
10Kick out the troublemakers and things will quiet down;
you need a break from bickering and griping!
11God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken;
good leaders also delight in their friendship.
12God guards knowledge with a passion,
but he’ll have nothing to do with deception.
13The loafer says, “There’s a lion on the loose!
If I go out I’ll be eaten alive!”
14The mouth of a whore is a bottomless pit;
you’ll fall in that pit if you’re on the outs with God.
15Young people are prone to foolishness and fads;
the cure comes through tough-minded discipline.
16Exploit the poor or glad-hand the rich—whichever,
you’ll end up the poorer for it.
The Thirty Precepts of the Sages
Don’t Move Back the Boundary Lines
17-21Listen carefully to my wisdom;
take to heart what I can teach you.
You’ll treasure its sweetness deep within;
you’ll give it bold expression in your speech.
To make sure your foundation is trust in God,
I’m laying it all out right now just for you.
I’m giving you thirty sterling principles—
tested guidelines to live by.
Believe me—these are truths that work,
and will keep you accountable
to those who sent you.
22-23Don’t walk on the poor just because they’re poor,
and don’t use your position to crush the weak,
Because God will come to their defense;
the life you took, he’ll take from you and give back to them.
24-25Don’t hang out with angry people;
don’t keep company with hotheads.
Bad temper is contagious—
don’t get infected.
26-27Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,
hocking your house against a lucky chance.
The time will come when you have to pay up;
you’ll be left with nothing but the shirt on your back.
28Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
staked out long ago by your ancestors.
29Observe people who are good at their work—
skilled workers are always in demand and admired;
they don’t take a backseat to anyone.