There and Back Again, Part 4

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#825: “There and Back Again, Part 4”
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December 1, 2017 ↓
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October 26 & 27, 2016
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Psalm 127

==Chapter 1==

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. 15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Chapter 2

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Chapter 3

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- 2Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. 7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Chapter 4

1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." 9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26"In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Chapter 5

1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them. 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." 15Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Chapter 6

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. 21Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. 23Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

==Chapter 1==

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-- 5let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-- 6for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 9They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. 10My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. 11If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul; 12let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; 14throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse"-- 15my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; 16for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. 17How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! 18These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! 19Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it. 20Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; 21at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: 22"How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. 24But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, 25since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, 26I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you-- 27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28"Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. 29Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, 30since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."

Chapter 2

1My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. 12Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, 17who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 20Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Chapter 3

1My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 11My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 13Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. 19By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; 20by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. 21My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; 24when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. 27Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 28Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"-- when you now have it with you. 29Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. 30Do not accuse a man for no reason-- when he has done you no harm. 31Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, 32for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. 33The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. 34He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. 35The wise inherit honor, but fools he holds up to shame.

Chapter 4

1Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, 4he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor." 10Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. 14Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. 15Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. 16For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. 17They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. 19But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. 20My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. 23Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 24Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. 26Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. 27Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Chapter 5

1My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, 2that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. 3For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; 4but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 6She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. 7Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. 8Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, 9lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, 10lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man's house. 11At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. 12You will say, "How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! 13I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. 14I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly." 15Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19A loving doe, a graceful deer-- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. 20Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife? 21For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. 22The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. 23He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

Chapter 6

1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, 2if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, 3then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! 4Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. 5Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. 6Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- 11and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. 12A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14who plots evil with deceit in his heart-- he always stirs up dissension. 15Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy. 16There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. 20My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 21Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, 24keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. 25Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, 26for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. 27Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? 28Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? 29So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. 30Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. 31Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. 32But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. 33Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away; 34for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is.

Chapter 7

1My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. 2Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your kinsman; 5they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words. 6At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. 7I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. 8He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house 9at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. 10Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. 11(She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; 12now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) 13She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: 14"I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. 15So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! 16I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. 18Come, let's drink deep of love till morning; let's enjoy ourselves with love! 19My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. 20He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon." 21With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose 23till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. 24Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

Chapter 8

1Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4"To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. 6Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge. 10Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 12"I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power. 15By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; 16by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth. 17I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 18With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full. 22"The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. 24When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; 25before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, 26before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. 27I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. 30Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, 31rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. 32"Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. 34Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. 36But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death."

Chapter 9

1Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. 2She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. 4"Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment. 5"Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding. 7"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. 8Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. 10"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer." 13The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. 14She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way. 16"Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment. 17"Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" 18But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave.

Chapter 10

1The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. 2Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death. 3The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. 4Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. 5He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. 6Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 7The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. 8The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. 9The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. 10He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin. 11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 12Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. 13Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment. 14Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. 15The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. 16The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment. 17He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. 18He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. 20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. 21The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. 22The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. 23A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom. 24What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted. 25When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever. 26As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him. 27The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 28The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. 29The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil. 30The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land. 31The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. 32The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

Chapter 11

1The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. 2When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 3The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. 4Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. 6The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. 7When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing. 8The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead. 9With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape. 10When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. 11Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. 12A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. 13A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. 14For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure. 15He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe. 16A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. 17A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself. 18The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. 19The truly righteous man attains life, but he who pursues evil goes to his death. 20The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. 21Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. 22Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. 23The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath. 24One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. 26People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell. 27He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. 28Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. 29He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. 30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. 31If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

Chapter 12

1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. 2A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man. 3A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted. 4A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. 5The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. 6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. 7Wicked men are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm. 8A man is praised according to his wisdom, but men with warped minds are despised. 9Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food. 10A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. 11He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. 12The wicked desire the plunder of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes. 13An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble. 14From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him. 15The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. 16A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. 17A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. 18Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. 20There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace. 21No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. 22The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. 23A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly. 24Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. 25An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. 26A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions. 28In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.

Chapter 13

1A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. 2From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence. 3He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. 4The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. 5The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked bring shame and disgrace. 6Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. 7One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. 8A man's riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat. 9The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out. 10Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. 11Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. 12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. 13He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded. 14The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. 15Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. 16Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly. 17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing. 18He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. 19A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. 20He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. 21Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous. 22A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous. 23A poor man's field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away. 24He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. 25The righteous eat to their hearts' content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

Chapter 14

1The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. 2He whose walk is upright fears the LORD, but he whose ways are devious despises him. 3A fool's talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them. 4Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest. 5A truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. 6The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. 7Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips. 8The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. 9Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. 10Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. 11The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 13Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. 14The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his. 15A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. 16A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. 17A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated. 18The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19Evil men will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. 21He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy. 22Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. 23All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. 24The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly. 25A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful. 26He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. 27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. 28A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined. 29A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. 30A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. 31He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. 32When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge. 33Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known. 34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. 35A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant incurs his wrath.

Chapter 15

1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. 3The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. 4The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. 5A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. 6The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble. 7The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. 8The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. 9The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness. 10Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path; he who hates correction will die. 11Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD-- how much more the hearts of men! 12A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise. 13A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. 14The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. 15All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. 17Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. 18A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. 19The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. 20A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother. 21Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight course. 22Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 23A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-- and how good is a timely word! 24The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave. 25The LORD tears down the proud man's house but he keeps the widow's boundaries intact. 26The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him. 27A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live. 28The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. 29The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous. 30A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. 31He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. 32He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. 33The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Chapter 16

1To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. 2All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. 3Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. 4The LORD works out everything for his own ends-- even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. 6Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. 7When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. 8Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. 9In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. 10The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice. 11Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making. 12Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness. 13Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth. 14A king's wrath is a messenger of death, but a wise man will appease it. 15When a king's face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring. 16How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! 17The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life. 18Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. 20Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. 21The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction. 22Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools. 23A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. 24Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. 26The laborer's appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on. 27A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. 28A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. 29A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. 30He who winks with his eye is plotting perversity; he who purses his lips is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. 32Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

Chapter 17

1Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. 2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers. 3The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart. 4A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue. 5He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. 6Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. 7Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler! 8A bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he succeeds. 9He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool. 11An evil man is bent only on rebellion; a merciless official will be sent against him. 12Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly. 13If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house. 14Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. 15Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent-- the LORD detests them both. 16Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom? 17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor. 19He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction. 20A man of perverse heart does not prosper; he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble. 21To have a fool for a son brings grief; there is no joy for the father of a fool. 22A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice. 24A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him. 26It is not good to punish an innocent man, or to flog officials for their integrity. 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 eyes 8do 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 arrows 19is 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.

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There and Back Again, Part 4

“There and Back Again, Part 4,” an Adventures in Odyssey Club exclusive, is episode #825 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Dave Arnold, and was originally released on December 1, 2017.


Emotions run high in New Zealand as Joelle faces a moment of truth and Jay gets a surprise visit from his father.


This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Were you satisfied with the way this adventure turned out? Why or why not? What would you have done differently if you were writing the story?
  2. Like Joelle, we often take for granted special little things our parents do for us. Name something small, yet meaningful that your mom or dad did for you. Why not thank them again for that memorable act of kindness?
  3. At the end of this episode, Chris said that we honor God by keeping our families strong. What are a few practical ways you can do that?
  4. Why is it important for big brothers and sisters to make good choices and be positive role models for younger children at home? How does 1 Timothy 4:12 apply?
  5. What did Wilson mean when he told Ethan, "Your choices affect other people, too"? How did that turn out to be true in Joshua 7:1-5? How is it true today?
  6. Tom felt God prompting him to give the book to Wilson. What other ways can God nudge us? When have you felt God leading you to say or do something? What happened?
  7. Ever since Adam and Eve, Satan has made it his mission to lure people away from the Father's love, wisdom and protection. Who tried to do that in "There and Back Again"? How? Read Ephesians 6:10-18 to see how you can defend yourself against similar lies and deception.
  8. Do you have many abilities and interests (like Jay), or are you gifted in one particular area (like his dad)? Discuss the talents God has given you, and how you've been able to use them for His purposes.
  9. Looking back over the past three adventures, what was the most interesting thing you learned about New Zealand and its people?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
John Whittaker Andre Stojka
Jason Whittaker Townsend Coleman
Wilson Knox Gregory Jbara
Joelle Billingsley Larissa Gallagher
Ethan Elliott Joseph
James Billingsley Jason Kennett
Nick Smouse Clint Howard
Jay Smouse Whit Hertford
Zorb Operator Unknown

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Silvia Smouse Nick Smouse
Tom Lyell Wilson Knox
Eugene Meltsner Jason Whittaker




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