Warnings and Instructions
1 Do not boast of [yourself and] tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth. 2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. 3 Stone is heavy and sand weighty, but a fool's [unreasoning] wrath is heavier and more intolerable than both of them. 4 Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood, but who is able to stand before jealousy? 5 Open rebuke is better than love that is hidden. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful. 7 He who is satiated [with sensual pleasures] loathes and treads underfoot a honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. 8 Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who strays from his home. 9 Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend's counsel that comes from the heart. 10 Your own friend and your father's friend, forsake them not; neither go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near [in spirit] than a brother who is far off [in heart]. 11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me [as having failed in my parental duty]. 12 A prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering]. 13 [The judge tells the creditor] Take the garment of one who is security for a stranger; and hold him in pledge when he is security for foreigners. 14 The flatterer who loudly praises and glorifies his neighbor, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted as cursing him [for he will be suspected of sinister purposes]. 15 A continual dripping on a day of violent showers and a contentious woman are alike; 16 Whoever attempts to restrain [a contentious woman] might as well try to stop the wind -- "his right hand encounters oil [and she slips through his fingers]. 17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose]. 18 Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit; so he who patiently and faithfully guards and heeds his master shall be honored. 19 As in water face answers to and reflects face, so the heart of man to man. 20 Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the place of destruction) are never satisfied; so [the lust of] the eyes of man is never satisfied. 21 As the refining pot for silver and the furnace for gold [bring forth all the impurities of the metal], so let a man be in his trial of praise [ridding himself of all that is base or insincere; for a man is judged by what he praises and of what he boasts]. 22 Even though like grain you should pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds; 24 For riches are not forever; does a crown endure to all generations? 25 When the hay is gone, the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountain are gathered in, 26 The lambs will be for your clothing, and the goats [will furnish you] the price of a field. 27 And there will be goats' milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and for the maintenance of your maids.