Proverbs 22-23 The Message Bible

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22 1  A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.

2  The rich and the poor shake hands as equals - God made them both!

3  A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.

4  The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God is plenty and honor and a satisfying life.

5  The perverse travel a dangerous road, potholed and mud-slick; if you know what's good for you, stay clear of it.

6  Point your kids in the right direction - when they're old they won't be lost.

7  The poor are always ruled over by the rich, so don't borrow and put yourself under their power.

8  Whoever sows sin reaps weeds, and bullying anger sputters into nothing.

9  Generous hands are blessed hands because they give bread to the poor.

10  Kick out the troublemakers and things will quiet down; you need a break from bickering and griping!

11  God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship.

12  God guards knowledge with a passion, but he'll have nothing to do with deception.

13  The loafer says, "There's a lion on the loose! If I go out I'll be eaten alive!"

14  The mouth of a whore is a bottomless pit; you'll fall in that pit if you're on the outs with God.

15  Young people are prone to foolishness and fads; the cure comes through tough-minded discipline.

16  Exploit the poor or glad-hand the rich - whichever, you'll end up the poorer for it. The Thirty Precepts of the Sages Don't Move Back the Boundary Lines

Precepts and Warnings

17  Listen carefully to my wisdom; take to heart what I can teach you. You'll treasure its sweetness deep within; 18  you'll give it bold expression in your speech. 19  To make sure your foundation is trust in God, I'm laying it all out right now just for you. 20  I'm giving you thirty sterling principles - tested guidelines to live by. 21  Believe me - these are truths that work, and will keep you accountable to those who sent you.

22  Don't walk on the poor just because they're poor, and don't use your position to crush the weak, 23  Because God will come to their defense; the life you took, he'll take from you and give back to them.

24  Don't hang out with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads. 25  Bad temper is contagious - don't get infected.

26  Don't gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance. 27  The time will come when you have to pay up; you'll be left with nothing but the shirt on your back.

28  Don't stealthily move back the boundary lines staked out long ago by your ancestors.

29  Observe people who are good at their work - skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don't take a back seat to anyone.

23 1  When you go out to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners: 2  Don't gobble your food, don't talk with your mouth full. 3  And don't stuff yourself; bridle your appetite.

4  Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself 5  Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder.

6  Don't accept a meal from a tightwad; don't expect anything special. 7  He'll be as stingy with you as he is with himself; he'll say, "Eat! Drink!" but won't mean a word of it. 8  His miserly serving will turn your stomach when you realize the meal's a sham.

9  Don't bother talking sense to fools; they'll only poke fun at your words.

10  Don't stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property, 11  For they have a powerful Advocate who will go to bat for them.

12  Give yourselves to disciplined instruction; open your ears to tested knowledge. 13  Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them. 14  A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death 15  Dear child, if you become wise, I'll be one happy parent. 16  My heart will dance and sing to the tuneful truth you'll speak.

17  Don't for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God - 18  That's where your future lies. Then you won't be left with an armload of nothing.

19  Oh listen, dear child - become wise; point your life in the right direction 20  Don't drink too much wine and get drunk; don't eat too much food and get fat. 21  Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags. Buy Wisdom, Education, Insigh 22  Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don't neglect her. 23  Buy truth - don't sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight. 24  Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents. 25  So make your father happy! Make your mother proud! 26  Dear child, I want your full attention; please do what I show you. 27  A whore is a bottomless pit; a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast. 28  She'll take you for all you've got; she's worse than a pack of thieves.

29  Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you know who reeks of self-pity? Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot? 30  It's those who spend the night with a bottle, for whom drinking is serious business. 31  Don't judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. 32  Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with - the splitting headache, the queasy stomach. 33  Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred, 34  Reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor? 35  "They hit me," you'll say, "but it didn't hurt; they beat on me, but I didn't feel a thing. When I'm sober enough to manage it, bring me another drink!"

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