1Being respected is more important than having great riches.
To be well thought of is better than silver or gold.
2The rich and the poor are alike
in that the Lord made them all.
3The wise see danger ahead and avoid it,
but fools keep going and get into trouble.
4Respecting the Lord and not being proud
will bring you wealth, honor, and life.
5Evil people’s lives are like paths covered with thorns and traps.
People who guard themselves don’t have such problems.
6Train children to live the right way,
and when they are old, they will not stray from it.
7The rich rule over the poor,
and borrowers are servants to lenders.
8Those who plan evil will receive trouble.
Their cruel anger will come to an end.
9Generous people will be blessed,
because they share their food with the poor.
10Get rid of the one who makes fun of wisdom.
Then fighting, quarrels, and insults will stop.
11Whoever loves pure thoughts and kind words
will have even the king as a friend.
12The Lord guards knowledge,
but he destroys false words.
13The lazy person says, “There’s a lion outside!
I might get killed out in the street!”
14The words of an unfaithful wife are like a deep trap.
Those who make the Lord angry will get caught by them.
15Every child is full of foolishness,
but punishment can get rid of it.
16Whoever gets rich by mistreating the poor,
and gives presents to the wealthy, will become poor.
Other Wise Sayings
17Listen carefully to what wise people say;
pay attention to what I am teaching you.
18It will be good to keep these things in mind
so that you are ready to repeat them.
19I am teaching them to you now
so that you will put your trust in the Lord.
20I have written thirty sayings for you,
which give knowledge and good advice.
21I am teaching you true and reliable words
so that you can give true answers to anyone who asks.
22Do not abuse poor people because they are poor,
and do not take away the rights of the needy in court.
23The Lord will defend them in court
and will take the life of those who take away their rights.
24Don’t make friends with quick-tempered people
or spend time with those who have bad tempers.
25If you do, you will be like them.
Then you will be in real danger.
26Don’t promise to pay what someone else owes,
and don’t guarantee anyone’s loan.
27If you cannot pay the loan,
your own bed may be taken right out from under you.
28Don’t move an old stone that marks a border,
because those stones were set up by your ancestors.
29Do you see people skilled in their work?
They will work for kings, not for ordinary people.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.