The Old Sayings (Proverbs) 22-26

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 22[1-4] Choose a good name rather than great riches, and loving grace rather than silver and gold. The rich and poor gather together because Yahweh is the Creator of them all. Sensible people foresee evil and leave, but the naive go on and are caught in their ignorance. Riches, honor, and life come by humility and the respect of Yahweh.   

     [5-7] The way of the sinful is full of obstructions, but those that keep their souls will not be stopped by obstacles. Train your children in the way they should go, and when they are older, they won’t depart from it. The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is indebted to the lender.

     [8-10] Those that keep on sinning will be useless, and their strong anger will not get anything done. Those that are generous will be blessed; for they give of their own food to the poor. Throw out the troublemaker, and arguments will leave as well; yes, fighting and blame will end.

     [11-13] The ruler will befriend those that love a heart of innocence for their graceful words. The eyes of Yahweh save the knowledgeable, and defeat the lies of the sinner. Lazy people say, “There’s danger outside; I’ll be slain in the streets if I go out.”

     [14-16] The mouths of ungodly people are like deep graves in which those who Yahweh hates will fall in. Stupidity is fixed in the hearts of children; but a whipping will drive it out of them. Those that oppress the poor to increase their own riches, and those that bribe the rich, will surely come to poverty.

     [17-21] Listen to me and hear the words of a wise person, and apply your heart to my knowledge. It’s a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; they’ll be restated by your own words. I have made them known to you today, so that your trust can be in Yahweh. Have I not written great things to you with counsel and knowledge, so that I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth and that you might answer with the words of truth to those that ask of you?

     [22-25] Don’t steal from the poor, because they are poor; nor oppress the suffering in the city, because Yahweh will plead their case, and ruin the one that destroys them. Have no friendship with angry people; never go along with very angry people or you will learn their ways, and your soul will be trapped.

     [26-29] Don’t be one of those who accepts credit, building up great debts. If you can’t pay it back, they’ll take away your own bed from under you. Don’t ignore the rules, which your parents have set. Hard-working people will stand before rulers and many of their superiors.

     23[1-8] When you sit to eat with a superior, carefully consider what’s before you and put a knife to your throat, if you are one with an appetite. Don’t desire their fine foods: for they are of no value. Don’t work to get rich, but put an end to your own judgment. Don’t set your eyes on that which you don’t have, for riches certainly make themselves wings and fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Don’t eat the food of those that have evil in their eyes, nor desire their fine foods: For just as they think in their heart, so they are: Eat and drink, they say to you; but their hearts aren’t really with you. That which you’ve eaten you’ll vomit up, and you’ll lose your sweet words.

     [9] Don’t speak to stupid people: for they’ll hate the wisdom of your words. Don’t remove the old boundary lines; and don’t break into the property of a survivor’s child: For their Redeemer is powerful and will plead their case against you.

     [12-16] Apply your heart to teaching, and your ears to the words of knowledge. Don’t withhold firm discipline from your children: for if you whip them with a switch when they need it, they won’t die. If you whip them with the switch to correct them, you will save their soul from hell. Children, if your heart is wise, my heart will celebrate. Yes, my control will relax and I’ll be cheerful when your words speak good things.

     [17-21] Don’t let your heart jealousy the sinful, but respect Yahweh always. For surely there’s an end to evil things; and your expectation won’t be a disappointment. Listen, children, and be wise, and guide your heart in the way of Yahweh. Don’t be found among drunks or among riotous gluttons; because the drunkard and the glutton will both come to poverty, and for their laziness they will be clothed with rags.

     [22-25] Listen to your parents who created you, and don’t hate them when they are old. Get the truth, and don’t reject it; keep wisdom, teaching, and understanding, also. The parents of godly people will greatly celebrate, and those that have wise children will enjoy them. Your parents that created you will be glad and celebrate.

     [26-28] Children, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For adulterers are like a deep ditch; and the ungodly are like a narrow grave, all waiting for innocent victims, and increasing the sinful among the people.

     [29-35] Those that drink wine and seek mixed drinks have misery and sorrow, are easily angered, and babble unintelligibly! They have wounds with no explanation and bloodshot eyes! So don’t stare at red wine when it swirls and sparkles in the glass, because in the end it poisons like a viper, and hurts like a snakebite. Your eyes will see the ungodly, and your mouth will speak obscene things. You’ll be as those that sink in the depths of the sea, like those that have gone to sleep in the crow’s nest of a ship. They’ve injured me, you’ll say, and I wasn’t dizzy; they’ve beaten me, and I didn’t feel it: when will I awake so I can have another drink.

     24[1-4] Don’t be jealous of evil people, nor desire to be with them, because their heart only destroys and they talk with mischievous words. A home is built through wisdom; and it is established by understanding, and by knowledge the rooms will all be filled with pleasing and precious riches.

     [5-9] Wise people are strong; yes, those with knowledge become stronger, because they challenge only with good advice, and with many counselors they are safe. Wisdom is too great for stupid people: they don’t dare open their mouths in public. Those that devise ways to do evil will be called mischievous persons. Stupid thoughts are sinful, and troublemakers are an insult to everyone.

     [10-12] You have little strength if you faint in the day of trouble. If you don’t try to save those that are about to kill themselves, and those that are about to die; saying, See, we didn’t know it; doesn’t Yahweh who searches the heart consider it? And won’t the God who keeps your soul know it and render to every person according to their own acts?  

     [13-14] Children, the knowledge of wisdom will be as sweet to your soul as eating honey or a honeycomb for it’s sweet taste; and when you’ve found it, there’ll be a sweet reward, and your expectations won’t be disappointed.

     [15-16] Sinners don’t stalk outside the homes of godly people; don’t destroy their resting place, because even if a good person falls seven times, they’ll rise up again, while the sinful will wallow in their mischief. Don’t celebrate when your enemy falls, and don’t let your heart be glad whenever they stumble, or Yahweh will see it, and be displeased, and not be angry at them.

     [19-20] Don’t trouble yourself because of evil people, nor be jealous of the sinful, because there’ll be no reward for them and their lives will be snuffed out like a candle. Children, respect Yahweh! Honor rulers and don’t mess with those that are unpredictable, for their misfortune will come unexpectedly; and who knows what will ruin them?

     [23-26] This is also said by intelligent people: It isn’t good to show favoritism to people that are being judged. Those who say that sinful people are righteous will be cursed and nations will look down on them; but they’ll be pleased and bless those that punish them. People will kiss the mouths of those that give a good answer.

     [27-34] Put your outside work in order first, getting the land ready; then later prepare your home. Don’t be a witness against your neighbor without cause; and don’t lie to them. Don’t say, I’ll get even for what they have done to me and I’ll do to them just what they did to me. I went by the property of a lazy person and by the home of someone with no understanding; It was all grown over with weeds, and thorns covered the outside of it, and the fence was broken down. When I saw this and considered it well, I looked on it, learning a lesson. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of hands to rest: so your poverty comes as a homeless drifter; and your need as an armed robber.

     25[1-3] These are also the sayings of Solomon, which the people of Hezekiah, the ruler of Judah copied out. It’s the glory of God to conceal things, but the honor of rulers is to understand a matter. The hearts of rulers are as unsearchable as the heaven is for height, and as the earth is for depth.

     [4-7] Melt the dross from the silver, and it will become finer. Take sinful people away from the presence of rulers, and the ruler’s reign will be established in righteousness. Don’t push yourself into the presence of rulers, and don’t put yourself in the place of great people. It’s better that it be said to you, “Come here;” than that you should be taken away from the presence of the ruler that you’ve just seen.

     [8-10] Don’t argue too hastily, or you won’t know what to do in the end, when your neighbor has put you to shame. Debate your case with your neighbors themselves; and don’t gossip about it to another one, because those that hear it may put you to shame, and your infamy won’t ever be lived down.

     [11-13] A word truly spoken is like apples of gold in bowls of silver. As an earring with a pendant of fine gold, so is a wise reprimand on a respectful ear. As the cold snow is at harvest time, so are faithful messengers to those that send them because they refresh their soul.

     [14-16] Whoever boasts themselves of an untrue talent are like the clouds and wind without any rain. A ruler is persuaded by much persistence, and a gentle word breaks the will of them. If you find honey, then eat as much as is necessary for you, or else you will be too full and vomit it up.

     [17-20] Leave your neighbor’s house before they are tired of you, and hate you. People that lie against their neighbors are like a sledge hammer, a knife, and a sharp arrow. Confidence in the unfaithful in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, or a foot out of joint. Like those that take away a person’s coat in cold weather, and as vinegar fizzes on baking soda, so are those that sing songs to a heavy heart.

     [21-23] If your enemies are hungry give them food to eat, and if they are thirsty give them water to drink; because when you do, you’ll make them hate you with a burning jealousy, but you will be rewarded by Yahweh. Like the north wind drives rain away: an angry countenance will repel a back-talking mouth.

     [24] It’s better to remain in the corner of the attic, than with a contrary person in a fine house. As cold water is to a thirsty soul, so is good news from far away. A righteous person giving in to the sinful is as muddy as disturbed water, and as poisonous as a contaminated creek. As it isn’t good for someone to eat too much honey, there is no honor for person seeking their own glory. Those that have no self-control are like an unprotected city without boundaries.

26[1-9] Like snow is not wanted in summer and as rain is not wanted in harvest time, nor is it fitting to give respect to a stupid person. As the migrating bird, and as the soaring swallow, so a curse won’t come without cause. A whip is for the horse, a bridle is for the ass, and a switch is for the backside of stupid people. Don’t answer a stupid person to match their stupidity, or you’ll also become like them. Give an answer to a stupid person to match their stupidity, or they’ll become conceited. Those that send a message by the hand of a stupid person cuts off their own way and destruction soon follows. As the legs of the lame are unequal, so is a report in the words of a stupid person. As those that tie a stone into a slingshot, so are those that give honor to a stupid person. As a thorn goes up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a story in the words of stupid people.

     [10-12] The great God that formed all things repays stupid and sinful people, both. As dogs eat their own vomit, so stupid people return to their stupidity. Do you see all those know-it-alls? There’s more hope of a stupid person than of them.  

     [13-17] The lazy say, Trouble’s coming; there’s danger in the streets; and as the door flips on its hinges, so lazy people turn over in their beds. The lazy pat their hand on their belly; but it’s too much trouble for them to take another bite. The lazy think they’re smarter than seven reasonable people. Those that pass by the conflicts of others and interfere are like those who devil a dog when they pass by it.

     [18-22] As a crazy person that throws deadly firebombs, so is a person that lies to their neighbors, and says, I’m just joking! Where there is no wood, the fire goes out: so trouble dies down where there’s no gossip, but as coals added to burning coals, and wood added to fire; so is a divisive person that starts arguments. The words of a gossip are like ulcers in the belly.

     [23] Insistent words with a misleading heart are like a piece of broken ceramic glazed with silver dross. Those that hate others are critical with their words and tell cruel lies. When they speak reasonably, don’t believe them: for there are seven more shameful lies in their hearts. Those that cover hatred with lies will expose their evil to everyone. Whoever murders someone will only dig a grave for themselves; and a tombstone will fall back on the one who places it. A lying mouth attacks those it hates, and a flattering mouth will sabotage them.

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