1Wisdom enables the poor to stand erect, and gives to the poor a place with the great. 2Do not praise anyone for good looks, nor dislike anyone for mere appearance. 3Smal among winged creatures is the bee but her produce is the sweetest of the sweet. 4Do not grow proud when people honour you; for the works of the Lord are wonderful but hidden fromhuman beings. 5Many monarchs have been made to sit on the ground, and the person nobody thought of has worn thecrown. 6Many influential people have been utterly disgraced, and prominent people have fal en into the power ofothers. 7Do not find fault before making thorough enquiry; first reflect, then give a reprimand. 8Listen before you answer, and do not interrupt a speech before it is finished. 9Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, do not interfere in the quarrels of sinners. 10My child, do not take on a great amount of business; if you multiply your interests, you are bound to suffer for it; hurry as fast as you can, yet you wil never arrive, nor wil you escape by running away. 11Some people work very hard at top speed, only to find themselves fal ing further behind. 12Or there is the slow kind of person, needing help, poor in possessions and rich in poverty; and theLord turns a favourable eye on him, lifts him out of his wretched condition, 13and enables him to hold his head high, thus causing general astonishment. 14Good and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, al come from the Lord. 15 16 17To the devout the Lord's gift remains constant, and his favour will be there to lead them for ever. 18Others grow rich by pinching and scraping, and here is the reward they receive for it: 19although they say, 'Now I can sit back and enjoy the benefit of what I have got,' they do not know howlong this wil last; they will have to leave their goods to others and die. 20Stick to your job, work hard at it and grow old at your work. 21Do not admire the achievements of sinners, trust the Lord and mind your own business; since it is atrifle in the eyes of the Lord, in a moment, suddenly to make the poor rich. 22The blessing of the Lord is the reward of the devout, in a moment God brings his blessing to flower. 23Do not say, 'What are my needs, how much shal I have in the future?' 24And do not say, 'I am self-sufficient, what disaster can affect me now?' 25In prosperous times, disasters are forgotten and in times of disaster, no one remembers prosperity. 26Yet it is a trifle for the Lord on the day someone dies to repay him as his conduct deserves. 27A moment's adversity, and pleasures are forgotten; in a person's last hour his deeds wil standrevealed. 28Cal no one fortunate before his death; it is by his end that someone wil be known. 29Do not bring everyone home with you, for many are the traps of the crafty. 30Like a captive partridge in a cage, so is the heart of the proud: like a spy he watches for your downfal , 31ever on the look-out, turning good into bad and finding fault with what is praiseworthy. 32A hearthful of glowing coals starts from a single spark, and the sinner lurks for the chance to spilblood. 33Beware of a scoundrel and his evil contrivances, in case he puts a smear on you for ever. 34Give a home to a stranger and he wil start trouble and estrange you from your own family.
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