1The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
2When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
3A ruler# who oppresses the poor
is like driving rain that leaves no crops.
4Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
but those who heed it resist them.
5Evildoers do not understand what is right,
but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.
6Better the poor whose way of life is blameless
than the rich whose ways are perverse.
7A discerning son heeds instruction,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
8Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor
amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
9If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
even their prayers are detestable.
10Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
will fall into their own trap,
but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
11The rich are wise in their own eyes;
one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
12When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.
13Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
14Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
15Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.
16A tyrannical ruler practises extortion,
but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.
17Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder
will seek refuge in the grave;
let no one hold them back.
18The one whose way of life is blameless is kept safe,
but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.#
19Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
20A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
21To show partiality is not good –
yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.
22The stingy are eager to get rich
and are unaware that poverty awaits them.
23Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favour
rather than one who has a flattering tongue.
24Whoever robs their father or mother
and says, ‘It’s not wrong,’
is partner to one who destroys.
25The greedy stir up conflict,
but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.
26Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
27Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
28When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.