1Wine and beer make people lose control; they get loud and stumble around. And that is foolish.
2An angry king is like a roaring lion. If you make him angry, you could lose your life.
3People who refuse to argue deserve respect. Any fool can start an argument.
4Some people are too lazy to plant seeds. So at harvest time, they look for food and find nothing.
5Getting information from someone can be like getting water from a deep well. If you are smart, you will draw it out.
6You might call many people your “friends,” but it is hard to find someone who can really be trusted.
7When people live good, honest lives, their children are blessed.
8When the king sits and judges people, he must look carefully to separate the evil from the good.
9Can anyone say their heart is pure? Who can say, “I am free from sin”?
10The Lord hates for people to use the wrong weights and measures to cheat others.
11Even children show what they are like by the things they do. You can see if their actions are pure and right.
12It was the Lord who gave us eyes for seeing and ears for hearing.
13If you love to sleep, you will become poor. Use your time working and you will have plenty to eat.
14When buying something, people always say, “It’s no good. It costs too much.” Then they go away and tell others what a good deal they got.
15The right knowledge can bring you gold, pearls, and other expensive things.
16If someone promises to pay the debt of a stranger, get a coat or something from him to keep until the debt is paid.
17It may seem to be a good thing to get something by cheating, but in the end, it will be worth nothing.
18Get good advice when you make your plans. Before you start a war, find good advisors.
19You cannot trust someone who would talk about things told in private. So don’t be friends with someone who talks too much.
20Those who would curse their father or mother are like a lamp that goes out on the darkest night.
21If your wealth was easy to get, it will not be worth much to you.#20:21 Or “An inheritance greedily guarded in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”
22Don’t ever say, “I’ll pay them back for what they did to me!” Wait for the Lord. He will make things right.
23The Lord hates for people to use the wrong weights to cheat others. It is wrong to use scales that are not accurate.
24The Lord guides our steps, and we never know where he will lead us.#20:24 Or “A man’s steps are from the Lord, and people don’t understand his way.”
25Think carefully before you promise to give something to God. Later, you might wish you had not made that promise.
26Like a farmer who separates wheat from the chaff, a wise king will decide who is wrong and crush them.
27Your spirit is like a lamp to the Lord. He is able to see into your deepest parts.#20:27 Or “The Lord examines your breath and searches your deepest thoughts.”
28A king who is loyal and true will keep his power. Loyalty will keep his kingdom strong.
29We admire a young man for his strength, but we respect an old man for his gray hair.
30A beating can remove evil and make you completely clean.#20:30 The Hebrew text here is hard to understand.