1Don’t envy evil people
or try to be friends with them.
2Their minds are always planning violence,
and they always talk about making trouble.
3It takes wisdom to have a good family,
and it takes understanding to make it strong.
4It takes knowledge to fill a home
with rare and beautiful treasures.
5Wise people have great power,
and those with knowledge have great strength.
6So you need advice when you go to war.
If you have lots of good advice, you will win.
7Foolish people cannot understand wisdom.
They have nothing to say in a discussion.
8Whoever makes evil plans
will be known as a troublemaker.
9Making foolish plans is sinful,
and making fun of wisdom is hateful.
10If you give up when trouble comes,
it shows that you are weak.
11Save those who are being led to their death;
rescue those who are about to be killed.
12If you say, “We don’t know anything about this,”
God, who knows what’s in your mind, will notice.
He is watching you, and he will know.
He will reward each person for what he has done.
13My child, eat honey because it is good.
Honey from the honeycomb tastes sweet.
14In the same way, wisdom is pleasing to you.
If you find it, you have hope for the future,
and your wishes will come true.
15Don’t be wicked and attack a good family’s house;
don’t rob the place where they live.
16Even though good people may be bothered by trouble seven times, they are never defeated,
but the wicked are overwhelmed by trouble.
17Don’t be happy when your enemy is defeated;
don’t be glad when he is overwhelmed.
18The Lord will notice and be displeased.
He may not be angry with them anymore.
19Don’t envy evil people,
and don’t be jealous of the wicked.
20An evil person has nothing to hope for;
the wicked will die like a flame that is put out.
21My child, respect the Lord and the king.
Don’t join those people who refuse to obey them.
22The Lord and the king will quickly destroy such people.
Those two can cause great disaster!
More Words of Wisdom
23These are also sayings of the wise:
It is not good to take sides when you are the judge.
24Don’t tell the wicked that they are innocent;
people will curse you, and nations will hate you.
25But things will go well if you punish the guilty,
and you will receive rich blessings.
26An honest answer is as pleasing
as a kiss on the lips.
27First, finish your outside work
and prepare your fields.
After that, you can build your house.
28Don’t testify against your neighbor for no good reason.
Don’t say things that are false.
29Don’t say, “I’ll get even;
I’ll do to him what he did to me.”
30I passed by a lazy person’s field
and by the vineyard of someone with no sense.
31Thorns had grown up everywhere.
The ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone walls had fallen down.
32I thought about what I had seen;
I learned this lesson from what I saw.
33You sleep a little; you take a nap.
You fold your hands and lie down to rest.
34Soon you will be as poor as if you had been robbed;
you will have as little as if you had been held up.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.