19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,Proverbs 17:27-28
27A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.28Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.==Chapter 18==1An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.2A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.3When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.4The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.5It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice.6A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.7A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.8The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.9One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.10The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.11The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.12Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.13He who answers before listening-- that is his folly and his shame.14A man's spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?15The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.16A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.17The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.18Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart.19An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.20From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.21The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.22He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.23A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.24A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.==Chapter 19==1Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.2It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.3A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.4Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man's friend deserts him.5A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.6Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts.7A poor man is shunned by all his relatives-- how much more do his friends avoid him! Though he pursues them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found.8He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers.9A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish.10It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury-- how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!11A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.12A king's rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.13A foolish son is his father's ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.14Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.15Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.16He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.17He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.18Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.19A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.20Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.21Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.22What a man desires is unfailing love ; better to be poor than a liar.23The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!25Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.26He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace.27Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.28A corrupt witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.29Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.==Chapter 20==1Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.2A king's wrath is like the roar of a lion; he who angers him forfeits his life.3It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.4A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.5The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.6Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?7The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.8When a king sits on his throne to judge, he winnows out all evil with his eyes.9Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin"?10Differing weights and differing measures-- the LORD detests them both.11Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.12Ears that hear and eyes that see-- the LORD has made them both.13Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.14"It's no good, it's no good!" says the buyer; then off he goes and boasts about his purchase.15Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.16Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if he does it for a wayward woman.17Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.18Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.19A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.20If a man curses his father or mother, his lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.21An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.22Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.23The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.24A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?25It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.26A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.27The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man ; it searches out his inmost being.28Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.29The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.30Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.==Chapter 21==1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.2All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.3To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.4Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!5The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.6A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.7The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.8The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright.9Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.10The wicked man craves evil; his neighbor gets no mercy from him.11When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; when a wise man is instructed, he gets knowledge.12The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin.13If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.14A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.15When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.16A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.17He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.18The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.19Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.20In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.21He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.22A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.23He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.24The proud and arrogant man--" Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.25The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.26All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.27The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable-- how much more so when brought with evil intent!28A false witness will perish, and whoever listens to him will be destroyed forever.29A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.30There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.31The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.==Chapter 22==1A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.2Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.3A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.4Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.5In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.6Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.7The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.8He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.9A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.10Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.11He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.12The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.13The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!" or, "I will be murdered in the streets!"14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is under the Lord's wrath will fall into it.15Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.16He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich--both come to poverty.17Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach,18for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.19So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you.20Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge,21teaching you true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you?22Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court,23for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.24Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered,25or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.26Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;27if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.28Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.29Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.==Chapter 23==1When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you,2and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.3Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.4Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.5Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.6Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies;7for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. "Eat and drink," he says to you, but his heart is not with you.8You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments.9Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.10Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,11for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you.12Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.13Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.14Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.15My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad;16my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.17Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.18There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.19Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path.20Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat,21for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.22Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.23Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.24The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.25May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!26My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways,27for a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well.28Like a bandit she lies in wait, and multiplies the unfaithful among men.29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?30Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.31Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!32In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.33Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.34You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.35"They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?"==Chapter 24==1Do not envy wicked men, 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.5A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;6for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.7Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the assembly at the gate he has nothing to say.8He who plots evil will be known as a schemer.9The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.10If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!11Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward 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 each person according to what he has done?13Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.14Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.15Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against a righteous man's house, do not raid his dwelling place;16for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.17Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,18or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.19Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked,20for the evil man 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 the rebellious,22for those two will send sudden destruction upon 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"-- peoples will curse him and nations denounce him.25But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them.26An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.27Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.28Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive.29Do not say, "I'll do to him as he has done to me; I'll pay that man back for what he did."30I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;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 bandit and scarcity like an armed man.==Chapter 25==1These are more proverbs of Solomon, copied by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.3As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.4Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith;5remove the wicked from the king's presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness.6Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence, and do not claim a place among great men;7it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here," than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman. What you have seen with your eyes8do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?9If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another man's confidence,10or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation.11A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.12Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear.13Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.14Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.15Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.16If you find honey, eat just enough-- too much of it, and you will vomit.17Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house-- too much of you, and he will hate you.18Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.19Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.20Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.22In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.23As a north wind brings rain, so a sly tongue brings angry looks.24Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.25Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.26Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.27It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor.28Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.==Chapter 26==1Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.2Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.3A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!4Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.5Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.6Like cutting off one's feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool.7Like a lame man's legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.8Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.9Like a thornbush in a drunkard's hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.10Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer-by.11As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.13The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!"14As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.17Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.18Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows19is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"20Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.21As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.22The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.23Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart.24A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit.25Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.26His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.27If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.28A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.==Chapter 27==1Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.3Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both.4Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?5Better is open rebuke than hidden love.6Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.7He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.8Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.9Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.10Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.11Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.12The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.13Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if he does it for a wayward woman.14If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.15A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day;16restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.17As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.18He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored.19As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.20Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.21The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.22Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding him like grain with a pestle, you will not remove his folly from him.23Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds;24for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.25When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in,26the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field.27You will have plenty of goats' milk to feed you and your family and to nourish your servant girls.==Chapter 28==1The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.2When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.3A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them.5Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.6Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.7He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.8He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.9If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.10He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.11A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.12When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding.13He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.14Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.15Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people.16A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.17A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death; let no one support him.18He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.19He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.20A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.21To show partiality is not good-- yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.22A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.23He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.24He who robs his father or mother and says, "It's not wrong"-- he is partner to him who destroys.25A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.26He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.27He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.28When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.==Chapter 29==1A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy.2When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.3A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.4By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.5Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.6An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.7The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.8Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.9If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.10Bloodthirsty men hate a man of integrity and seek to kill the upright.11A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.12If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.14If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.15The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.16When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.17Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.18Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.19A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond.20Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.21If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.22An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.23A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.24The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy; he is put under oath and dare not testify.25Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.26Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that man gets justice.27The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.==Chapter 30==1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh--an oracle : This man declared to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ucal:2"I am the most ignorant of men; I do not have a man's understanding.3I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.4Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!5"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.6Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.7"Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die:8Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.10"Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it.11"There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers;12those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;13those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful;14those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from among mankind.15"The leech has two daughters. 'Give! Give!' they cry. "There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough!':16the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'17"The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.18"There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that 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 maiden.20"This is the way of an adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'21"Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up:22a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food,23an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.24"Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:25Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;26coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;27locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;28a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces.29"There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:30a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;31a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king with his army around him.32"If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth!33For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."==Chapter 31==1The sayings of King Lemuel--an oracle his mother taught him:2"O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,3do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.4"It is not for kings, O Lemuel-- not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,5lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.6Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish;7let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.8"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.9Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."10A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.11Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.12She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.13She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.14She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.15She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.16She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.17She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.18She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.19In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.20She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.21When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.22She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.23Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.24She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.25She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.26She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.27She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.28Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:29"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."30Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.31Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.