Proverbs 22

1It is better to be respected than to be rich. A good name is more important than silver or gold. 2Rich people and poor people are the same. The Lord made them all. 3Wise people see trouble coming and get out of its way. But foolish people go straight to the trouble and suffer because of it. 4Respect the Lord and be humble. Then you will have wealth, honor, and true life. 5Evil people are trapped by many troubles. But the person who cares for his soul stays away from trouble. 6Teach a child the right way to live while he is young. Then when he grows older, he will continue living that way. 7Poor people are slaves to rich people. The person who borrows is a servant to the person who lends. 8A person who spreads trouble will harvest trouble. And in the end, that person will be destroyed because of the trouble he gave other people. 9A person who gives freely will be blessed. He will be blessed because he shares his food with poor people. 10If a person thinks he is better than other people, force him to leave. When that person leaves, trouble will leave with him. Then arguments and bragging will end. 11The king will be your friend if you love a pure heart and kind words. 12The Lord watches over and protects people who know him. But he destroys people who turn against him. 13The lazy person says, “I can’t go ˻to work˼ now. There is a lion outside. It might kill me.” 14The sin of adultery is like a trap. The Lord will become very angry at the person who falls into that trap. 15Children do foolish things. But if you punish them, they will learn not to do those things. 16These two things will make you poor—hurting poor people to make yourself rich, and giving gifts to rich people. 17Listen to the things that I say. I will teach you the things wise men have said. Learn from these teachings. 18It will be good for you if you remember these things. It will help you if you can say these words. 19I will teach you these things now. I want you to trust the Lord. 20I have written 30 sayings for you. These are words of advice and wisdom. 21These words will teach you true and important things. Then you can give good answers to the one that sent you. 22It is easy to steal from poor people, but don’t do it. And don’t take advantage of those poor people in court. 23The Lord is on their side. He supports them and he will take things away from any person that takes from them. 24Don’t be friends with a person who becomes angry easily. Don’t go near a person who becomes mad fast. 25If you do, you may learn to be like him. Then you will have the same troubles he has. 26Don’t promise to be responsible for another person’s debts. 27If you can’t pay his debt, then you will lose everything you have. Why should you lose the bed you sleep on? 28Never move an old property line that was marked long ago by your ancestors. 29If a person is skilled in his work, then he is good enough to serve kings. He will not have to work for people who are not important.

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