The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 22:17–23:35

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17  Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thy heart unto my knowledge.

17  Incline your ear, and listen to the words of the wise. Then apply your heart to my doctrine.

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18  For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; let them be established altogether upon thy lips.

18  that thou mayest know that they are good: and if thou lay them to heart, they shall also gladden thee on thy lips.

18  It shall be beautiful to you, if you preserve it in your inner self, and it shall overflow from your lips,

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19  That thy trust may be in YHWH, I have made them known to thee this day, even to thee.

19  so that your confidence may be in the Lord. Therefore, I also have revealed it to you this day.

19  That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made these things known to you this day, even to you.

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20  Have not I written unto thee excellent things of counsels and knowledge;

20  And do thou too repeatedly record them for thyself on the table of thine heart, for counsel and knowledge.

20  Behold, I have written it for you in three ways, and with meditations and knowledge,

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21  That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth, that thou mightest bring back words of truth to them that send thee?

21  so that I might reveal to you, firmly and with words of truth, in order to respond about these things to those who sent you.

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22  Rob not the weak, because he is weak, neither crush the poor in the gate;

22  Do no violence to the poor, for he is needy: neither dishonour the helpless man in the gates.

22  Do not act with violence toward the pauper because he is poor. And do not weary the needy at the gate.

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23  For YHWH will plead their cause, and despoil of life those that despoil them.

23  For the Lord will plead his cause, and thou shalt deliver thy soul in safety.

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24  Make no friendship with a man that is given to anger; and with a wrathful man thou shalt not go;

24  Be not companion to a furious man; neither lodge with a passionate man

24  Do not be willing to be a friend to an angry man, and do not walk with a furious man,

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25  Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

25  lest perhaps you learn his ways, and take up a stumbling block to your soul.

25  Lest you learn his ways and find a stumbling block to your soul.

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26  Be thou not of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts;

26  Become not surety from respect of a man’s person.

26  Do not be willing to be with those who certify with their hands, and who offer themselves as a guarantee against debts.

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27  If thou hast not wherewith to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

27  For if those have not whence to give compensation, they will take the bed that is under thee.

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28  Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

28  Do not cross beyond the ancient limits that your fathers have set.

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29  Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

29  It is fit that an observant man and one diligent in his business should attend on kings, and not attend on slothful men.

29  Have you seen a man swift in his work? He shall stand in the sight of kings, and not before those who are disreputable.

23:1  When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider well him that is before thee;

If thou sit to sup at the table of a prince, consider attentively the things set before thee

When you sit down to eat with a leader, pay close attention to what has been set before your face,

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23:2  And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

and put a knife to your throat, if, in such a way, you could hold your soul in your own power.

That you may not put poison in your mouth. And if you are a man given to excessive appetite,

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23:3  Be not desirous of his dainties; seeing they are deceitful food.

desire not his provisions; for these belong to a false life.

Do not desire his foods, in which is the bread of deceit.

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23:4  Weary not thyself to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom.

If thou art poor, measure not thyself with a rich man; but refrain thyself in thy wisdom.

Do not be willing to labor so that you may be enriched. But set limits by your prudence.

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23:5  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon it? it is gone; for riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flieth toward heaven.

For if you should fix your eye on him, you cannot see him; for he makes for himself wings like an eagle and flies away toward the sky.

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23:6  Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainties;

Sup not with an envious man, neither desire thou his meats

Do not eat with an envious man, and do not desire his foods.

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23:7  For as one that hath reckoned within himself, so is he: 'Eat and drink', saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

so he eats and drinks as if any one should swallow a hair, and do not bring him in to thyself, nor eat thy morsel with him

For he is like him that swallows pitch; in like manner you will eat and drink with him, but his heart is not with you.

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23:8  The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

for he will vomit it up, and spoil thy fair words.

The foods that you had eaten, you will vomit up. And you will lose the beauty in your words.

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23:9  Speak not in the ears of a fool; for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Say nothing in the ears of a fool, lest at any time he sneer at thy wise words.

Do not speak into the ears of the unwise. They will despise the doctrine of your eloquence.

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23:10  Remove not the ancient landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless;

10  Do not touch the boundaries of little ones, and do not enter into the field of the fatherless.

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23:11  For their Redeemer is strong; He will plead their cause with thee.

11  For their close relative is strong, and he will judge their case against you.

11  For their saviour is mighty; he will plead their cause with you.

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23:12  Apply thy heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

12  Apply thine heart to instruction, and prepare thine ears for words of discretion.

12  Let your heart enter into doctrine, and let your ears enter into words of knowledge.

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23:13  Withhold not correction from the child; for though thou beat him with the rod, he will not die.

13  Do not be willing to take away discipline from a child. For if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

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23:14  Thou beatest him with the rod, and wilt deliver his soul from the nether-world.

14  For thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from death.

14  You will strike him with the rod, and so shall you deliver his soul from Hell.

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23:15  My son, if thy heart be wise, my heart will be glad, even mine;

15  Son, if thy heart be wise, thou shalt also gladden my heart;

15  My son, if your soul will become wise, my heart will be glad with you.

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23:16  Yea, my reins will rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

16  and thy lips shall converse with my lips, if they be right.

16  And my temperament will exult, when your lips will have spoken what is upright.

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23:17  Let not thy heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of YHWH all the day;

17  Let not your heart compete with sinners. But be in the fear of the Lord all day long.

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23:18  For surely there is a future; and thy hope shall not be cut off.

18  For if thou shouldest keep these things, thou shalt have posterity; and thine hope shall not be removed.

18  For you will have hope in the end, and your expectation will not be taken away.

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23:19  Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thy heart in the way.

19  Hear, my son, and be wise, and rightly direct the thoughts of thine heart.

19  Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your soul along the way.

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23:20  Be not among winebibbers; among gluttonous eaters of flesh;

20  Do not be willing to be in the feasts of great drinkers, nor in the carousings of those who gather to feed on flesh.

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23:21  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

21  for every drunkard and whoremonger shall be poor; and every sluggard shall clothe himself with tatters and ragged garments.

21  For those who waste time drinking, and who surrender themselves to symbols, will be consumed. And those who sleep will be clothed in rags.

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23:22  Hearken unto thy father that begot thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

22  Hearken, my son, to thy father which begot thee, and despise not thy mother because she is grown old.

22  Listen to your father, who conceived you. And do not despise your mother, when she is old.

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23:23  Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

23  Purchase truth, and do not sell wisdom, or doctrine, or understanding.

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23:24  The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; and he that begetteth a wise child will have joy of him.

24  A righteous father brings up his children well; and his soul rejoices over a wise son.

24  The father of a righteous man shall greatly rejoice; and he who begets a wise child shall be glad.

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23:25  Let thy father and thy mother be glad, and let her that bore thee rejoice.

25  Let your father and your mother be joyful, and may she who conceived you exult.

25  Your father and your mother shall rejoice in you; and the one who bore you shall be happy.

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23:26  My son, give me thy heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

26  My son, offer me your heart, and let your eyes keep to my ways.

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23:27  For a harlot is a deep ditch; and an alien woman is a narrow pit.

27  For a strange house is a vessel full of holes; and a strange well is narrow.

27  For a loose woman is a deep pit, and a foreign woman is a constricted well.

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23:28  She also lieth in wait as a robber, and increaseth the faithless among men.

28  For such a one shall perish suddenly; and every transgressor shall be cut off.

28  She destroys men suddenly, and increases iniquity among men.

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23:29  Who crieth: 'Woe'? who: 'Alas'? who hath contentions? who hath raving? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

29  Who has woe? who trouble? who has quarrels? and who vexations and disputes? who has bruises without a cause? whose eyes are livid?

29  Who has woe? Who has trouble? Who has contentions? Who has hardships? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

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23:30  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to try mixed wine.

30  Are not those of them that stay long at wine? are not those of them that haunt the places where banquets are? Be not drunk with wine; but converse with just men, and converse with them openly.

30  Is it not those who linger over wine, and who strive to be drinking from their cups?

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23:31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it glideth down smoothly;

31  For if thou shouldest set thine eyes on bowls and cups, thou shalt afterwards go more naked than a pestle.

31  Do not gaze into the wine when it turns gold, when its color shines in the glass. It enters pleasantly,

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23:32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like a basilisk.

32  But at last such a one stretches himself out as one smitten by a serpent, and venom is diffused through him as by a horned serpent.

32  but in the end, it will bite like a snake, and it will spread poison like a king of snakes.

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23:33  Thine eyes shall behold strange things, and thy heart shall utter confused things.

33  Your eyes will see women who are outsiders, and your heart will utter perversities.

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23:34  Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

34  And thou shalt lie as in the midst of the sea, and as a pilot in a great storm.

34  And you will be like someone sleeping in the middle of the sea, and like a pilot, fast asleep, who has lost his hold on the helm.

23:35  'They have struck me, and I felt it not, they have beaten me, and I knew it not; when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.'

35  And thou shalt say, They smote me, and I was not pained; and they mocked me, and I knew it not: when will it be morning, that I may go and seek those with whom I may go in company?

35  And you will say: “They have beaten me, but I did not feel pain. They have dragged me, and I did not realize it. When will I awaken and find more wine?”