20
1Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
2A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
those who anger him forfeit their lives.
3It is to one’s honour to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
4Sluggards do not plough in season;
so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
5The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.
6Many claim to have unfailing love,
but a faithful person who can find?
7The righteous lead blameless lives;
blessed are their children after them.
8When a king sits on his throne to judge,
he winnows out all evil with his eyes.
9Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin’?
10Differing weights and differing measures –
the Lord detests them both.
11Even small children are known by their actions,
so is their conduct really pure and upright?
12Ears that hear and eyes that see –
the Lord has made them both.
13Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
stay awake and you will have food to spare.
14‘It’s no good, it’s no good!’ says the buyer –
then goes off and boasts about the purchase.
15Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
16Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.
17Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
18Plans are established by seeking advice;
so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
19A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid anyone who talks too much.
20If someone curses their father or mother,
their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.
21An inheritance claimed too soon
will not be blessed at the end.
22Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’
Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.
23The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.
24A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way?
25It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider one’s vows.
26A wise king winnows out the wicked;
he drives the threshing wheel over them.
27The human spirit is# the lamp of the Lord
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
28Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;
through love his throne is made secure.
29The glory of young men is their strength,
grey hair the splendour of the old.
30Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
and beatings purge the inmost being.
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