Proverbs 22

The Value of a Good Reputation

1 A good reputation and respect are worth much more
    than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor
    are all created
        by the Lord.
3 When you see trouble coming,
        don’t be stupid
    and walk right into it—
        be smart and hide.

4 Respect and serve the Lord!
   Your reward will be wealth,
        a long life, and honor.
5 Crooks walk down a road
   full of thorny traps.
        Stay away from there!
6 Teach your children
        right from wrong,
    and when they are grown
        they will still do right.
7 The poor are ruled by the rich,
    and those who borrow
        are slaves of moneylenders.
8 Troublemakers get in trouble,
    and their terrible anger
        will get them nowhere.

9 The Lord blesses everyone
    who freely gives food
        to the poor.
10 Arguments and fights
        will come to an end,
     if you chase away those
        who insult others.
11 The king is the friend of all
     who are sincere
        and speak with kindness.

12 The Lord watches over everyone
        who shows good sense,
     but he frustrates the plans
        of deceitful liars.
13 Don’t be so lazy that you say,
    “If I go to work,
        a lion will eat me!”
14 The words of a bad woman
        are like a deep pit;
     if you make the Lord angry,
        you will fall right in.
15 All children are foolish,
     but firm correction
        will make them change.
16 Cheat the poor to make profit
     or give gifts to the rich—
        either way you lose.

Thirty Wise Sayings

17 Here are some sayings
        of people with wisdom,
     so listen carefully
        as I teach.
18 You will be glad
     that you know these sayings
        and can recite them.
19 I am teaching them today,
     so that you
        may trust the Lord.
20 I have written thirty sayings
        filled with sound advice.
21 You can trust them completely
     to give you the right words
        for those in charge of you.


22 Don’t take advantage
     of the poor
        or cheat them in court.
23 The Lord is their defender,
     and what you do to them,
        he will do to you.


24 Don’t make friends with anyone
        who has a bad temper.
25 You might turn out like them
        and get caught in a trap.


26 Don’t guarantee to pay
        someone else’s debt.
27 If you don’t have the money,
        you might lose your bed.


28 Don’t move a boundary marker
        set up by your ancestors.


29 If you do your job well,
     you will work for a ruler
        and never be a slave.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary