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Better to go to a funeral than a birthday party (Ecclesiastes 6:1-6, Ecclesiastes 6:12, Ecclesiastes 7:1 - Proverbs 7:14)

Graham Brownlee, 18 March 2012
Part of the "Three" evening service series, preached at a Three service

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Ecclesiastes 6:1–6 (Listen)

6:1 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?

(ESV)

Ecclesiastes 6:12 (Listen)

12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

(ESV)

Proverbs 7:14–23:1 (Listen)

14   “I had to offer sacrifices,
    and today I have paid my vows;
15   so now I have come out to meet you,
    to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16   I have spread my couch with coverings,
    colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17   I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
    aloes, and cinnamon.
18   Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
    let us delight ourselves with love.
19   For my husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey;
20   he took a bag of money with him;
    at full moon he will come home.”
21   With much seductive speech she persuades him;
    with her smooth talk she compels him.
22   All at once he follows her,
    as an ox goes to the slaughter,
  or as a stag is caught fast
23     till an arrow pierces its liver;
  as a bird rushes into a snare;
    he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24   And now, O sons, listen to me,
    and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25   Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
    do not stray into her paths,
26   for many a victim has she laid low,
    and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27   Her house is the way to Sheol,
    going down to the chambers of death.

8:1   Does not wisdom call?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
  On the heights beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
  beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
  “To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the children of man.
  O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense.
  Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
  for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
  All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
  They are all straight to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10   Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11   for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12   “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13   The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14   I have counsel and sound wisdom;
    I have insight; I have strength.
15   By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
16   by me princes rule,
    and nobles, all who govern justly.
17   I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18   Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
19   My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20   I walk in the way of righteousness,
    in the paths of justice,
21   granting an inheritance to those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.
22   “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
    the first of his acts of old.
23   Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24   When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25   Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,
26   before he had made the earth with its fields,
    or the first of the dust of the world.
27   When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28   when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
29   when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
  when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was beside him, like a master workman,
  and I was daily his delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31   rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man.
32   “And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33   Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34   Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35   For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the LORD,
36   but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

9:1   Wisdom has built her house;
    she has hewn her seven pillars.
  She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
  She has sent out her young women to call
    from the highest places in the town,
  “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    To him who lacks sense she says,
  “Come, eat of my bread
    and drink of the wine I have mixed.
  Leave your simple ways, and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”
  Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
    and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
    reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10   The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11   For by me your days will be multiplied,
    and years will be added to your life.
12   If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
    if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

13   The woman Folly is loud;
    she is seductive and knows nothing.
14   She sits at the door of her house;
    she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15   calling to those who pass by,
    who are going straight on their way,
16   “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    And to him who lacks sense she says,
17   “Stolen water is sweet,
    and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18   But he does not know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

10:1 The proverbs of Solomon.

  A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
  Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
  The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
  A slack hand causes poverty,
    but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
  He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
  Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
  The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
    but the name of the wicked will rot.
  The wise of heart will receive commandments,
    but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
  Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
10   Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
    and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11   The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12   Hatred stirs up strife,
    but love covers all offenses.
13   On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
    but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
14   The wise lay up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
15   A rich man's wealth is his strong city;
    the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
16   The wage of the righteous leads to life,
    the gain of the wicked to sin.
17   Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
    but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
18   The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
    and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19   When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
    but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20   The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
    the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21   The lips of the righteous feed many,
    but fools die for lack of sense.
22   The blessing of the LORD makes rich,
    and he adds no sorrow with it.
23   Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
    but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
24   What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
    but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25   When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
    but the righteous is established forever.
26   Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
    so is the sluggard to those who send him.
27   The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
    but the years of the wicked will be short.
28   The hope of the righteous brings joy,
    but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29   The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless,
    but destruction to evildoers.
30   The righteous will never be removed,
    but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31   The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
    but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32   The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
    but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
11:1   A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
    but a just weight is his delight.
  When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with the humble is wisdom.
  The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
  Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
  The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
    but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
  The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
  When the wicked dies, his hope will perish,
    and the expectation of wealth perishes too.
  The righteous is delivered from trouble,
    and the wicked walks into it instead.
  With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
    but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10   When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
    and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11   By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12   Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding remains silent.
13   Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
    but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
14   Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
    but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
15   Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm,
    but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
16   A gracious woman gets honor,
    and violent men get riches.
17   A man who is kind benefits himself,
    but a cruel man hurts himself.
18   The wicked earns deceptive wages,
    but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
19   Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
    but he who pursues evil will die.
20   Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21   Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
    but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
22   Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.
23   The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24   One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
    another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25   Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
    and one who waters will himself be watered.
26   The people curse him who holds back grain,
    but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
27   Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
    but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28   Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
    but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29   Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30   The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and whoever captures souls is wise.
31   If the righteous is repaid on earth,
    how much more the wicked and the sinner!
12:1   Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
    but a man of evil devices he condemns.
  No one is established by wickedness,
    but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
    but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
  The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
  The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous will stand.
  A man is commended according to his good sense,
    but one of twisted mind is despised.
  Better to be lowly and have a servant
    than to play the great man and lack bread.
10   Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12   Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13   An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14   From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
15   The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
16   The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.
17   Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
    but a false witness utters deceit.
18   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19   Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20   Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
    but those who plan peace have joy.
21   No ill befalls the righteous,
    but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22   Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23   A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24   The hand of the diligent will rule,
    while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25   Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.
26   One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27   Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
    but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
28   In the path of righteousness is life,
    and in its pathway there is no death.
13:1   A wise son hears his father's instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
  From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
    but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  The righteous hates falsehood,
    but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.
  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
    but sin overthrows the wicked.
  One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
  The ransom of a man's life is his wealth,
    but a poor man hears no threat.
  The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10   By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
11   Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13   Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
14   The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
15   Good sense wins favor,
    but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.
16   Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
    but a fool flaunts his folly.
17   A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18   Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
19   A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20   Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
21   Disaster pursues sinners,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good.
22   A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
    but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23   The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
    but it is swept away through injustice.
24   Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
25   The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
    but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
14:1   The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.
  Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD,
    but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
  By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
    but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
  Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
  A faithful witness does not lie,
    but a false witness breathes out lies.
  A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
    but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
  Leave the presence of a fool,
    for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
  The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
    but the folly of fools is deceiving.
  Fools mock at the guilt offering,
    but the upright enjoy acceptance.
10   The heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no stranger shares its joy.
11   The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12   There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.
13   Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and the end of joy may be grief.
14   The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
    and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15   The simple believes everything,
    but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16   One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
    but a fool is reckless and careless.
17   A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
    and a man of evil devices is hated.
18   The simple inherit folly,
    but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19   The evil bow down before the good,
    the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20   The poor is disliked even by his neighbor,
    but the rich has many friends.
21   Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner,
    but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
22   Do they not go astray who devise evil?
    Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.
23   In all toil there is profit,
    but mere talk tends only to poverty.
24   The crown of the wise is their wealth,
    but the folly of fools brings folly.
25   A truthful witness saves lives,
    but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
26   In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence,
    and his children will have a refuge.
27   The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
28   In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
    but without people a prince is ruined.
29   Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
    but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30   A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
    but envy makes the bones rot.
31   Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
    but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
32   The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing,
    but the righteous finds refuge in his death.
33   Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
    but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
34   Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin is a reproach to any people.
35   A servant who deals wisely has the king's favor,
    but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.
15:1   A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
  The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.
  A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
    but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
  A fool despises his father's instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
  In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
    but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
  The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
    not so the hearts of fools.
  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
  The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10   There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
    whoever hates reproof will die.
11   Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD;
    how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12   A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
    he will not go to the wise.
13   A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
    but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14   The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15   All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16   Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
    than great treasure and trouble with it.
17   Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
    than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18   A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19   The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20   A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.
21   Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22   Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
23   To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!
24   The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
    that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
25   The LORD tears down the house of the proud
    but maintains the widow's boundaries.
26   The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
    but gracious words are pure.
27   Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
    but he who hates bribes will live.
28   The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
    but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29   The LORD is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30   The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshes the bones.
31   The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
    will dwell among the wise.
32   Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
    but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33   The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom,
    and humility comes before honor.
16:1   The plans of the heart belong to man,
    but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the spirit.
  Commit your work to the LORD,
    and your plans will be established.
  The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
  Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
    be assured, he will not go unpunished.
  By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
  When a man's ways please the LORD,
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
  Better is a little with righteousness
    than great revenues with injustice.
  The heart of man plans his way,
    but the LORD establishes his steps.
10   An oracle is on the lips of a king;
    his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11   A just balance and scales are the LORD's;
    all the weights in the bag are his work.
12   It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
    for the throne is established by righteousness.
13   Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
    and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14   A king's wrath is a messenger of death,
    and a wise man will appease it.
15   In the light of a king's face there is life,
    and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16   How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17   The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
    whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18   Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19   It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
    than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20   Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
    and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21   The wise of heart is called discerning,
    and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22   Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
    but the instruction of fools is folly.
23   The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
    and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24   Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25   There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.
26   A worker's appetite works for him;
    his mouth urges him on.
27   A worthless man plots evil,
    and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28   A dishonest man spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.
29   A man of violence entices his neighbor
    and leads him in a way that is not good.
30   Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
    he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
31   Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
32   Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33   The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the LORD.
17:1   Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feasting with strife.
  A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
    and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
  The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and the LORD tests hearts.
  An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
    and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
  Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
    he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
  Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the glory of children is their fathers.
  Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
    still less is false speech to a prince.
  A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
    wherever he turns he prospers.
  Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
10   A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
    than a hundred blows into a fool.
11   An evil man seeks only rebellion,
    and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12   Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
    rather than a fool in his folly.
13   If anyone returns evil for good,
    evil will not depart from his house.
14   The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
    so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15   He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
16   Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
    when he has no sense?
17   A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for adversity.
18   One who lacks sense gives a pledge
    and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19   Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
    he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
20   A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
    and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21   He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
    and the father of a fool has no joy.
22   A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23   The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
    to pervert the ways of justice.
24   The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
    but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25   A foolish son is a grief to his father
    and bitterness to her who bore him.
26   To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
    nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27   Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
    and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28   Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
18:1   Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.
  A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
  When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
    and with dishonor comes disgrace.
  The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
  It is not good to be partial to the wicked
    or to deprive the righteous of justice.
  A fool's lips walk into a fight,
    and his mouth invites a beating.
  A fool's mouth is his ruin,
    and his lips are a snare to his soul.
  The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
  Whoever is slack in his work
    is a brother to him who destroys.
10   The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
11   A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
    and like a high wall in his imagination.
12   Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.
13   If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
14   A man's spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15   An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16   A man's gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
17   The one who states his case first seems right,
    until the other comes and examines him.
18   The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
19   A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
20   From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
21   Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
22   He who finds a wife finds a good thing
    and obtains favor from the LORD.
23   The poor use entreaties,
    but the rich answer roughly.
24   A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
19:1   Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
    than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
  Desire without knowledge is not good,
    and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
  When a man's folly brings his way to ruin,
    his heart rages against the LORD.
  Wealth brings many new friends,
    but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
  A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
  Many seek the favor of a generous man,
    and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
  All a poor man's brothers hate him;
    how much more do his friends go far from him!
  He pursues them with words, but does not have them.
  Whoever gets sense loves his own soul;
    he who keeps understanding will discover good.
  A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and he who breathes out lies will perish.
10   It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury,
    much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11   Good sense makes one slow to anger,
    and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
12   A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13   A foolish son is ruin to his father,
    and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
14   House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
    but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15   Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
    and an idle person will suffer hunger.
16   Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;
    he who despises his ways will die.
17   Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,
    and he will repay him for his deed.
18   Discipline your son, for there is hope;
    do not set your heart on putting him to death.
19   A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
    for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
20   Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    that you may gain wisdom in the future.
21   Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
22   What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
    and a poor man is better than a liar.
23   The fear of the LORD leads to life,
    and whoever has it rests satisfied;
    he will not be visited by harm.
24   The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
    and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
25   Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
    reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
26   He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
    is a son who brings shame and reproach.
27   Cease to hear instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28   A worthless witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
29   Condemnation is ready for scoffers,
    and beating for the backs of fools.
20:1   Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
  It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
    but every fool will be quarreling.
  The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
    he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
  The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.
  Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
    but a faithful man who can find?
  The righteous who walks in his integrity—
    blessed are his children after him!
  A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
  Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
    I am clean from my sin”?
10   Unequal weights and unequal measures
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
11   Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
    by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12   The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
    the LORD has made them both.
13   Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14   “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15   There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
    but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16   Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
    and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
17   Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
    but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18   Plans are established by counsel;
    by wise guidance wage war.
19   Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
20   If one curses his father or his mother,
    his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21   An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
    will not be blessed in the end.
22   Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
    wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
23   Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD,
    and false scales are not good.
24   A man's steps are from the LORD;
    how then can man understand his way?
25   It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only after making vows.
26   A wise king winnows the wicked
    and drives the wheel over them.
27   The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
    searching all his innermost parts.
28   Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29   The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30   Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    strokes make clean the innermost parts.
21:1   The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
    he turns it wherever he will.
  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the heart.
  To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
  The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10   The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11   When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12   The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13   Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.
14   A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
15   When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.
16   One who wanders from the way of good sense
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17   Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
    he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18   The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
    and the traitor for the upright.
19   It is better to live in a desert land
    than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20   Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
    but a foolish man devours it.
21   Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22   A wise man scales the city of the mighty
    and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23   Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
24   “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.
25   The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26   All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27   The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
28   A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29   A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought to his ways.
30   No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the LORD.
31   The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the LORD.
22:1   A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    and favor is better than silver or gold.
  The rich and the poor meet together;
    the LORD is the Maker of them all.
  The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.
  The reward for humility and fear of the LORD
    is riches and honor and life.
  Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
    whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
  Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.
  The rich rules over the poor,
    and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
  Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
    and the rod of his fury will fail.
  Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
    for he shares his bread with the poor.
10   Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
    and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11   He who loves purity of heart,
    and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12   The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge,
    but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
    I shall be killed in the streets!”
14   The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
    he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.
15   Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16   Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
    or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17   Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
    and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18   for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
    if all of them are ready on your lips.
19   That your trust may be in the LORD,
    I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20   Have I not written for you thirty sayings
    of counsel and knowledge,
21   to make you know what is right and true,
    that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22   Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23   for the LORD will plead their cause
    and rob of life those who rob them.
24   Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
    nor go with a wrathful man,
25   lest you learn his ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.
26   Be not one of those who give pledges,
    who put up security for debts.
27   If you have nothing with which to pay,
    why should your bed be taken from under you?
28   Do not move the ancient landmark
    that your fathers have set.
29   Do you see a man skillful in his work?
    He will stand before kings;
    he will not stand before obscure men.
23:1   When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
    observe carefully what is before you,

(ESV)

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