Proverbs 24

1Don’t be jealous of evil people. Don’t even want to be around them. 2In their hearts they plan to do evil. All they talk about is making trouble. 3Good homes are built on wisdom and understanding. 4And knowledge fills the rooms with rare and beautiful treasures. 5Wisdom makes a man more powerful. Knowledge gives a man strength. 6You must make careful plans before you start a war. If you want to win, you must have many good advisers. 7Foolish people can’t understand wisdom. And when people are discussing important things, the foolish person can say nothing. 8If you are always planning trouble, then people will know that you are a person who makes trouble. ˻And they will not listen to you.˼ 9The things that a foolish person plans to do are sin. People hate a person who thinks he is better than other people. 10If you are weak during times of trouble, then you really are weak. 11If people are planning to kill a person, then you must try to save him. 12You can’t say, “It’s none of my business.” The Lord knows everything. And he knows why you do things. The Lord watches you. He knows. And the Lord will reward you for the things you do. 13My son, eat honey. It is good. Honey from the honeycomb is sweet. 14In the same way, wisdom is good for your soul. If you have wisdom, then you will have hope, and your hope will never end. 15Don’t be like a thief that wants to steal from a good person or take away his home. 16If a good man falls seven times, he will always stand again. But evil people will always be defeated by trouble. 17Don’t be happy when your enemy has troubles. Don’t be happy when he falls. 18If you do, the Lord will see this, and the Lord will not be happy with you. Then the Lord might help your enemy. 19Don’t let evil people cause you worry. And don’t be jealous of evil people. 20Those evil people have no hope. Their light will become dark. 21Son, respect the Lord and the king. And don’t join with the people that are against them. 22Why? Because men like that can quickly be destroyed. You don’t know how much trouble God and the king can make for their enemies. 23These are the words of wise men: A judge must be fair. He must not support a person simply because he knows him. 24People will turn against a judge that tells a guilty person that he can go free. Even people from other nations will say bad things against that judge. 25But if a judge punishes a guilty person, then all the people will be happy with him. 26An honest answer is something that makes all people happy—it is like a kiss on the lips. 27Don’t build your house before you plant your fields. Make sure that you are prepared to grow food before you build a place to live. 28Don’t speak against someone without a good reason. And don’t tell lies. 29Don’t say, “He hurt me, so I will do the same to him. I will punish him for the things he did to me.” 30I walked past a field that belonged to a lazy man. I walked by a field of grapes that belonged to a person who was not wise. 31Weeds were growing everywhere in those fields. Worthless plants were growing on the ground. And the wall around the fields was broken and falling down. 32I looked at this and I thought about it. Then I learned a lesson from these things: 33a little sleep, a little rest, folding your arms, and taking a nap. 34These things will make you poor very quickly. You will have nothing, as if a thief broke in and took everything away.

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