1Evil people run even though no one is chasing them,
but good people are as brave as a lion.
2When a country is lawless, it has one ruler after another;
but when it is led by a leader with understanding and knowledge, it continues strong.
3Rulers who mistreat the poor
are like a hard rain that destroys the crops.
4Those who disobey what they have been taught praise the wicked,
but those who obey what they have been taught are against them.
5Evil people do not understand justice,
but those who follow the Lord understand it completely.
6It is better to be poor and innocent
than to be rich and wicked.
7Children who obey what they have been taught are wise,
but friends of troublemakers disgrace their parents.
8Some people get rich by overcharging others,
but their wealth will be given to those who are kind to the poor.
9If you refuse to obey what you have been taught,
your prayers will not be heard.
10Those who lead good people to do wrong
will be ruined by their own evil,
but the innocent will be rewarded with good things.
11Rich people may think they are wise,
but the poor with understanding will prove them wrong.
12When good people triumph, there is great happiness,
but when the wicked get control, everybody hides.
13If you hide your sins, you will not succeed.
If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy.
14Those who are always respectful will be happy,
but those who are stubborn will get into trouble.
15A wicked ruler is as dangerous to poor people
as a roaring lion or a charging bear.
16A ruler without wisdom will be cruel,
but the one who refuses to take dishonest money will rule a long time.
17Don’t help those who are guilty of murder;
let them run until they die.
18Innocent people will be kept safe,
but those who are dishonest will suddenly be ruined.
19Those who work their land will have plenty of food,
but the ones who chase empty dreams instead will end up poor.
20A truthful person will have many blessings,
but those eager to get rich will be punished.
21It is not good for a judge to take sides,
but some will sin for only a piece of bread.
22Selfish people are in a hurry to get rich
and do not realize they soon will be poor.
23Those who correct others will later be liked
more than those who give false praise.
24Whoever robs father or mother
and says, “It’s not wrong,”
is just like someone who destroys things.
25A greedy person causes trouble,
but the one who trusts the Lord will succeed.
26Those who trust in themselves are foolish,
but those who live wisely will be kept safe.
27Whoever gives to the poor will have everything he needs,
but the one who ignores the poor will receive many curses.
28When the wicked get control, everybody hides,
but when they die, good people do well.