1Choose a good reputation over great riches;
being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
2The rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord made them both.
3A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
4True humility and fear of the Lord
lead to riches, honor, and long life.
5Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road;
whoever values life will avoid it.
6Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
7Just as the rich rule the poor,
so the borrower is servant to the lender.
8Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,
and their reign of terror will come to an end.*22:8 The Greek version includes an additional proverb: God blesses a man who gives cheerfully, / but his worthless deeds will come to an end. Compare 2 Cor 9:7.
9Blessed are those who are generous,
because they feed the poor.
10Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
Quarrels and insults will disappear.
11Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
will have the king as a friend.
12The Lord preserves those with knowledge,
but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.
13The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
If I go outside, I might be killed!”
14The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap;
those who make the Lord angry will fall into it.
15A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
but physical discipline will drive it far away.
16A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor
or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.
Sayings of the Wise
17Listen to the words of the wise;
apply your heart to my instruction.
18For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart
and always ready on your lips.
19I am teaching you today—yes, you—
so you will trust in the Lord.
20I have written thirty sayings*22:20 Or excellent sayings; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. for you,
filled with advice and knowledge.
21In this way, you may know the truth
and take an accurate report to those who sent you.
22Don’t rob the poor just because you can,
or exploit the needy in court.
23For the Lord is their defender.
He will ruin anyone who ruins them.
24Don’t befriend angry people
or associate with hot-tempered people,
25or you will learn to be like them
and endanger your soul.
26Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt
or put up security for someone else.
27If you can’t pay it,
even your bed will be snatched from under you.
28Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers
set up by previous generations.
29Do you see any truly competent workers?
They will serve kings
rather than working for ordinary people.