Exhortation to Uprightness
1Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord with uprightness,
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
2because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
3For perverse thoughts separate men from God,
and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish;
4because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
5For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit,
and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.
6For wisdom is a kindly spirit
and will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words;
because God is witness of his inmost feelings,
and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
7Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said;
8therefore no one who utters unrighteous things will escape notice,
and justice, when it punishes, will not pass him by.
9For inquiry will be made into the counsels of an ungodly man,
and a report of his words will come to the Lord,
to convict him of his lawless deeds;
10because a jealous ear hears all things,
and the sound of murmurings does not go unheard.
11Beware then of useless murmuring,
and keep your tongue from slander;
because no secret word is without result,a
and a lying mouth destroys the soul.
12Do not invite death by the error of your life,
nor bring on destruction by the works of your hands;
13because God did not make death,
and he does not delight in the death of the living.
14For he created all things that they might exist,
and the generative forcesb of the world are wholesome,
and there is no destructive poison in them;
and the dominionc of Hades is not on earth.
15For righteousness is immortal.
Life as the Ungodly See It
16But ungodly men by their words and deeds summoned death;d
considering him a friend, they pined away,
and they made a covenant with him,
because they are fit to belong to his party.