20
Words of Wisdom Are Better than Gold
1It isn't smart to get drunk!
Drinking makes a fool of you
and leads to fights.
2An angry ruler
is like a roaring lion—
make either one angry,
and you are dead.
3It makes you look good
when you avoid a fight—
only fools love to quarrel.
4If you are too lazy to plow,
don't expect a harvest.
5Someone's thoughts may be
as deep as the ocean,
but if you are smart,
you will discover them.
6There are many who say,
“You can trust me!”
But can they be trusted?
7Good people live right,
and God blesses the children
who follow their example.
8When rulers decide cases,
they weigh the evidence.
9Can any of us really say,
“My thoughts are pure,
and my sins are gone”?
10Two things the Lord hates
are dishonest scales
and dishonest measures.
11The good or bad
that children do
shows what they are like.
12Hearing and seeing
are gifts from the Lord.
13If you sleep all the time,
you will starve;
if you get up and work,
you will have enough food.
14Everyone likes to brag
about getting a bargain.
15Sensible words are better
than gold or jewels.
16You deserve to lose your coat
if you loan it to someone
to guarantee payment
for the debt of a stranger.
17The food you get by cheating
may taste delicious,
but it turns to gravel.
18Be sure you have sound advice
before making plans
or starting a war.
19Stay away from gossips—
they tell everything.
20Children who curse their parents
will go to the land of darkness
long before their time.
21Getting rich quick#20.21 quick: Or “the wrong way.”
may turn out to be a curse.
22Don't try to get even.
Trust the Lord,
and he will help you.
23The Lord hates dishonest scales
and dishonest weights.
So don't cheat!
24How can we know
what will happen to us
when the Lord alone decides?
25Don't fall into the trap
of making promises to God
before you think!
26A wise ruler severely punishes
every criminal.
27Our inner thoughts are a lamp
from the Lord,
and they search our hearts.
28Rulers are protected
by God's mercy and loyalty,
but#20.28 by God's mercy … but: Or “by their mercy … and.” they must be merciful
for their kingdoms to last.
29Young people take pride
in their strength,
but the gray hairs of wisdom
are even more beautiful.
30A severe beating can knock all
of the evil out of you!
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