1Don’t envy evil people
or desire their company.
2For their hearts plot violence,
and their words always stir up trouble.
3A house is built by wisdom
and becomes strong through good sense.
4Through knowledge its rooms are filled
with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.
5The wise are mightier than the strong,*24:5 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads A wise man is strength.
and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
6So don’t go to war without wise guidance;
victory depends on having many advisers.
7Wisdom is too lofty for fools.
Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say.
8A person who plans evil
will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
9The schemes of a fool are sinful;
everyone detests a mocker.
10If you fail under pressure,
your strength is too small.
11Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;
save them as they stagger to their death.
12Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
13My child,*24:13 Hebrew My son; also in
and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
14In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul.
If you find it, you will have a bright future,
and your hopes will not be cut short.
15Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly,
and don’t raid the house where the godly live.
16The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
17Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall;
don’t be happy when they stumble.
18For the Lord will be displeased with you
and will turn his anger away from them.
19Don’t fret because of evildoers;
don’t envy the wicked.
20For evil people have no future;
the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21My child, fear the Lord and the king.
Don’t associate with rebels,
22for disaster will hit them suddenly.
Who knows what punishment will come
from the Lord and the king?
More Sayings of the Wise
23Here are some further sayings of the wise:
It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.
24A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations.
25But it will go well for those who convict the guilty;
rich blessings will be showered on them.
26An honest answer
is like a kiss of friendship.
27Do your planning and prepare your fields
before building your house.
28Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause;
don’t lie about them.
29And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me!
I’ll get even with them!”
30I walked by the field of a lazy person,
the vineyard of one with no common sense.
31I saw that it was overgrown with nettles.
It was covered with weeds,
and its walls were broken down.
32Then, as I looked and thought about it,
I learned this lesson:
33A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.