BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 1
Title and purpose of the book
1:1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
1:2 for learning what wisdom and discipline are, for understanding words of deep meaning,
1:3 for acquiring an enlightened attitude of mind-virtue, justice and fair-dealing;
1:4 for teaching sound judgement to the ignorant, and knowledge and sense to the young;
1:6 for perceiving the meaning of proverbs and obscure sayings, the sayings of the sages and their riddles.
1:5 Let the wise listen and he will learn yet more, and the man of discernment will acquire the art of guidance.
1:7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools spurn wisdom and discipline.
A COMMENDATION OF WISDOM
The sage speaks: avoid bad company
1:8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, do not reject your mother’s teaching:
1:9 they will be a crown of grace for your head, a circlet for your neck.
1:10 My son, if sinners try to seduce you, do not give way.
1:11 If they say, ‘Come with us: there is blood to be had if we lie in wait for it, if we plan an ambush for the innocent;
1:12 we can swallow them alive, like Sheol, alive and whole like those who go down to the Pit.
1:13 We shall find treasures of every sort, we shall fill our houses with plunder;
1:14 throw in your lot with us: one purse between us all.’
1:15 My son, do not follow them in their way, keep your steps out of their path
1:16 (for their feet hasten to evil, they are quick to shed blood);
1:17 the net is always spread in vain if the bird is watching.
1:18 It is for their own blood these men lie in wait, their own selves they lie in ambush for.
1:19 To this come all men who are after dishonest gain, which robs of their lives all those who take it for their own.
Wisdom speaks: a warning to the heedless
1:20 Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in the public squares;
1:21 she calls out at the street corners, she delivers her message at the city gates,
1:22 ‘You ignorant people, how much longer will you cling to your ignorance? How much longer will mockers revel in their mocking and fools hold knowledge contemptible?
1:23 Pay attention to my warning: now I will pour out my heart to you, and tell you what I have to say.
1:24 Since I have called and you have refused me, since I have beckoned and no one has taken notice,
1:25 since you have ignored all my advice and rejected all my warnings,
1:26 I, for my part, will laugh at your distress, I will jeer at you when calamity comes,
1:27 when calamity bears down on you like a storm and your distress like a whirlwind, when disaster and anguish bear down on you.
1:28 Then they shall call to me, but I will not answer, they shall seek me eagerly and shall not find me.
1:29 They despised knowledge, they had no love for the fear of Yahweh,
1:30 they would take no advice from me, and spurned all my warnings:
1:31 so they must eat the fruits of their own courses, and choke themselves with their own scheming.
1:32 For the errors of the ignorant lead to their death, and the complacency of fools works their own ruin;
1:33 but whoever listens to me may live secure, he will have quiet, fearing no mischance.’
JB PROVERBS Chapter 2
Wisdom, a safeguard against bad company
2:1 My son, you take my words to heart, if you set store by my commandments,
2:2 tuning your ear to wisdom, and applying your heart to truth:
2:3 yes, if your plea is for clear perception, if you cry out for discernment,
2:4 if you look for it as if it were silver, and search for it as for buried treasure,
2:5 you will then understand what the fear of Yahweh is, and discover the knowledge of God.
2:6 For Yahweh himself is giver of wisdom, from his mouth issue knowledge and discernment.
2:7 He keeps his help for honest men, he is the shield of those whose ways are honourable;
2:8 he stands guard over the paths of justice, he keeps watch on the way of his devoted ones.
2:9 Then you will understand what virtue is, justice, and fair dealing, all paths that lead to happiness.
2:10 When wisdom comes into your heart and knowledge is a delight to you,
2:11 then prudence will be there to watch over you, and discernment be your guardian
2:12 to keep you from the way that is evil, from the man whose speech is deceitful,
2:13 from those who leave the paths of honesty to walk the roads of darkness:
2:14 men who find their joy in doing wrong, and their delight in deceitfulness,
2:15 whose tracks are twisted, and the paths that they tread crooked.
2:16 Keeping you also from the alien woman, from the stranger, with her wheedling words;
2:17 she has left the partner of her younger days, she has forgotten the covenant of God;
2:18 towards death her house is declining, down to the Shades her paths go.
2:19 Of those who go to her not one returns, they never regain the paths of life.
2:20 So you will pursue the way of good men, persisting in the paths of the virtuous.
2:21 For the land will be for honest men to live in the innocent will have it for their home;
2:22 while the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the faithless rooted out of it.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 3
How to acquire wisdom
3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, let your heart keep my principles,
3:2 for these will give you lengthier days, longer years of life, and greater happiness.
3:3 Let kindliness and loyalty never leave you: tie them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
3:4 So shall you enjoy favour and good repute in the sight of God and man.
3:5 Trust wholeheartedly in Yahweh, put no faith in your own perception;
3:6 in every course you take, have him in mind: he will see that your paths are smooth.
3:7 Do not think of yourself as wise, fear Yahweh and turn your back on evil:
3:8 health-giving, this, to your body, relief to your bones.
3:9 Honour Yahweh with what goods you have and with the first-fruits of all your returns;
3:10 then your barns will be filled with wheat, your vats overflowing with new wine.
3:11 My son, do not scorn correction from Yahweh, do not resent his rebuke;
3:12 for Yahweh reproves the man he loves, as a father checks a well-loved son.
The joys of wisdom
3:13 Happy the man who discovers wisdom, the man who gains discernment:
3:14 gaining her is more rewarding than silver, more profitable than gold.
3:15 She is beyond the price of pearls, nothing you could covet is her equal.
3:16 In her right hand is length of days; in her left hand, riches and honour.
3:17 Her ways are delightful ways, her paths all lead to contentment.
3:18 She is a tree of life for those who hold her fast, those who cling to her live happy lives.
3:19 By wisdom, Yahweh set the earth on its foundations, by discernment, he fixed the heavens firm.
3:20 Through his knowledge the depths were carved out, and the clouds rain down the dew.
3:21 My son, hold to sound judgement and to prudence, do not let them out of your sight;
3:22 they will prove the life of your soul, an ornament round your neck.
3:23 You will go on your way in safety, your feet will not stumble.
3:24 When you sit down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, sweet will be your sleep.
3:25 Have no fear of sudden terror or of assault from wicked men,
3:26 since Yahweh will be your guarantor, he will keep your steps from the snare.
3:27 Do not refuse a kindness to anyone who begs it, if it is in your power to perform it.
3:28 Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go away! Come another time! I will give it you tomorrow’, if you can do it now.
3:29 Do not plot harm against your neighbour as he lives unsuspecting next door.
3:30 Do not pick a groundless quarrel with a man who has done you no harm.
3:31 Do not emulate the man of violence, never model your conduct on his;
3:32 for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to Yahweh, who confides only in honest men.
3:33 Yahweh’s curse lies on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the virtuous.
3:34 He mocks those who mock, but accords his favour to the humble.
3:35 Honour is the portion of the wise, all that fools inherit is disgrace.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 4
On choosing wisdom
4:1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention, and learn what clear perception is.
4:2 What I am commending to you is sound doctrine: do not discard my teaching.
4:3 I too was once a son with a father, in my mother’s eyes a tender child, unique.
4:4 This was what he used to teach me, ‘Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles and you shall live;
4:5 acquire wisdom, acquire perception, never forget her, never deviate from my words.
4:6 Do not desert her, she will keep you safe, love her, she will watch over you.
4:7 The beginning of wisdom? The acquisition of wisdom; at the cost of all you have, acquire perception.
4:8 Hold her close, and she will make you great; embrace her, and she will be your pride;
4:9 she will set a crown of grace on your head, present you with a glorious diadem.’
4:10 Listen, my son, take my words to heart and the years of your life shall be multiplied.
4:11 I have educated you in the ways of wisdom, I have guided you along the paths of honesty.
4:12 As you walk, your going will be unhindered, as you run, you will not stumble.
4:13 Hold fast to discipline, never let her go, keep your eyes on her, she is your life.
4:14 Never set your foot on the path of the wicked, do not walk the way that the evil go.
4:15 Avoid it, do not take it, turn your back on it, pass it by.
4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they have first done wrong, they miss their sleep if they have not brought someone down;
4:17 wickedness is the bread they eat, and violence the wine they drink.
4:18 The path of the virtuous is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the fullness of day;
4:19 the way of the wicked is as dark as night, they cannot tell what it is they stumble over.
4:20 My son, pay attention to my words, listen carefully to the words I say;
4:21 do not let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart.
4:22 They are life to those who grasp them, health for the entire body.
4:23 More than all else, keep watch over your heart, since here are the wellsprings of life.
4:24 Turn your back on the mouth that misleads, keep your distance from lips that deceive.
4:25 Let your eyes be fixed ahead, your gaze be straight before you.
4:26 Let the path you tread be level and all your ways made firm.
4:27 Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot clear of evil.-
JB PROVERBS Chapter 5
Flight from the seductress. Where the wise man’s love should be
5:1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen carefully to what I know,
5:2 and so have prudence and knowledge to protect you; these will keep a guard on your lips.
5:3 Take no notice of a loose-living woman, for the lips of this alien drip with honey, her words are smoother than oil,
5:4 but their outcome is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
5:5 Her feet go down to death, her steps lead down to Sheol;
5:6 far from following the path of life, her ways are undirected, irresponsible.
5:7 And now, my son, listen to me, never deviate from what I say:
5:8 set your course as far from her as possible, go nowhere near the door of her house,
5:9 or you will surrender your honour to others, your years to one who has no pity,
5:10 and strangers will batten on your property, your labours going to some alien house,
5:11 and, at your ending, when body and flesh are consumed, you will groan
5:12 and exclaim, ‘Alas, I hated discipline, my heart spurned all correction;
5:13 I would not hear the voice of my masters, I would not listen to those who tried to teach me.
5:14 Now I am all but reduced to the depths of misery, in the presence of the whole community.’
5:15 Drink the water from your own cistern, fresh water from your own well.[*a]
5:16 Do not let your fountains flow to waste elsewhere, nor your streams in the public streets.
5:17 Let them be for yourself alone, not for strangers at the same time.
5:18 And may your fountain-head be blessed! Find joy with the wife you married in your youth,
5:19 fair as a hind, graceful as a fawn. Let hers be the company you keep, hers the breasts that ever fill you with delight, hers the love that ever holds you captive.
5:20 Why be seduced, my son, by an alien woman, and fondle the breast of a woman who is a stranger?
5:21 For the eyes of Yahweh observe a man’s ways and survey all his paths.
5:22 The wicked man is snared in his own misdeeds, is caught in the meshes of his own sin.
5:23 For want of discipline, he dies, and is lost through his own excessive folly.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 6
On surety rashly offered
6:1 My son, if you have gone surety for your neighbour, if you have guaranteed the bond of a stranger,
6:2 if you have committed yourself with your own lips, if through words of yours you have been entrapped,
6:3 do this, my son, to extricate yourself-since you have put yourself in the power of your neighbour: go, go quickly, and plead with your neighbour,
6:4 give your eyes no sleep, your eyelids no rest,
6:5 break free like a gazelle from the trap, like a bird from the snare.
The idler and the ant
6:6 Idler, go to the ant; ponder her ways and grow wise:
6:7 no one gives her orders, no overseer, no master,
6:8 yet all through the summer she makes sure of her food, and gathers her supplies at harvest time.
6:9 How long do you intend to lie there, idler? When are you going to rise from your sleep?
6:10 A little sleep, a little drowsiness, a little folding of the arms to take life easier,
6:11 and like a vagrant, poverty is at your elbow and, like a beggar, want.
Portrait of a scoundrel
6:12 A scoundrel, a vicious man, he goes with a leer on his lips,
6:13 winking his eye, shuffling his foot, beckoning with his finger.
6:14 Deceit in his heart, always scheming evil, he sows dissension.
6:15 Disaster will overtake him sharply for this, suddenly, irretrievably, his fall will come.
Seven things hateful to God
6:16 There are six things that Yahweh hates, seven that his soul abhors:
6:17 a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
6:18 a heart that weaves wicked plots, feet that hurry to do evil,
6:19 a false witness who lies with every breath,[*a] man who sows dissension among brothers.
More fatherly advice
6:20 Keep your father’s principle, my son, do not spurn your mother’s teaching.
6:21 Bind them ever to your heart, tie them round your neck.
6:22 When you walk, these will guide you, when you lie down, watch over you, when you wake, talk with you.
6:23 For this principle is a lamp, this teaching is a light; correction and discipline are the way to life,
6:24 preserving you from the woman subject to a husband, from the smooth tongue of the woman who is a stranger.
6:25 Do not covet her beauty in your heart or let her captivate you with the play of her eyes;
6:26 a harlot can be bought for a hunk of bread, but the adulteress is aiming to catch a precious life.
6:27 Can a man hug fire to his breast without setting his clothes alight?
6:28 Can a man walk on red-hot coals without burning his feet?
6:29 So it is the man who consorts with his neighbour’s wife: no one who touches her will go unpunished.
6:30 Men attach small blame to the thief who in hunger steals to fill his belly;
6:31 though, once caught, he must pay back sevenfold, and has to hand over all his family resources.
6:32 But the adulterer has no sense; act like him, and court your own destruction.
6:33 All he gets is blows and insults, and disgrace that will not be blotted out.
6:34 For jealousy inflames the husband who will show no mercy when the day comes for revenge,
6:35 he will not consider any compensation, lavish what gifts you may, he will not be placated.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 7
7:1 My son, keep my words, and treasure my principles,
7:2 keep my principles and you will live, keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.
7:3 Bind these to your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.
7:4 To Wisdom say, ‘My sister!’ Call Perception your dearest friend,
7:5 to preserve you from the alien woman, from the stranger, with her wheedling words.
7:6 From the window of her house she looked out on the street,
7:7 to see if among the men, young and callow, there was one young man who had no sense at all.
7:8 And now he passes down the lane, and comes near her corner, reaching the path to her house
7:9 at twilight when day is declining, at dead of night and in the dark.
7:10 But look, the woman comes to meet him, dressed like a harlot, wrapped in a veil.
7:11 She is loud and brazen; her feet cannot rest at home.
7:12 Now in the street, now in the square, she is on the look-out at every corner.
7:13 She catches hold of him, she kisses him, the bold-faced creature says to him,
7:14 ‘I had to offer sacrifices: I discharged my vows today,
7:15 that is why I came out to meet you, to look for you, and now I have found you.
7:16 I have made my bed gay with quilts, spread the best Egyptian sheets,
7:17 I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, with aloes and with cinnamon.
7:18 Come, let us drink deep of love until the morning, and abandon ourselves to delight.
7:19 For my husband is not at home, he has gone on a very long journey,
7:20 taking his moneybags with him; he will not be back until the moon is full.’
7:21 With her persistent coaxing she entices him, draws him on with her seductive patter.
7:22 Bemused, he follows her like an ox being led to the slaughter, like a stag caught in a noose,
7:23 till he is pierced to the liver by an arrow, like a bird darting into a snare not knowing its life is at stake.
7:24 And now, my son listen to me, pay attention to the words I have to say:
7:25 do not let your heart stray into her ways, or wander into her paths;
7:26 she has done so many to death; and the strongest have all been her victims.
7:27 Her house is the way to Sheol, the descent to the courts of death.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 8
Wisdom again personified
8:1 Does Wisdom not call meanwhile? Does Discernment not lift up her voice?
8:2 On the hilltop, on the road, at the crossways, she takes her stand;
8:3 beside the gates of the city, at the approaches to the gates she cries aloud,
8:4 ‘O men! I am calling to you; my cry goes out to the sons of men.
8:5 You ignorant ones! Study discretion; and you fools, come to your senses!
8:6 Listen, I have serious things to tell you, from my lips come honest words.
8:7 My mouth proclaims the truth, wickedness is hateful to my lips.
8:8 All the words I say are right, nothing twisted in them, nothing false,
8:9 all straightforward to him who understands, honest to those who know what knowledge means.
8:10 Accept my discipline rather than silver, knowledge in preference to pure gold.
8:11 For wisdom is more precious than pearls, and nothing else is so worthy of desire.
Wisdom sings her own praises. Wisdom, the guide of kings
8:12 ‘I, Wisdom, am mistress of discretion, the inventor of lucidity of thought.
8:14 Good advice and sound judgement belong to me, perception to me, strength to me.
8:13 (To fear Yahweh is to hate evil.) I hate pride and arrogance, wicked behaviour and a lying mouth.
8:17 I love those who love me; those who seek me eagerly shall find me.
8:15 By me monarchs rule and princes issue just laws;
8:16 by me rulers govern, and the great impose justice on the world.
8:18 With me are riches and honour, lasting wealth and justice.
8:19 The fruit I give is better than gold, even the finest, the return I make is better than pure silver.
8:20 I walk in the way of virtue, in the paths of justice,
8:21 enriching those who love me, filling their treasuries.
Wisdom as creator
8:22 ‘Yahweh created me when his purpose first unfolded, before the oldest of his works.
8:23 From everlasting I was firmly set, from the beginning, before earth came into being.
8:24 The deep[*a] was not, when I was born, there were no springs to gush with water.
8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth;
8:26 before he made the earth, the countryside, or the first grains of the world’s dust.
8:27 When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there, when he drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
8:28 when he thickened the clouds above, when he fixed fast the springs of the deep,
8:29 when he assigned the sea its boundaries-and the waters will not invade the shore-when he laid down the foundations of the earth,
8:30 I was by his side, a master craftsman, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence,
8:31 at play everywhere in his world, delighting to be with the sons of men.
The great invitation
8:32a And now, my sons, listen to me;
8:33 listen to instruction and learn to be wise, do not ignore it.
8:32b Happy those who keep my ways!
8:34 Happy the man who listens to me, who day after day watches at my gates to guard the portals.
8:35 For the man who finds me finds life, he will win favour from Yahweh;
8:36 but he who does injury to me does hurt to his own soul, all who hate me are in love with death.’
JB PROVERBS Chapter 9
Wisdom as hostess
9:1 Wisdom has built herself a house, she has erected her seven pillars,
9:2 she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine, she has laid her table.
9:3 She has despatched her maidservants and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
9:4 ‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’ To the fool she says,
9:5 ‘Come and eat my bread, drink the wine I have prepared!
9:6 Leave your folly and you will live, walk in the ways of perception.’
9:7 Correct a mocker and you make an enemy; rebuke a wicked man, you get insult in return.
9:8 Do not rebuke the mocker, he will only hate you, rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it.
9:9 Be open with the wise, he grows wiser still, teach a virtuous man, he will learn yet more.
9:10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom; the knowledge of the Holy One-perception indeed!
9:11 For days are multiplied by me and years of life increased.
9:12 Are you wise? It is to your advantage. A mocker? The burden is yours alone.
Dame Folly apes Wisdom
9:13 Dame Folly acts on impulse, is childish and knows nothing.
9:14 She sits at the door of her house, on a throne commanding the city,
9:15 inviting the passers-by as they pass on their lawful occasions,
9:16 ‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’ To the fool she says,
9:17 ‘Stolen waters are sweet, and bread tastes better when eaten in secret’.
9:18 The fellow does not realise that here the Shades are gathered, that her guests are heading for the valleys of Sheol.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 10
- THE MAJOR COLLECTION ATTRIBUTED TO SOLOMON[*a]
10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son is his father’s joy, a foolish son his mother’s grief.
10:2 Treasures wickedly come by give no benefit, but right conduct brings delivery from death.
10:3 Yahweh does not leave the virtuous man hungry, but he thwarts the greed of the wicked.
10:4 The slack hand brings poverty, but the diligent hand brings wealth.
10:5 Gathering in summer is the mark of the prudent, sleeping at harvest is the sign of the shameless.
10:6 The blessings of Yahweh are on the head of the virtuous man, premature mourning stops the mouths of the wicked.
10:7 The virtuous man is remembered with blessings, the wicked man’s name rots away.
10:8 The heart that is wise is obedient to instruction, the gabbling fool is heading for ruin.
10:9 He walks secure whose ways are honourable, but he who follows crooked ways is soon discovered.
10:10 A wink of the eye, and a man makes trouble, a bold rebuke, and a man makes peace.
10:11 The mouth of the virtuous man is a life-giving fountain, violence lurks in the mouth of the wicked.
10:12 Hatred provokes disputes, love covers over all offences.
10:13 On the lips of a discerning man is wisdom found, on the back of a fool, the stick.
10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool makes ruin imminent.
10:15 The rich man’s wealth is his stronghold, poverty is the poor man’s undoing.
10:16 The virtuous man’s wage affords him life, but destruction is all the wicked man earns.
10:17 The path of life is to abide by discipline, and he who ignores correction goes astray.
10:18 The lips of just men silence hatred, he who voices slander is a fool.
10:19 A flood of words is never without its fault, he who has his lips controlled is a prudent man.
10:20 The virtuous man’s tongue is purest silver, the heart of the wicked is of trumpery value.
10:21 The lips of the virtuous man nourish a multitude, but fools die in poverty.
10:22 The blessing of Yahweh is what brings riches, to this hard toil has nothing to add.
10:23 The joy of the fool lies in doing wrong, but the joy of the man of discernment in acquiring wisdom.
10:24 What the wicked man fears overtakes him, what the virtuous desires comes to him as a present.
10:25 When the storm is over, the wicked man is no more, but the virtuous stands firm for ever.
10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, smoke to the eyes, so the sluggard to the one who sends him.
10:27 The fear of Yahweh adds length to life, the years of the wicked will be cut short.
10:28 The hope of virtuous men is all joy, the expectations of the wicked are frustrated.
10:29 Yahweh is a stronghold for the man of honest life, for evildoers nothing but ruin.
10:30 The virtuous man will never be moved from his own place, but the land will offer no home for the wicked.
10:31 The mouth of the virtuous man utters wisdom, the deceitful tongue shall be torn out.
10:32 The lips of the virtuous man drip with kindness, the mouth of the wicked with deceit.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 11
11:1 A false balance is abhorrent to Yahweh, a just weight is pleasing to him.
11:2 Pride comes first, disgrace comes after; with the humble is wisdom found.
11:3 Honest men have their own honesty for guidance, treacherous men are ruined by their own perfidy.
11:4 In the day of wrath riches will be of no advantage, but virtuous conduct delivers from death.
11:5 The virtues of the blameless man smooth the way before him, the wicked man founders in his own wickedness.
11:6 Their virtuous conduct sets honest men free, treacherous men are imprisoned by their own desires.
11:7 The hope of the wicked perishes with death, the expectation of the godless is frustrated.
11:8 The virtuous man escapes misfortune, the wicked man incurs it instead.
11:9 Through his mouth the godless man is the ruin of his neighbour, but by knowledge the virtuous are safeguarded.
11:10 When virtuous men prosper the city rejoices, there are glad cries, too, when the wicked are ruined.
11:11 A city is raised on the blessing of honest men, and demolished by the mouth of the wicked.
11:12 Who scoffs at his neighbour is a fool; the man of discernment holds his tongue.
11:13 A tittle-tattler lets secrets out, a trustworthy man keeps things hidden.
11:14 For want of guidance a people fails, safety lies in many advisers.
11:15 He who goes bail for a stranger will rue it, the man who hates going surety is safe.
11:16 A gracious woman brings honour to her husband, she who has no love for justice is dishonour enthroned. The indolent lack resources, men of enterprise grow rich.
11:17 The generous man is his own benefactor, a cruel man injures his own flesh.
11:18 The livelihood won by the wicked is illusory, he who sows virtue reaps a solid reward.
11:19 A virtuous man may count on life, the pursuer of evil on death.
11:20 Men of depraved heart are abhorrent to Yahweh, dear to him, those whose ways are blameless.
11:21 Be sure of it, a wicked man will not go unpunished, but the race of the virtuous will come to no harm.
11:22 A golden ring in the snout of a pig is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
11:23 The desire of the virtuous ends in happiness, the hope of the wicked is in vain.
11:24 One is extravagant, yet his riches grow, another excessively mean, but only grows the poorer.
11:25 The generous soul will prosper, he who waters, will be watered.
11:26 The people’s curse is on the man who hoards the wheat, a blessing on him who sells it.
11:27 He who strives after good is striving after favour, he who looks for evil will have evil come to him.
11:28 He who trusts in riches will have his fall, the virtuous will flourish like the leaves.
11:29 He who misgoverns his house inherits the wind, and the fool becomes slave to the wise.
11:30 From fruits of virtue grows a tree of life; the wicked are carried off before their time.
11:31 If here on earth the virtuous man gets his due, how much more the wicked, how much the sinner!
JB PROVERBS Chapter 12
12:1 He who loves discipline, loves knowledge, stupid is the man who hates correction.
12:2 The good man wins the favour of Yahweh, but he condemns the man who is a schemer.
12:3 No man is made secure by wickedness, but nothing shakes the roots of virtuous men.
12:4 A good wife, her husband’s crown, a shameless wife, a cancer in his bones.
12:5 The plans of virtuous men are honest, the intrigues of the wicked are nothing if not deceit.
12:6 The words of wicked men are snares to shed blood, but honest men have an answer and elude them.
12:7 Once thrown down, the wicked are no more, but the house of virtuous men stands firm.
12:8 The praise of a man is in proportion to his prudence, men of depraved heart are held in contempt.
12:9 Better a common man who does his own work than one who plays the lord and goes short of bread.
12:10 The virtuous man looks after the lives of his beasts, but the wicked man’s heart is ruthless.
12:11 He who tills his land shall have bread and to spare, he who chases fantasies has no sense.
12:12 The desires of the godless are sickly, the roots of the devout are firmly set.
12:13 His own lips are to blame when the wicked man is entrapped, the virtuous man finds his own way out of misfortune.
12:14 When a man is filled with good things, it is the fruit of his own words, each man’s labour brings its own return.
12:15 In the eyes of a fool the way he goes is right, the wise man listens to advice.
12:16 The fool shows his displeasure straight away, the discreet man overlooks the insult.
12:17 To tell the truth is to further justice, a false witness is nothing but deceit.
12:18 There are some whose thoughtless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
12:19 Lips that tell the truth abide firm for ever, the tongue that lies lasts only for a moment.
12:20 Bitterness is in the heart of the schemer, joy with those who give counsels of peace.
12:21 No harm can come to the virtuous man, but the wicked have their fill of troubles.
12:22 Lips that lie are abhorrent to Yahweh; dear to him those who speak the truth.
12:23 The man of discretion keeps his knowledge hidden, the heart of fools proclaims their folly.
12:24 For the diligent hand, authority; for the slack hand, forced labour.
12:25 Worry makes a man’s heart heavy, a kindly word makes it glad.
12:26 An impartial arbiter is his own best friend; the way of the wicked leads them astray.
12:27 The idle man has no game to roast: diligence is a man’s most precious possession.
12:28 Life lies along the path of virtue, the way of the vicious leads to death.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 13
13:1 A wise son loves discipline, a mocker will not listen to reproof.
13:2 When a man has good things to eat, it is the fruit of his own words, but the appetite of the treacherous feeds on violence.
13:3 He keeps his life who guards his mouth, he who talks too much is lost.
13:4 The idler yearns, but there is no food for him; hard workers get their fill.
13:5 The virtuous man hates lying words, but the wicked man slanders and defames.
13:6 Virtue preserves the man of honest life, wickedness proves the ruin of the sinner.
13:7 There are some who, on nothing, pretend to be rich, some, with great wealth, pretend to be poor.
13:8 A man’s wealth may ransom his life, but the poor man sees no threat.
13:9 The light of virtuous men burns bright, the lamp of the wicked goes out.
13:10 Insolence breeds disputes; with the humble is wisdom found.
13:11 A sudden fortune will dwindle away, he grows rich who accumulates little by little.
13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13:13 He who despises the word will destroy himself, he who respects the commandment will be safe.
13:14 The wise man’s teaching is a life-giving fountain, for eluding the snares of death.
13:15 Intelligent prudence secures favour, the way of the treacherous is hard.
13:16 Every man of discretion acts by the light of knowledge, the fool parades his folly.
13:17 A malicious messenger means a fall into misfortune, a trusty envoy heals.
13:18 For the man who rejects discipline: poverty and disgrace; for the man who accepts correction: honour.
13:19 Desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul; fools are loth to turn from evil.
13:20 Make the wise your companions and you grow wise yourself; make fools your friends and suffer for it.
13:21 Misfortune dogs the sinner; good fortune rewards the virtuous.
13:22 The good man bequeaths his heritage to his children’s children, the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the virtuous.
13:23 The poor man’s fallow yields food in plenty; there are some who perish when justice fails.
13:24 The man who fails to use the stick hates his son; the man who is free with his correction loves him.
13:25 The virtuous man eats to his heart’s content, the belly of the wicked goes empty.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 14
14:1 Wisdom builds herself a house; with her own hands Folly pulls it down.
14:2 He whose course is honest fears Yahweh, he whose paths are crooked scorns him.
14:3 The fool’s mouth contains a rod of pride, the wise man’s lips watch over him.
14:4 No oxen, no cattle-feed; stout ox, rich crop.
14:5 The truthful witness tells no lies, the false witness lies with every breath.
14:6 In vain the mocker looks for wisdom, knowledge comes easy to the discerning man.
14:7 Keep well clear of the fool, you will not find wise lips there.
14:8 To the man of discretion, wisdom means a watch on his own conduct, but the folly of fools is delusion.
14:9 God mocks the wicked, he shows favour to honest men.
14:10 The heart knows its own grief best, nor can a stranger share its joy.
14:11 The house of the wicked shall be destroyed, the tent of honest men will stand firm.
14:12 There is a way that some think right, but it leads in the end to death.
14:13 Even in laughter the heart finds sadness, and joy makes way for sorrow.
14:14 The unstable heart is satisfied with its own ways, the good man with his own hard work.
14:15 The simpleton believes what he is told, the man of discretion watches how he treads.
14:16 The wise man sees evil coming and avoids it, the fool is rash and presumptuous.
14:17 A quick-tempered man commits rash acts, the prudent man will be long-suffering.
14:18 Simpletons have folly for their portion, men of discretion knowledge for their crown.
14:19 The evil bow down before the good, the wicked, at the gates of the virtuous.
14:20 The poor man is detestable even to his neighbour, but the rich man has friends and to spare.
14:21 He who looks down on his neighbour sins, blessed is he who takes pity on the poor.
14:22 To be a schemer, is this not evil? Lay worthy plans, and kindliness and loyalty await you.
14:23 Hard work always yields its profit, idle talk brings only want.
14:24 Sound judgement is the crown of the wise, folly the diadem of fools.
14:25 A truthful witness is a saver of lives, he who utters lies is an impostor.
14:26 Fear of Yahweh gives good grounds for confidence, in him his children find a refuge.
14:27 The fear of Yahweh is a life-giving spring, for eluding the snares of death.
14:28 A king’s majesty shows in the numbers of his people, with few to rule, a prince is ruined.
14:29 The equable man is full of discernment, the hasty is more than foolish.
14:30 The life of the body is a tranquil heart, but envy is a cancer in the bones.
14:31 To oppress the poor is to insult his creator, to be kind to the needy is to honour him.
14:32 The wicked man is overthrown by his own malice, the virtuous finds shelter in his integrity.
14:33 In the hearts of discerning men wisdom makes her home, within the fool she has no place at all.
14:34 Virtue makes a nation great, by sin whole races are disgraced.
14:35 A clever servant enjoys the favour of the king, he uses his shrewdness to avoid disgrace.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 15
15:1 A mild answer turns away wrath, sharp words stir up anger.
15:2 The tongue of wise men distils knowledge, the mouth of fools spews folly.
15:3 The eyes of Yahweh are everywhere: observing the evil and the good.
15:4 The tongue that soothes is a tree of life; the barbed tongue, a breaker of hearts.
15:5 He who spurns his father’s discipline is a fool, he who accepts correction is discreet.
15:6 In the house of the virtuous there is no lack of treasure, the earnings of the wicked are fraught with anxiety.
15:7 Wise men’s lips keep guard on knowledge, not so the heart of fools.
15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is abhorrent to Yahweh, dear to him is the prayer of honest men.
15:9 The conduct of the wicked is abhorrent to Yahweh, but he loves the man who makes virtue his goal.
15:10 Correction is severe for him who leaves the way; he who hates being reprimanded will die.
15:11 Sheol and Perdition lie open to Yahweh; how much more the hearts of mankind!
15:12 The mocker does not care to be reprimanded, he will not choose the wise for his companions.
15:13 Glad heart means happy face, where the heart is sad the spirit is broken.
15:14 The heart of the discerning makes knowledge its search, the mouth of fools feeds on folly.
15:15 For the sorrowing every day is evil, for the joyous heart it is festival always.
15:16 Better to have little and with it fear of Yahweh than to have treasure and with it anxiety.
15:17 Better a dish of herbs when love is there than a fattened ox and hatred to go with it.
15:18 The hot-headed man provokes disputes, the equable man allays dissension.
15:19 The way of the lazy is strewn with thorns, the path of the industrious is a broad highway.
15:20 A wise son is his father’s joy, a foolish man despises his mother.
15:21 Folly appeals to a man with no sense, the man of discernment goes straight forward.
15:22 Without deliberation plans come to nothing, where counsellors are many plans succeed.
15:23 When a man has a ready answer he has joy too: how satisfying is the apt reply!
15:24 The upward path to life is for the wise man, that he may avoid Sheol below.
15:25 Yahweh pulls down the house of the proud, but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.
15:26 Wicked scheming is abhorrent to Yahweh, but words that are kind are pure.
15:27 He who seeks dishonest gain brings trouble on his house, he who hates bribes shall have life.
15:28 The heart of the virtuous man contemplates kind actions, the mouth of wicked men spews out malice.
15:29 Yahweh stands far from the wicked, but he listens to the prayers of the virtuous.
15:30 A kindly glance gives joy to the heart, good news lends strength to the bones.
15:31 The ear attentive to wholesome correction finds itself at home in the company of the wise.
15:32 He who rejects discipline despises his own self; he who listens to correction wins discernment.
15:33 The fear of Yahweh is a school of wisdom, humility goes before honour.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 16
16:1 Man’s heart makes the plans, Yahweh gives the answer.
16:2 A man’s conduct may strike him as pure, Yahweh, however, weighs the motives.
16:3 Commend what you do to Yahweh, and your plans will find achievement.
16:4 Yahweh made everything for its own purpose, yes, even the wicked for the day of disaster.
16:5 The arrogant heart is abhorrent to Yahweh, be sure it will not go unpunished.
16:6 By kindliness and loyalty atonement is made for sin; with the fear of Yahweh goes avoidance of evil.
16:7 Let Yahweh be pleased with a man’s way of life and he makes his very enemies into friends.
16:8 Better have little and with it virtue, than great revenues and no right to them.
16:9 A man’s heart plans out his way but it is Yahweh who makes his steps secure.
16:10 The lips of the king utter oracles, he does not err when he speaks in judgement.
16:11 To Yahweh belong the balance and scales, all the weights in the bag are of his making.
16:12 Evil-doing is abhorrent to kings, since virtue is the throne’s foundation.
16:13 Virtuous lips are welcome to a king, he loves a man of honest words.
16:14 The king’s wrath is the herald of death, but a wise man will appease it.
16:15 When the king’s face brightens it spells life, his favour is like the rain in spring.
16:16 Better gain wisdom than gold, choose discernment rather than silver.
16:17 To turn from evil is the way of honest men; he keeps his life safe who watches where he goes.
16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
16:19 Better be humble among the lowly than share the booty with the proud.
16:20 He who listens closely to the word shall find happiness; he who puts his trust in Yahweh is blessed.
16:21 He whose heart is wise is proclaimed discerning; sweetness of speech makes words the more persuasive.
16:22 Shrewdness is a fountain of life for its possessor, the folly of fools is their own punishment.
16:23 The wise man’s heart lends shrewdness to his mouth and makes his words more persuasive.
16:24 Kindly words are sweet to the taste, wholesome to the body.
16:25 There is a way that some think right, but it leads in the end to death.
16:26 A worker’s appetite works on his behalf, his hungry mouth drives him on.
16:27 A scoundrel digs deep for mischief-making, on his lips is a fire that scorches.
16:28 A troublemaker sows strife, a talebearer divides friend from friend.
16:29 A violent man lures his neighbour astray and leads him by a way that is not good.
16:30 He who closes his eyes meditates mischief; he who purses his lips has already done wrong.
16:31 White hairs are a crown of honour, they are found in the paths of virtue.
16:32 Better an equable man than a hero, a man master of himself than one who takes a city.
16:33 On the breast the lot is drawn,[*a] from Yahweh the decision comes.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 17
17:1 Better a dry crust and with it peace than a house where feast and dispute go together.
17:2 Where the son is profligate the shrewd slave is master, with the other brothers, he will share the inheritance.
17:3 A crucible for silver, a furnace for gold, but Yahweh for the testing of hearts!
17:4 An evil-doer pays attention to malicious lips, a liar listens to a slanderous tongue.
17:5 To mock the poor is to insult his creator, he who laughs at distress shall not go unpunished.
17:6 The crown of the aged is their children’s children; the children’s glory is their father.
17:7 Fine words do not become the foolish, false words become a prince still less.
17:8 A gift works like a talisman for him who gives it: he prospers whichever way he turns.
17:9 He who covers an offence promotes love, he who raises the matter again divides friends.
17:10 On a man of discernment a reproof makes more impression than a hundred strokes on a fool.
17:11 The wicked man thinks of nothing but rebellion, hence a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
17:12 Rather come on a bear robbed of her cubs than on a fool in his folly.
17:13 He who returns evil for good will not rid his house of evil.
17:14 As well loose a flood as initiate legal proceedings; break off before the dispute begins.
17:15 To absolve the guilty and condemn the virtuous, both alike are abhorrent to Yahweh.
17:16 What good is money in a foolish hand? To purchase wisdom, when he has no sense?
17:17 A friend is a friend at all times, it is for adversity that a brother is born.
17:18 He lacks sense who offers guarantees and goes surety for his neighbour.
17:19 He who has a taste for dispute has a taste for blows, the man of haughty speech courts destruction.
17:20 The contrary heart does not find happiness, the deceitful tongue falls into distress.
17:21 He who begets a stupid son begets him to his sorrow, the father of a fool knows no joy.
17:22 A glad heart is excellent medicine, a spirit depressed wastes the bones away.
17:23 Under cover of the cloak a venal man takes the gift to pervert the course of justice.
17:24 The man of discernment has wisdom there before him, but the eyes of the fool range to the ends of the earth.
17:25 A foolish son is his father’s sorrow, and the grief of her who gave him birth.
17:26 To fine the innocent is not right, to strike the noble is still worse.
17:27 A man who can control his tongue has knowledge, a man of discernment keeps his temper cool.
17:28 If a fool can hold his tongue, even he can pass for wise, and pass for clever if he keeps his lips tight shut.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 18
18:1 Who lives by himself follows his own whim, is angered by advice of any kind.
18:2 The fool has no love for reflection but only for airing his opinion.
18:3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes too, and, with disgrace, dishonour.
18:4 Deep waters, such are the words of man: a swelling torrent, a fountain of life.
18:5 It is not good to show partiality for the wicked and so to deprive the virtuous when giving judgement.
18:6 The lips of the fool draw him into arguments and his mouth pleads for a beating.
18:7 The mouth of the fool works his own ruin, his lips are a snare for his own life.
18:8 The words of a talebearer are tasty morsels that go right down into the belly.
18:9 The man who is idle at work is blood-brother to the destroyer.
18:10 The name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the virtuous man runs to it and is secure.
18:11 The rich man’s wealth is his stronghold, a high wall, as he supposes.
18:12 The human heart is haughty until destruction comes, humility goes before honour.
18:13 To retort without first listening is folly to work one’s own confusion.
18:14 Sickness the spirit of man can endure, but when the spirit is broken, who can bear this?
18:15 The heart of the discerning gains in knowledge, the ear of the wise man searches for knowledge.
18:16 A present opens every door for you and wins you access to the great.
18:17 The first to plead is adjudged to be right, in comes his opponent, then the trial begins.
18:18 The lot puts an end to disputes and decides between men of power.
18:19 Brother helped by brother is a fortress, friends are like the bars of a keep.
18:20 When a man’s stomach is full, it is the fruit of his own mouth, it is the yield of his lips that fills him.
18:21 Death and life are in the gift of the tongue, those who indulge it must eat the fruit it yields.
18:22 Who finds a wife finds happiness, receiving a mark of favour from Yahweh.
18:23 The poor man’s language is entreaty, the rich man’s answer harshness.
18:24 There are friends who lead one to ruin, others are closer than a brother
JB PROVERBS Chapter 19
19:1 Better a poor man living an honest life than the adept at double-talk who is a fool.
19:2 Where reflection is wanting, zeal is not good; he who goes too quickly misses his way.
19:3 It is man’s folly that spoils his fortunes, yet it is against Yahweh that his heart rages.
19:4 Wealth multiplies friends, but the one friend the poor man has is taken from him!
19:5 The false witness will not go unpunished, the man who utters lies will not go free.
19:6 The generous man has many to court his favour, to one who gives, everyone is friend.
19:7 The poor man’s brothers hate him, every one; his friends-how much the more do they desert him. He goes in search of words, but there are none to be had.
19:8 He who obtains wisdom works his own good, he who cares about discernment finds happiness.
19:9 The false witness shall not go unpunished, the man who utters lies will meet his end.
19:10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, still less for a slave to govern princes.
19:11 A man’s shrewdness shows in equanimity, his self-respect in overlooking an offence.
19:12 Like the roaring of a lion, the anger of a king, but like dew on the grass his favour.
19:13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father, a woman’s scolding is like a dripping gutter.
19:14 From fathers comes inheritance of house and wealth, from Yahweh a wife who is discreet.
19:15 Idleness lulls a man to sleep, the feckless soul will go hungry.
19:16 He who keeps the commandment is keeper of himself, but he who despises the word shall die.
19:17 The man who is kind to the poor lends to Yahweh: he will repay him for what he has done.
19:18 All the while there is hope, chastise your son, but do not set out to destroy him altogether.
19:19 A violent man lays himself open to a penalty; spare him, and you aggravate your own misfortune.
19:20 Listen to advice, accept correction, to be the wiser in the time to come.
19:21 Plans multiply in the human heart, but the purpose of Yahweh stands firm,
19:22 A man’s attraction lies in his kindness, better a poor man than a liar.
19:23 The fear of Yahweh leads to life, a man has food and shelter, and no evil to fear.
19:24 Into the dish the idler dips his hand, but bring it back to his mouth he cannot.
19:25 Strike a mocker and the ignorant will be more wary, correct a man of discernment and he will listen to reason.
19:26 He who dispossesses his father and drives out his mother is a son as shameless as depraved.
19:27 Give up listening to instruction, my son, and ignoring what knowledge has to say.
19:28 A witness of bad character holds justice in contempt; the mouth of the wicked gorges on iniquity.
19:29 The stick was created for mockers, and beating for the backs of fools.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 20
20:1 Wine is reckless, strong drink quarrelsome; unwise is he whom it seduces.
20:2 Like the roaring of a lion the fury of a king; whoever provokes his anger wrongs his own life.
20:3 It is to a man’s honour if he avoids quarrels, but fools never exercise self-control.
20:4 Autumn is over but the idler does not plough, at harvest time he looks-nothing there!
20:5 Deep in water are the purposes in human hearts, the discerning man has only to draw them out.
20:6 Many describe themselves as kindly men, but who can find a man really to be trusted?
20:7 A virtuous man whose ways are blameless-happy his children after him!
20:8 A king enthroned on the judgement seat with one look scatters all that is evil.
20:9 What man can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am purified of my sin’?
20:10 One weight here, another there; here one measure, there another: both alike are abhorrent to Yahweh.
20:11 Even at play a child reveals whether his actions will be pure and right.
20:12 Ear that hears, eye that sees, Yahweh has made both of these.
20:13 Do not love sleep or you will know poverty; keep your eyes open and have bread and to spare.
20:14 ‘No good, no good!’ says the buyer, but he goes off congratulating himself.
20:15 There is gold, and profusion of pearls, but lips that speak of knowledge, that is the priceless ornament.
20:16 Take the man’s clothes! He has gone surety for a stranger. Seize him to the profit of persons unknown!
20:17 A man finds bread sweet when it is got by fraud, but later his mouth is full of grit.
20:18 Weigh your plans in consultation, with sound guidance wage your war.
20:19 The bearer of gossip lets out secrets; have nothing to do with chatterers.
20:20 Whoever curses father or mother in blackest darkness shall have his lamp snuffed out.
20:21 Property quickly come by at first will not be blessed in the end.
20:22 Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; put your hope in Yahweh and he will keep you safe.
20:23 One weight here, another there: this is abhorrent to Yahweh, false scales are not good.
20:24 Yahweh guides a man’s steps: how could man discern the way he goes?
20:25 A man is trapped when he shouts ‘Dedicated!’ and only begins to reflect after the vow.
20:26 A wise king winnows the wicked, and makes their spite recoil on themselves.
20:27 Man’s spirit is the lamp of Yahweh, searching his deepest self.
20:28 Kindness and loyalty mount guard over the king, his throne is founded on kindness.
20:29 The glory of the young is their strength, the dignity of the old, grey hairs.
20:30 Wounding strokes are good medicine for evil, blows bring healing to the deepest self.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 21
21:1 Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of Yahweh, who turns it where he pleases
21:2 A man’s conduct may strike him as upright, Yahweh, however, weighs the heart.
21:3 To act virtuously and with justice is more pleasing to Yahweh than sacrifice.
21:4 Haughty eye, proud heart, lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.
21:5 The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain; too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.
21:6 To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue, such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.
21:7 The marauding of the wicked entraps them through their refusal to do what is right.
21:8 The way of the felon is devious, the conduct of the innocent straightforward.
21:9 Better the corner of a loft to live in than a house shared with a scolding woman.
21:10 The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil, he looks on his neighbour with dislike.
21:11 When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser, when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.
21:12 The Just One watches the house of the wicked: he hurls the wicked to destruction.
21:13 He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry shall himself plead and not be heard.
21:14 Anger is mollified by a covert gift, raging fury by a bribe under cover of the cloak.
21:15 For the virtuous man it is a joy to execute justice, but it brings dismay to evil-doers.
21:16 The man who strays from the way of prudence will rest where the Shades gather round him.
21:17 Pleasure-lovers stay poor, he will not grow rich who loves wine and good living.
21:18 The wicked man is the price to be paid for the virtuous, the deceiver for the upright.
21:19 Better to live in a desert land than with a scolding and irritable woman.
21:20 If in a wise man’s dwelling there is precious treasure and oil, the fool will gobble it up.
21:21 He who pursues virtue and kindness shall find life and honour too.
21:22 The wise man can scale a citadel of warriors and throw down the rampart it trusted in.
21:23 He who keeps watch over his mouth and his tongue preserves himself from disaster.
21:24 Arrogant, haughty, his name is ‘Mocker’ overweening pride marks his behaviour.
21:25 The idler’s desires are the death of him, since his hands will do no work.
21:26 The godless is forever coveting, the virtuous man gives without ever refusing.
21:27 The sacrifice of wicked men is abhorrent, above all when they offer for bad motives.
21:28 The false witness will meet his doom, but the speech of the obedient will always be heard.
21:29 The wicked man assumes an air of confidence, the honest man gives his own conduct careful thought.
21:30 Neither wisdom, nor prudence, nor advice, can stand in Yahweh’s presence.
21:31 The horse is caparisoned for the day of battle, but to Yahweh the victory belongs.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 22
22:1 A good name is more desirable than great wealth, the respect of others is better than silver or gold.
22:2 Rich and poor are found together, Yahweh has made them all.
22:3 The discreet man sees danger and takes shelter, the ignorant go forward and pay for it.
22:4 The reward of humility is the fear of Yahweh, riches, honour and life.
22:5 Thorns and snares line the path of the wilful, he who values his life will keep his distance.
22:6 Instruct a child in the way he should go, and when he grows old he will not leave it.
22:7 The rich man lords it over the poor, the borrower is the lender’s slave.
22:8 He who sows injustice reaps disaster, and the rod of his anger falls on himself.
22:9 A blessing awaits the man who is kindly, since he shares his bread with the poor.
22:10 Expel the mocker and strife goes too, dispute and abuse die down.
22:11 Yahweh loves the pure in heart, friend to the king is the man of gracious speech.
22:12 The eyes of Yahweh see knowledge safe preserved, but he confounds the words of liars.
22:13 ‘There is a lion outside,’ says the idler ‘I shall be killed in the street!’
22:14 The mouth of alien women is a deep pit, into it falls the man whom Yahweh detests.
22:15 Innate in the heart of a child is folly, judicious beating will rid him of it.
22:16 Oppress the poor and you enrich him, give to the rich and you make him poor.
III. A COLLECTION OF THE SAGES
22:17 Sayings of the sages. Give ear to my words and apply your heart to knowing them;
22:18 for it will be a delight to keep them deep within you to have them all ready on your lips.
22:19 So that your trust may be in Yahweh, today I propose to make your way known to you.
22:20 Have I not written for you thirty chapters[*a] of advice and knowledge,
22:21 for you to be able to expound the truth and with sound words to answer those who question you?
22:22 Because a man is poor, do not therefore cheat him, nor, at the city gate,[*b] oppress anybody in affliction;
22:23 for Yahweh takes up their cause, and extorts the life of their extortioners.
22:24 Make friends with no man who gives way to anger, make no hasty-tempered man a companion of yours,
22:25 for fear you learn from his behaviour and in this risk the loss of your own life.
22:26 Do not be one of those who go guarantor, who go surety for debts:
22:27 if you have no means of paying you will find your bed taken from under you.
22:28 Do not displace the ancient landmark, set by your ancestors.
22:29 You see some man sharp at business? He will come to serve kings. Not for him the service of obscure people.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 23
23:1 If you take your seat at a great man’s table, take careful note of what you have before you;
23:2 put a knife to your throat if you are prone to gluttony.
23:3 Do not crave his choice food, for it is doubtful nourishment.
23:4 Do not weary yourself with getting rich, and have nothing to do with dishonest gain.
23:5 You fix your gaze on this, and it is there no longer, for it is able to sprout wings like an eagle that flies off to the sky.
23:6 Do not dine with a niggardly man, do not crave his choice food.
23:7 It would be like a tempest in his throat.’Eat and drink’, he tells you, but his heart is not in it.
23:8 You will spit out what little you have eaten and find your compliments wasted.
23:9 Do not waste words on a fool, he will not appreciate the shrewdness of your remarks.
23:10 Do not displace the ancient landmark or encroach on orphans’ lands,
23:11 for he who avenges them is strong and will take up their cause against you.
23:12 Apply your heart to discipline, and your ears to words that are wise.
23:13 Do not be chary of correcting a child, a stroke of the cane is not likely to kill him.
23:14 A stroke of the cane and you save him from Sheol.
23:15 My son, if your heart is wise, then my own heart is glad,
23:16 and my inmost self rejoices when from your lips come honest words.
23:17 Do not let your heart be envious of sinners but be steady every day in the fear of Yahweh;
23:18 for there is a morrow, and your hope will not be nullified.
23:19 Listen, my son, and learn to be wise, and guide your heart in the way…
23:20 Do not be one of those forever tippling wine nor one of those who gorge themselves with meat;
23:21 for the drunkard and glutton impoverish themselves, and a drowsy head makes a wearer of rags.
23:22 Listen to your father who begot you, do not despise your mother in her old age.
23:23 Truth you must purchase, never sell; this is wisdom, discipline, and discernment.
23:24 The father of the virtuous man will rejoice indeed, he who fathers a wise man will have joy of it.
23:25 May you be the joy of your father, the gladness of her who bore you!
23:26 My son, attend to me, keep your eyes fixed on my advice:
23:27 a harlot is a deep pit, a narrow well, the woman who is a stranger.
23:28 Yes, like a robber she is on the watch and many are the men she dupes.
23:29 For whom is everybody’s pity and everyone’s contempt, for whom is strife reserved, for whom dissatisfaction, for whom blows struck from all sides, for whom the clouded eye?
23:30 For those who linger over wine too long, ever on the look-out for the well-blended wine.
23:31 Never relish how red it is, this wine, how sparkling in the cup, how smooth its flow.
23:32 In the end its bite is like a serpent’s, its sting as sharp as an adder’s.
23:33 Your eyes wilt see strange things, distorted words will come from your heart.
23:34 You will be like one sleeping in mid-ocean, like one asleep at the mast-head.
23:35 ‘Struck me, have they? But I’m not hurt. Beaten me? I don’t feel anything. When shall I wake up?… I’ll ask for more of it!’
JB PROVERBS Chapter 24
24:1 Do not be envious of wicked men or wish for their company,
24:2 for their hearts are scheming violence, their lips talking of mischief.
24:3 By wisdom a house is built, by discernment the foundation is laid;
24:4 by knowledge its storerooms filled with riches of every kind, rare and desirable.
24:5 Better the wise man than the strong, the man with knowledge than the brawny fellow;
24:6 for war is won by sound thinking and victory rests in having many counsellors.
24:7 Wisdom is coral[*a] to the fool: at the city gate he does not open his mouth.
24:8 The man intent on evil-doing is called a rank intriguer.
24:9 The foolish scheme nothing but sin, the mocker is abhorrent to men.
24:10 If you lose heart, when adversity comes your strength will only be weakness.
24:11 Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those who are being dragged to the slaughter.
24:12 Will you object, ‘But look, we did not know’? Has he who weighs the heart no understanding, he who scans your soul no knowledge? He himself will repay a man as his deeds deserve.
24:13 Eat honey, my son, since it is good; honey that drips from the comb is sweet to the taste:
24:14 and such is knowledge of wisdom for your soul: find it, and there will be a morrow, and your hope will not be in vain.
24:15 Do not lurk, wicked man, round the virtuous man’s dwelling, do not despoil his house.
24:16 For though the virtuous man falls seven times, he stands up again; the wicked are the ones who stumble in adversity.
24:17 Should your enemy fall, do not rejoice, when he stumbles do not let your heart exult;
24:18 for fear that at the sight Yahweh will be displeased and turn his anger away from him.
24:19 Do not be indignant about the wicked, do not be envious of evil men,
24:20 since there is no morrow for the wicked man; the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out
24:21 Fear Yahweh, my son, and fear the king; do not rebel against either of them;
24:22 for suddenly their vengeance will arise, and then who knows what ruin both of them will send?
- ANOTHER COLLECTION OF THE SAGES
24:23 The following are also taken from the sages: To show partiality in judgement is not good.
24:24 The man who says, ‘You are innocent’ to the guilty; the peoples will have only curses for him, and the nations horror;
24:25 but those who deal out punishment have cause for satisfaction, on them a blessing rests.
24:26 He who returns an honest answer plants a kiss on the lips.
24:27 On the open ground, plan what you have to do, make your preparation in the field;
then you may go and build your house.
24:28 Do not bear witness lightly against your neighbour, nor with your lips deceive.
24:29 Do not say, ‘I will treat him as he has treated me; I will repay each man as he deserves.’
24:30 By the idler’s field I was passing, by the vineyard of a man who had no sense,
24:31 there it all lay, deep in thorns, entirely overgrown with nettles, and its stone wall broken down.
24:32 And as I gazed I pondered, I drew this lesson from the sight,
24:33 ‘A little sleep, a little drowsiness, a little folding of the arms to take life more easily,
24:34 and like a vagrant, poverty is at your elbow and, like a beggar, want’.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 25
- THE SECOND COLLECTION ATTRIBUTED TO SOLOMON
25:1 The following also are proverbs of Solomon transcribed by Hezekiah, king of Judah.
25:2 To conceal a matter, this is the glory of God, to sift it thoroughly, the glory of kings.
25:3 High though the heavens are, deep the earth, there is no fathoming the heart of kings.
25:4 From silver remove the dross and it emerges wholly purified;
25:5 from the king’s presence remove the wicked and on virtue his throne is founded.
25:6 In the presence of the king do not give yourself airs, do not put yourself where the great are standing;
25:7 better to be invited, ‘Come up here’ than be humiliated in the presence of the prince. What your eyes have witnessed
25:8 do not come out with too quickly at the trial, for what are you to do at the end should your neighbour confute you?
25:9 Have the quarrel out with your neighbour, but do not disclose another’s secret,
25:10 or someone, hearing, will reproach you with it, and so you lose your reputation.
25:11 Like apples of gold in a silver setting is a word that is aptly spoken.
25:12 A golden ring, an ornament of finest gold, is a wise rebuke to an attentive ear.
25:13 The coolness of snow in harvest time, such is the trusty messenger to those who send him: he revives the soul of his master.
25:14 Clouds and gusts and yet no rain such is the man whose promises are princely but never kept.
25:15 With patience a judge may be cajoled: a soft tongue breaks bones.
25:16 Eat to your satisfaction what honey you may find, but not to excess or you will bring it up again.
25:17 Do not set foot too often in your neighbour’s house, for fear he tires of you and comes to hate you.
25:18 A mace, a sword, a keen arrow, such is the man who bears false witness against his neighbour.
25:19 Decaying tooth, lame foot, such is the fickle man when trusted in time of trouble.
25:20 As well take off your coat in bitter weather. It is to treat a wound with vinegar to sing songs to a sorrowing heart.
25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink.
25:22 By this you heap red-hot coals on his head, and Yahweh will reward you.
25:23 The rain is born of the north wind, the ravaged face of a backbiting tongue.
25:24 Better the corner of a loft to live in than a house shared with a scolding woman.
25:25 Cold water to a thirsty throat: such is good news from a distant land.
25:26 A churned up spring, a fountain fouled: such is the virtuous man trembling before the wicked
25:27 It is not good to eat too much honey, or to be taken in by fawning words.
25:28 An open town, and without defences: such is the man lacking self-control.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 26
26:1 Snow no more befits the summer, or rain the harvest-time, than honours befit a fool.
26:2 As the sparrow escapes, and the swallow flies away, so the undeserved curse will never hit its mark.
26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and for the backs of fools, the stick.
26:4 Do not answer a fool in the terms of his folly for fear you grow like him yourself.
26:5 Answer a fool in the terms of his folly for fear he imagines himself wise.
26:6 … He drinks a bitter draught who sends a message by a fool.
26:7 Unreliable as a lame man’s legs: so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
26:8 Like fixing a stone tight in the sling, so is giving honours to a fool.
26:9 A thorn branch in a drunkard’s hand: such is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
26:10 An archer wounding all who pass: such is the man who employs a fool.
26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool reverts to his folly.
26:12 You see some man who thinks himself wise? More hope for a fool than for him!
26:13 ‘There is a lion in the street,’ says the idler, ‘a lion in the square!’
26:14 The door turns on its hinges, the idler, on his bed.
26:15 Into the dish the idler dips his hand but is too tired to bring it back to his mouth.
26:16 The idler thinks himself wiser than seven men who answer with discretion.
26:17 Like catching a stray dog by the tail, so is interfering in the quarrels of others.
26:18 Like a madman hurling firebrands, arrows and death,
26:19 so is the man who lies to his neighbour and then says, ‘It was all a joke’.
26:20 No wood, and the fire goes out; no talebearer, and quarrelling dies down.
26:21 Charcoal for live embers, wood for fire, for kindling strife a quarrelsome man.
26:22 The words of a talebearer are tasty morsels that go right down into the belly.
26:23 A glaze applied to an earthen pot: such are smooth lips and wicked heart.
26:24 Where hatred is there are dissembling lips, but deep within lies treachery;
26:25 do not trust him if the man be fair of speech, since in his heart lurk seven abominations.
26:26 Hatred may well disguise itself with guile, only to unmask its spite before the community.
26:27 The man who digs a pit falls into it, the stone comes back on him that rolls it.
26:28 The lying tongue hates the truth, the fawning mouth brings ruin.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 27
27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, since you do not know what today will bring forth.
27:2 Let the other man praise you, but not your own mouth. A stranger, but not your lips.
27:3 Heaviness of stone, weight of sand, heavier than both: annoyance from a fool.
27:4 Cruelty of wrath, surge of anger. But jealousy, who can withstand that?
27:5 Better open reproof than voiceless love.
27:6 From one who loves, wounds are well-intentioned; from one who hates, kisses are ominous.
27:7 The gorged throat revolts at honey, the hungry throat finds all bitterness sweet.
27:8 Like a bird that strays from its nest, so is the man who strays from where he belongs.
27:9 Fragrant oil gladdens the heart, friendship’s sweetness comforts the soul.
27:10 Do not abandon friend, or father’s friend; when trouble comes, do not go running to your brother’s house. Better a friend near than a brother far away.
27:11 Learn to be wise, my son, and gladden my heart, that I may have an answer for the man who insults me.
27:12 The discreet man sees danger and takes shelter, the ignorant go forward and pay for it.
27:13 Take the man’s clothes! He has gone surety for a stranger. Seize him to the profit of persons unknown!
27:14 He who at dawn loudly blesses his neighbour is accounted to curse.
27:15 The steady dripping of a gutter on a rainy day and a scolding woman are alike.
27:16 Whoever can restrain her, can restrain the wind, and with his right hand grasp oil.
27:17 Iron is made the finer by iron, a man is refined by contact with his neighbour.
27:18 He who tends the fig tree eats its figs, he who looks after his master shall be honoured.
27:19 As no two faces are ever alike, unlike, too, are the hearts of men.
27:20 Sheol and Perdition are never satisfied, nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
27:21 A crucible for silver, a furnace for gold, a man for testing the words of flatterers.
27:22 Pound the fool in a mortar as you may, you will not separate him from his folly.
27:23 Know your flocks’ condition well, take good care of your herds;
27:24 since riches do not last for ever, wealth is not handed down from age to age.
27:25 The grass once gone, the aftergrowth appearing, the hay gathered in from the mountains,
27:26 you should have lambs to clothe you, goats to pay for your fields,
27:27 goat’s milk sufficient to feed you, and to provide for your serving girls.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 28
28:1 The wicked man flees when no one is after him, the virtuous man is bold as a lion.
28:2 The fault lies with the headstrong when quarrels flare up, the discreet man quenches them.
28:3 A wicked man who oppresses the poor: here is a devastating rain-and farewell, bread!
28:4 Those who forsake the law have a good word for the wicked, those who observe the law have no time for such.
28:5 The wicked do not know what justice means, those who fear Yahweh understand everything.
28:6 Better a poor man living an honest life than a man of devious ways, rich though he be.
28:7 A discerning son is he who keeps the Law; an associate of profligates brings shame on his father.
28:8 He who increases his wealth by usury and interest amasses it for someone else who will bestow it on the poor.
28:9 He who turns his ear away from listening to the Law, his prayer is an abomination.
28:10 He who seduces honest men to evil ways will fall into his own pit. Blameless men are the heirs to happiness.
28:11 The rich man may think himself wise, but a poor man with sense will unmask him.
28:12 When the virtuous triumph, there is great rejoicing; when the wicked are in the ascendant, men take cover.
28:13 He who conceals his faults will not prosper, he who confesses and renounces them will find mercy.
28:14 Happy the man who is never without fear, he who hardens his heart will fall into distress.
28:15 A roaring lion, a hungry bear, such is the bad ruler of a poor people.
28:16 A prince lacking sense is rich in rapacity, he who hates avarice will lengthen his days.
28:17 A man wanted for murder will be a fugitive until death. Do not lay hands on him.
28:18 He who lives an honest life will be safe, he who wavers between two ways falls down in one of them.
28:19 He who tills his land shall have bread and to spare, he who chases fantasies, poverty in plenty.
28:20 A trustworthy man will be overwhelmed with blessings, but he who tries to get rich quickly will not go unpunished.
28:21 It is not good to show partiality, but men will do wrong for a mouthful of bread.
28:22 He chases after wealth, the man of greedy eye, not knowing that want is overtaking him.
28:23 He who reproves another will enjoy more favour in the end than the flatterer.
28:24 He who robs his father (and his mother) saying, ‘No wrong here!’ is comrade for a brigand.
28:25 The covetous man provokes disputes, he who trusts in Yahweh shall prosper.
28:26 He who trusts his own promptings is a fool, he whose ways are wise will be safe.
28:27 He who gives to the poor shall never want, he who closes his eyes to them will bear many a curse.
28:28 When the wicked are in the ascendant, men take cover, but when they perish, virtuous men multiply.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 29
29:1 The man often rebuked but stubborn still: suddenly, irretrievably, his fall will come.
29:2 When virtuous men are in power, the people are joyful, when the wicked rule, the people groan.
29:3 The lover of Wisdom makes his father glad, but the patron of harlots fritters his wealth away.
29:4 A king gives a country stability by justice, an extortioner brings it to ruin.
29:5 The man who flatters his neighbour spreads a net for his feet.
29:6 Under the feet of the wicked man there is a snare, but the virtuous runs on rejoicing.
29:7 The virtuous man is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked knows no such concern.
29:8 Scoffers set cities in a ferment, but wise men moderate anger.
29:9 Let a wise man argue with a fool, be he angry or good-humoured he will not gain his end.
29:10 Men of blood hate the blameless man, but honest men cherish his life.
29:11 The fool comes out with all his angry feelings, but the wise man subdues and restrains them.
29:12 When a ruler listens to false reports, all his ministers will be scoundrels.
29:13 Poor man and usurer are found together, Yahweh gives light to the eyes of both.
29:14 The king who judges the poor with equity sees his throne set firm for ever.
29:15 The stick and the reprimand bestow wisdom, a child left to himself brings shame on his mother.
29:16 When the wicked are in power, sin multiplies, but the virtuous shall witness their downfall.
29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you peace of mind; he will delight your soul.
29:18 Where there is no vision the people get out of hand; blessed are they who keep the Precept.[*a]
29:19 Not by words is a slave corrected: even if he understands, he will take no notice.
29:20 You see some man too ready of speech? More hope for a fool than for him.
29:21 If a man’s slave is pampered from childhood, he will prove ungrateful in the end.
29:22 A bad-tempered man provokes disputes, a man prone to anger is a great cause of sin.
29:23 A man’s pride brings him humiliation, he who humbles himself will win honour.
29:24 Complicity with thieves and a wrong to oneself: to hear the curse[*b] and make no disclosure.
29:25 To be afraid of men is a snare, he who puts his trust in Yahweh is secure.
29:26 Many a man seeks a ruler’s favour, but the rights of each come from Yahweh.
29:27 Abhorrent to the virtuous is the sinful man, abhorrent to the wicked is the man of honour.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 30
- THE SAYINGS OF AGUR
30:1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh, of Massa. Oracle of this man for Ithiel, for Ithiel and for Ucal.[*a]
30:2 Surely I must be the most stupid of men, bereft of human intelligence,
30:3 I have not learnt wisdom, and I lack the knowledge of the Holy Ones.
30:4 Who has mounted to the heavens, then descended? Who has gathered the wind in the clasp of his hand? Who has wrapped the waters in his cloak? Who has set all the ends of the earth firm? What is his name, or the name of his son, if you know it?
30:5 Every word of God is unalloyed, he is the shield of those who take refuge in him.
30:6 To his words make no addition, lest he reprove you and know you for a fraud.
30:7 Two things I beg of you, do not grudge me them before I die:
30:8 keep falsehood and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat,
30:9 for fear that surrounded by plenty, I should fall away and say, ‘Yahweh-who is Yahweh?’ or else, in destitution, take to stealing and profane the name of my God.
30:10 Do not denounce a slave to his master, lest he curse you, and you suffer for it.
30:11 There is a breed of man who curses his father and does not bless his mother;
30:12 a breed that, laying claim to purity, has yet not been cleansed of its filth;
30:13 a breed haughty of eye, with disdain in every glance;
30:14 a breed with swords for teeth, with knives for jaws, with which to devour the poor and rid the earth of them, to devour the needy and rid mankind of them.
VII. NUMERICAL PROVERBS
30:15 The leech has two daughters: ‘Give, give!’ their cry. There are three insatiable things, four, indeed, that never say, ‘Enough!’
30:16 Sheol, the barren womb, earth which can never have its fill of water, fire which never says, ‘Enough!’
30:17 The eye which looks jeeringly on a father, and scornfully on an ageing mother, shall be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, and eaten by the vultures.
30:18 There are three things beyond my comprehension, four, indeed, that I do not understand:
30:19 the way of an eagle through the skies, the way of a snake over the rock, the way of a ship in mid-ocean, the way of a man with a girl.
30:20 This is how the adulteress behaves: when she has eaten, she wipes her mouth clean and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’.
30:21 There are three things at which the earth trembles, four, indeed, which it cannot endure:
30:22 a slave become king, a churlish man full-fed,
30:23 a jilted girl wed at last, a maid supplanting mistress.
30:24 There are four creatures little on the earth, though wisest of the wise:
30:25 the ants, a race with no strength, yet in the summer they make sure of their food;
30:26 the rock rabbits, a race with no defences, yet they make their home in the rocks;
30:27 the locusts, these have no king, and yet they all march in good order;
30:28 the lizard which you can catch in your hand, yet it frequents the palaces of kings.
30:29 There are three things of stately tread, four, indeed, of stately bearing:
30:30 the lion, bravest of beasts, he will draw back from nothing;
30:31 the cock that proudly struts among the hens, the he-goat, leader of the flock, and the king when he harangues his people.
30:32 If you have been foolish enough to fly into a passion and now have second thoughts, lay your hand on your lips.
30:33 For by churning the milk you produce butter, by wringing the nose you produce blood, and by whipping up anger you produce strife.
JB PROVERBS Chapter 31
VIII. THE SAYINGS OF LEMUEL
31:1 The sayings of Lemuel king of Massa,[*a] taught him by his mother:
31:2 What, my son! What, son of my womb! What, son of my vows!
31:3 Do not spend all your energy on women, nor your loins on these destroyers of kings.
31:4 Not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings the drinking of wine, not for princes to love strong drink,
31:5 for fear that in liquor they forget what they have decreed and override the rights of all in distress.
31:6 Procure strong drink for a man about to perish, wine for the heart that is full of bitterness:
31:7 let him drink and forget his misfortune, and remember his misery no more.
31:8 Speak, yourself, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted;
31:9 speak, yourself, pronounce a just verdict, uphold the rights of the poor, of the needy.
- ALPHABETIC POEM ON THE PERFECT WIFE
31:10 A perfect wife-who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearls.
31:11 Her husband’s heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit.
31:12 Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life.
31:13 She is always busy with wool and with flax, she does her work with eager hands.
31:14 She is like a merchant vessel bringing her food from far away.
31:15 She gets up while it is still dark giving her household their food, giving orders to her serving girls.
31:16 She sets her mind on a field, then she buys it; with what her hands have earned she plants a vineyard.
31:17 She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be.
31:18 She finds her labour well worth while; her lamp does not go out at night.
31:19 She sets her hands to the distaff, her fingers grasp the spindle.
31:20 She holds out her hand to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy.
31:21 Snow may come, she has no fears for her household, with all her servants warmly clothed
31:22 She makes her own quilts, she is dressed in fine linen and purple
31:23 Her husband is respected at the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land.
31:24 She weaves linen sheets and sells them, she supplies the merchant with sashes
31:25 She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.
31:26 When she opens her mouth, she does so wisely; on her tongue is kindly instruction.
31:27 She keeps good watch on the conduct of her household, no bread of idleness for her
31:28 Her sons stand up and proclaim her blessed, her husband too, sings her praises:
31:29 ‘Many women have done admirable things, but you surpass them all!’
31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty; the woman who is wise is the one to praise
31:31 Give her a share in what her hands have worked for, and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.
END OF JB PROVERBS [31 Chapters].