Warnings and Instructions
1 The wicked flee when no man pursues them, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous are bold as a lion. 2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue. 3 A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food [plundering them of their last morsels]. 4 Those who forsake the law [of God and man] praise the wicked, but those who keep the law [of God and man] contend with them. 5 Evil men do not understand justice, but they who crave and seek the Lord understand it fully. 6 Better is the poor man who walks in his integrity than he who willfully goes in double and wrong ways, though he is rich. 7 Whoever keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise son, but he who is a companion of gluttons and the carousing, self-indulgent, and extravagant shames his father. 8 He who by charging excessive interest and who by unjust efforts to get gain increases his material possession gathers it for him [to spend] who is kind and generous to the poor. 9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law [of God and man], even his prayer is an abomination, hateful and revolting [to God]. 10 Whoever leads the upright astray into an evil way, he will himself fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance. 11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes and conceit, but the poor man who has understanding will find him out. 12 When the [uncompromisingly] righteous triumph, there is great glory and celebration; but when the wicked rise [to power], men hide themselves. 13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy. 14 Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is the man who reverently and worshipfully fears [the Lord] at all times [regardless of circumstances], but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. 15 Like a roaring lion or a ravenous and charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people. 16 A ruler who lacks understanding is [like a wicked one] a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness and unjust gain shall prolong his days. 17 If a man willfully sheds the blood of a person [and keeps the guilt of murder upon his conscience], he is fleeing to the pit (the grave) and hastening to his own destruction; let no man stop him! 18 He who walks uprightly shall be safe, but he who willfully goes in double and wrong ways shall fall in one of them. 19 He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless people and pursuits will have poverty enough. 20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich [at any cost] shall not go unpunished. 21 To have respect of persons and to show partiality is not good, neither is it good that man should transgress for a piece of bread. 22 He who has an evil and covetous eye hastens to be rich and knows not that want will come upon him. 23 He who rebukes a man shall afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue. 24 Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, This is no sin -- "he is in the same class as [an open, lawless robber and] a destroyer. 25 He who is of a greedy spirit stirs up strife, but he who puts his trust in the Lord shall be enriched and blessed. 26 He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered. 27 He who gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes [from their want] will have many a curse. 28 When the wicked rise [to power], men hide themselves; but when they perish, the [consistently] righteous increase and become many.