24 1Don’t envy evil men or desire to be with them, 2for their hearts plan violence, and their words stir up trouble. 3A house is built by wisdom, and it is established by understanding; 4by knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious and beautiful treasure. 5A wise warrior is better than a strong one,[D] and a man of knowledge than one of strength;[E] 6for you should wage war with sound guidance— victory comes with many counselors. 7Wisdom is inaccessible to[F] a fool; he does not open his mouth at the gate. 8The one who plots evil will be called a schemer. 9A foolish scheme is sin, and a mocker is detestable to people. 10If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited. 11Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter. 12If you say, “But we didn’t know about this,” won’t He who weighs hearts consider it? Won’t He who protects your life know? Won’t He repay a person according to his work? 13Eat honey, my son, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; 14realize that wisdom is the same for you. If you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will never fade. 15Wicked man, don’t set an ambush, at the camp of the righteous man; don’t destroy his dwelling. 16Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin. 17Don’t gloat when your enemy falls, and don’t let your heart rejoice when he stumbles, 18or the Lord will see, be displeased, and turn His wrath away from him. 19Don’t be agitated by evildoers, and don’t envy the wicked. 20For the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. 21My son, fear the Lord, as well as the king, and don’t associate with rebels,[G] 22for destruction from them will come suddenly; who knows what distress these two can bring? 23These sayings also belong to the wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment. 24Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent”— people will curse him, and tribes will denounce him; 25but it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and a generous blessing will come to them. 26He who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips. 27Complete your outdoor work, and prepare your field; afterward, build your house. 28Don’t testify against your neighbor without cause. Don’t deceive with your lips. 29Don’t say, “I’ll do to him what he did to me; I’ll repay the man for what he has done.” 30I went by the field of a slacker and by the vineyard of a man lacking sense. 31Thistles had come up everywhere, weeds covered the ground, and the stone wall was ruined. 32I saw, and took it to heart; I looked, and received instruction: 33a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, 34and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit.
Holman Christian Standard Bible® / © 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers About