1Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
a stranger, and not your own lips.3A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.4Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who is able to stand before jealousy?5Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.6Well meant are the wounds a friend inflicts,
but profuse are the kisses of an enemy.7The sated appetite spurns honey,
but to a ravenous appetite even the bitter is sweet.8Like a bird that strays from its nest
is one who strays from home.9Perfume and incense make the heart glad,
but the soul is torn by trouble.10Do not forsake your friend or the friend of your parent;
do not go to the house of your kindred in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is nearby
than kindred who are far away.11Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad,
so that I may answer whoever reproaches me.12The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.13Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger;
seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.14Whoever blesses a neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.15A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a contentious wife are alike;16to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in the right hand.17Iron sharpens iron,
and one person sharpens the wits of another.18Anyone who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and anyone who takes care of a master will be honored.19Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and human eyes are never satisfied.21The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
so a person is tested by being praised.22Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
but the folly will not be driven out.
23Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds;24for riches do not last forever,
nor a crown for all generations.25When the grass is gone, and new growth appears,
and the herbage of the mountains is gathered,26the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field;27there will be enough goats' milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and nourishment for your servant-girls.Chapter 281The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.2When a land rebels
it has many rulers;
but with an intelligent ruler
there is lasting order.3A ruler who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law struggle against them.5The evil do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.6Better to be poor and walk in integrity
than to be crooked in one's ways even though rich.7Those who keep the law are wise children,
but companions of gluttons shame their parents.8One who augments wealth by exorbitant interest
gathers it for another who is kind to the poor.9When one will not listen to the law,
even one's prayers are an abomination.10Those who mislead the upright into evil ways
will fall into pits of their own making,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.11The rich is wise in self-esteem,
but an intelligent poor person sees through the pose.12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked prevail, people go into hiding.13No one who conceals transgressions will prosper,
but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.14Happy is the one who is never without fear,
but one who is hard-hearted will fall into calamity.15Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.16A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor;
but one who hates unjust gain will enjoy a long life.17If someone is burdened with the blood of another,
let that killer be a fugitive until death;
let no one offer assistance.18One who walks in integrity will be safe,
but whoever follows crooked ways will fall into the Pit.19Anyone who tills the land will have plenty of bread,
but one who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.20The faithful will abound with blessings,
but one who is in a hurry to be rich will not go unpunished.21To show partiality is not good—
yet for a piece of bread a person may do wrong.22The miser is in a hurry to get rich
and does not know that loss is sure to come.23Whoever rebukes a person will afterward find more favor
than one who flatters with the tongue.24Anyone who robs father or mother
and says, “That is no crime,”
is partner to a thug.25The greedy person stirs up strife,
but whoever trusts in the Lord will be enriched.26Those who trust in their own wits are fools;
but those who walk in wisdom come through safely.27Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but one who turns a blind eye will get many a curse.28When the wicked prevail, people go into hiding;
but when they perish, the righteous increase.Chapter 291One who is often reproved, yet remains stubborn,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.3A child who loves wisdom makes a parent glad,
but to keep company with prostitutes is to squander one's substance.4By justice a king gives stability to the land,
but one who makes heavy exactions ruins it.5Whoever flatters a neighbor
is spreading a net for the neighbor's feet.6In the transgression of the evil there is a snare,
but the righteous sing and rejoice.7The righteous know the rights of the poor;
the wicked have no such understanding.8Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.9If the wise go to law with fools,
there is ranting and ridicule without relief.10The bloodthirsty hate the blameless,
and they seek the life of the upright.11A fool gives full vent to anger,
but the wise quietly holds it back.12If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.13The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.14If a king judges the poor with equity,
his throne will be established forever.15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a mother is disgraced by a neglected child.16When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.17Discipline your children, and they will give you rest;
they will give delight to your heart.18Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint,
but happy are those who keep the law.19By mere words servants are not disciplined,
for though they understand, they will not give heed.20Do you see someone who is hasty in speech?
There is more hope for a fool than for anyone like that.21A slave pampered from childhood
will come to a bad end.22One given to anger stirs up strife,
and the hothead causes much transgression.23A person's pride will bring humiliation,
but one who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.24To be a partner of a thief is to hate one's own life;
one hears the victim's curse, but discloses nothing.25The fear of others lays a snare,
but one who trusts in the Lord is secure.26Many seek the favor of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.27The unjust are an abomination to the righteous,
but the upright are an abomination to the wicked.
Chapter 30Sayings of Agur
1The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.
Thus says the man: I am weary, O God,
I am weary, O God. How can I prevail?2Surely I am too stupid to be human;
I do not have human understanding.3I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the holy ones.4Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is the person's name?
And what is the name of the person's child?
Surely you know!
5Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.6Do not add to his words,
or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.
7Two things I ask of you;
do not deny them to me before I die:8Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that I need,9or I shall be full, and deny you,
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or I shall be poor, and steal,
and profane the name of my God.
10Do not slander a servant to a master,
or the servant will curse you, and you will be held guilty.
11There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.12There are those who are pure in their own eyes
yet are not cleansed of their filthiness.13There are those—how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!14There are those whose teeth are swords,
whose teeth are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mortals.
15The leech has two daughters;
“Give, give,” they cry.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:16Sheol, the barren womb,
the earth ever thirsty for water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:19the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a girl.
20This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats, and wipes her mouth,
and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:22a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when glutted with food;23an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maid when she succeeds her mistress.
24Four things on earth are small,
yet they are exceedingly wise:25the ants are a people without strength,
yet they provide their food in the summer;26the badgers are a people without power,
yet they make their homes in the rocks;27the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;28the lizard can be grasped in the hand,
yet it is found in kings' palaces.
29Three things are stately in their stride;
four are stately in their gait:30the lion, which is mightiest among wild animals
and does not turn back before any;31the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king striding before his people.
32If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.33For as pressing milk produces curds,
and pressing the nose produces blood,
so pressing anger produces strife.
Chapter 31The Teaching of King Lemuel's Mother
1The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2No, my son! No, son of my womb!
No, son of my vows!3Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to desire strong drink;5or else they will drink and forget what has been decreed,
and will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.6Give strong drink to one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;7let them drink and forget their poverty,
and remember their misery no more.8Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.9Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Ode to a Capable Wife
10A capable wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.14She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from far away.15She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her servant-girls.16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.17She girds herself with strength,
and makes her arms strong.18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.20She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.21She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all her household are clothed in crimson.22She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.23Her husband is known in the city gates,
taking his seat among the elders of the land.24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she supplies the merchant with sashes.25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.27She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.28Her children rise up and call her happy;
her husband too, and he praises her:29“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.31Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates.Chapter 32Chapter 33Chapter 34Chapter 35