The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 24:1–34

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Be not thou envious of evil men, neither desire to be with them.

My son, envy not bad men, nor desire to be with them.

Do not imitate evil men, nor desire to be among them.

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For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

For their mind meditates on robberies, and their lips speak deceptions.

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Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established;

A house is built by wisdom, and is set up by understanding.

By wisdom shall a house be built, and by prudence shall it be strengthened.

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And by knowledge are the chambers filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

By doctrine, the storerooms shall be filled with every substance that is precious and most beautiful.

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A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

A wise man is better than a strong man; and a man who has prudence than a large estate.

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For with wise advice thou shalt make thy war; and in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

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Wisdom is as unattainable to a fool as corals; he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

Wisdom and good understanding are in the gates of the wise: the wise turn not aside from the mouth of the Lord,

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He that deviseth to do evil, men shall call him a mischievous person.

but deliberate in council. Death befalls uninstructed men.

Whoever intends to do evil shall be called foolish.

The thought of foolishness is sin; and the scorner is an abomination to men.

The fools also dies in sins; and uncleanness attaches to a pestilent man.

The intention of the foolish is sin. And the detractor is an abomination among men.

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10  If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small indeed.

10  He shall be defiled in the evil day, and in the day of affliction, until he be utterly consumed.

10  The wicked shall be driven away by evil in the day of affliction.

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11  Deliver them that are drawn unto death; and those that are ready to be slain wilt thou forbear to rescue?

11  Rescue those who are led away to death. And do not cease from delivering those who are dragged away to a violent death.

11  Deliver those who are led away to death, and spare not to redeem those who are held to be slain.

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12  If thou sayest: 'Behold, we knew not this', doth not He that weigheth the hearts consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works?

12  But if thou shouldest say, I know not this man; know that the Lord knows the hearts of all; and he that formed breath for all, he knows all things, who renders to every man according to his works.

12  If you would say: “I do not have sufficient strength.” He who inspects the heart, the same one understands, and nothing slips past the one who preserves your soul. And he shall repay a man according to his works.

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13  My son, eat thou honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to thy taste;

13  My son, eat honey, because it is good, and the honeycomb, because it is so sweet to your throat.

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14  So know thou wisdom to be unto thy soul; if thou hast found it, then shall there be a future, and thy hope shall not be cut off.

14  Thus shall wisdom find your soul; and you will have good prospects, and your hope shall not be cut off.

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15  Lie not in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous, spoil not his resting-place;

15  Bring not an ungodly man into the dwelling of the righteous: neither be deceived by the feeding of the belly.

15  Do not lie in wait, and do not seek impiety in the house of the just, nor spoil his rest.

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16  For a righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again, but the wicked stumble under adversity.

16  For the just one will fall seven times, and he shall rise again. But the impious will fall into evil.

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17  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth;

17  If thine enemy should fall, rejoice not over him, neither be elated at his overthrow.

17  When your enemy will fall, do not be glad, and do not let your heart exult in his ruin,

18  Lest YHWH see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.

18  For the Lord will see it, and it will not please him, and he will turn away his wrath from him.

18  lest perhaps the Lord see, and it displease him, and he may take away his wrath from him.

19  Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

19  Rejoice not in evil-doers, neither be envious of sinners.

19  Do not contend with the most wicked, and do not be a rival to the impious.

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20  For there will be no future to the evil man, the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

20  For the evil man shall have no posterity: and the light of the wicked shall be put out.

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21  My son, fear thou YHWH and the king, and meddle not with them that are given to change;

21  My son, fear God and the king; and do not disobey either of them.

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22  For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin from them both?

22  For they will suddenly punish the ungodly, and who can know the vengeance inflicted by both? A son that keeps the commandment shall escape destruction; for such an one has fully received it. Let no falsehood be spoken by the king from the tongue; yea, let no falsehood proceed from his tongue. The king’s tongue is a sword, and not one of flesh; and whosoever shall be given up to it shall be destroyed: for if his wrath should be provoked, he destroys men with cords, and devours men’s bones, and burns them up as a flame, so that they are not even fit to be eaten by the young eagles. My son, reverence my words, and receive them, and repent.

22  For their perdition shall up rise suddenly. And who knows what ruin will be for each of them?

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23  These also are sayings of the wise. To have respect of persons in judgment is not good.

23  And this thing I say to you that are wise for you to learn: It is not good to have respect of persons in judgement.

23  These things I say to the wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment,

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24  He that saith unto the wicked: 'Thou art righteous', peoples shall curse him, nations shall execrate him;

24  Those who say to the impious, “You are just,” shall be cursed by the people, and the tribes shall detest them.

24  Nor to say to a wicked man, You are righteous; him shall the people curse, and nations shall abhor him.

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25  But to them that decide justly shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

25  But they that reprove him shall appear more excellent, and blessing shall come upon them;

25  Those who argue against the impious shall be praised, and a blessing shall come upon them.

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26  He kisseth the lips that giveth a right answer.

26  and men will kiss lips that answer well.

26  The people shall kiss the lips of those who give admonition.

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27  Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thy house.

27  Prepare your outdoor work, and diligently cultivate your field, so that afterward, you may build your house.

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28  Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

28  Be not a false witness against thy fellow citizen, neither exaggerate with thy lips.

28  Do not be a witness without cause against your neighbor. And do not mislead anyone with your lips.

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29  Say not: 'I will do so to him as he hath done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.'

29  Say not, As he has treated me, so will I treat him, and I will avenge myself on him for that wherein he has injured me.

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30  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

30  A foolish man is like a farm, and a senseless man is like a vineyard.

30  I passed by the field of a lazy man, and by the vineyard of a foolish man,

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31  And, lo, it was all grown over with thistles, the face thereof was covered with nettles, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.

31  If thou let him alone, he will altogether remain barren and covered with weeds; and he becomes destitute, and his stone walls are broken down.

31  and behold, it was entirely filled with nettles, and thorns had covered its surface, and the stonewall was destroyed.

32  Then I beheld, and considered well; I saw, and received instruction.

32  Afterwards I reflected, I looked that I might receive instruction.

32  When I had seen this, I laid it up in my heart, and by this example, I received discipline.

33  'Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep'--

33  The sluggard says, I slumber a little, and I sleep a little, and for a little while I fold my arms across my breast.

33  You will sleep a little,” I said. “You will slumber briefly. You will fold your hands a little, so as to rest.

34  So shall thy poverty come as a runner, and thy want as an armed man.

34  But if thou do this, thy poverty will come speedily; and thy want like a swift courier.

34  And destitution will overtake you like a runner, and begging will overtake you like an armed man.”