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Watch What You Say and Do

11 The Lord hates anyone
    who cheats,
    but he likes everyone
    who is honest.
Too much pride
can put you to shame.
    It’s wiser to be humble.
If you do the right thing,
    honesty will be your guide.
But if you are crooked,
    you will be trapped
    by your own dishonesty.

When God is angry,
    money won’t help you.
    Obeying God is the only way
    to be saved from death.
If you are truly good,
    you will do right;
if you are wicked,
    you will be destroyed
    by your own sin.
Honesty can keep you safe,
    but if you can’t be trusted,
    you trap yourself.
When the wicked die,
    their hopes die with them.
Trouble goes right past
the Lord’s people
    and strikes the wicked.

Dishonest people use gossip
    to destroy their neighbors;
    good people are protected
    by their own good sense.
10 When honest people prosper
and the wicked disappear,
    the whole city celebrates.
11 When God blesses his people,
    their city prospers,
    but deceitful liars
    can destroy a city.

12 It’s stupid to say bad things
    about your neighbors.
    If you are sensible,
    you will keep quiet.
13 A gossip tells everything,
    but a true friend
    will keep a secret.
14 A city without wise leaders
    will end up in ruin;
    a city with many wise leaders
    will be kept safe.

15 It’s a dangerous thing
    to guarantee payment
for someone’s debts.
    Don’t do it!
16 A gracious woman
    will be respected,
    but a man must work hard
    to get rich.[a]
17 Kindness is rewarded—
    but if you are cruel,
    you hurt yourself.
18 Meanness gets you nowhere,
    but goodness is rewarded.
19 Always do the right thing,
    and you will live;
    keep on doing wrong,
    and you will die.

20 The Lord hates sneaky people,
    but he likes everyone
    who lives right.
21 You can be sure of this:
    All crooks will be punished,
    but God’s people won’t.
22 A beautiful woman
    who acts foolishly
    is like a gold ring
    on the snout of a pig.
23 Good people want what is best,
    but troublemakers
    hope to stir up trouble.[b]

24 Sometimes you can become rich
by being generous
    or poor by being greedy.
25 Generosity will be rewarded:
    Give a cup of water,
    and you will receive
    a cup of water in return.
26 Charge too much for grain,
    and you will be cursed;
    sell it at a fair price,
    and you will be praised.
27 Try hard to do right,
    and you will win friends;
    go looking for trouble,
    and you will find it.
28 Trust in your wealth,
    and you will be a failure,
    but God’s people will prosper
    like healthy plants.

29 Fools who cause trouble
in the family
    won’t inherit a thing.
    They will end up as slaves
    of someone with good sense.
30 Live right, and you will eat
    from the life-giving tree.
    And if you act wisely,
    others will follow.[c]
31 If good people are rewarded[d]
    here on this earth,
    all who are cruel and mean
    will surely be punished.

Footnotes

  1. 11.16 but. . . rich: Or “a ruthless man will only get rich.”
  2. 11.23 Good people. . . trouble: Or “Good people do what is best, but troublemakers just stir up trouble.”
  3. 11.30 act. . . follow: Hebrew; one ancient translation “but violence leads to death.”
  4. 11.31 rewarded: Or “punished.”

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