The Deceptiveness of Appearances
1The wisdom of a humble man will lift up his head,
and will seat him among the great.
2Do not praise a man for his good looks,
nor loathe a man because of his appearance.
3The bee is small among flying creatures,
but her product is the best of sweet things.
4Do not boast about wearing fine clothes,
nor exalt yourself in the day that you are honored;
for the works of the Lord are wonderful,
and his works are concealed from men.
5Many kings have had to sit on the ground,
but one who was never thought of has worn a crown.
6Many rulers have been greatly disgraced,
and illustrious men have been handed over to others.
Deliberation and Caution
7Do not find fault before you investigate;
first consider, and then reprove.
8Do not answer before you have heard,
nor interrupt a speaker in the midst of his words.
9Do not argue about a matter which does not concern you,
nor sit with sinners when they judge a case.
10My son, do not busy yourself with many matters;
if you multiply activities you will not go unpunished,
and if you pursue you will not overtake,
and by fleeing you will not escape.
11There is a man who works, and toils, and presses on,
but is so much the more in want.
12There is another who is slow and needs help,
who lacks strength and abounds in poverty;
but the eyes of the Lord look upon him for his good;
he lifts him out of his low estate
13and raises up his head,
so that many are amazed at him.
14Good things and bad, life and death,
poverty and wealth, come from the Lord.a
17The gift of the Lord endures for those who are godly,
and what he approves will have lasting success.
18There is a man who is rich through his diligence and self-denial,
and this is the reward allotted to him:
19when he says, "I have found rest,
and now I shall enjoyb my goods!"
he does not know how much time will pass
until he leaves them to others and dies.
20Stand by your covenantc and attend to it,
and grow old in your work.
21Do not wonder at the works of a sinner,
but trust in the Lord and keep at your toil;
for it is easy in the sight of the Lord
to enrich a poor man quickly and suddenly.
22The blessing of the Lord isd the reward of the godly,
and quickly God causes his blessing to flourish.
23Do not say, "What do I need,
and what prosperity could be mine in the future?"
24Do not say, "I have enough,
and what calamity could happen to me in the future?"
25In the day of prosperity, adversity is forgotten,
and in the day of adversity, prosperity is not remembered.
26For it is easy in the sight of the Lord
to reward a man on the day of death according to his conduct.
27The misery of an hour makes one forget luxury,
and at the close of a man's life his deeds will be revealed.
28Call no one happy before his death;
a man will be known through his children.
Care in Choosing Friends
29Do not bring every man into your home,
for many are the wiles of the crafty.
30Like a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the mind of a proud man,
and like a spy he observes your weakness;e
31for he lies in wait, turning good into evil,
and to worthy actions he will attach blame.
32From a spark of fire come many burning coals,
and a sinner lies in wait to shed blood.
33Beware of a scoundrel, for he devises evil,
lest he give you a lasting blemish.
34Receive a stranger into your home and he will upset you with commotion,
and will estrange you from your family.