1Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company;2for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.
3By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;4through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
5The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength.6Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisors.7Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
Saying 23 Saying 24
8Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer.9The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker.
10If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!11Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter.12If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
13Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.14Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
15Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling-place;16for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
17Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,18or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
19Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked,20for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials,22for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?23These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good:24whoever says to the guilty, ‘You are innocent,’ will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.25But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.26An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.27Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.28Do not testify against your neighbour without cause – would you use your lips to mislead?29Do not say, ‘I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.’30I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;31thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.32I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:33a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest –34and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.