1 Don't envy evil people; don't desire their company.
2 For they spend their days plotting violence, and their words are always stirring up trouble.
3 A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.
4 Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.
5 A wise man is mightier than a strong man,* and a man of knowledge is more powerful than a strong man.1
6 So don't go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many counselors.
7 Wisdom is too much for a fool. When the leaders gather, the fool has nothing to say.
8 A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
9 The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone despises a mocker.
10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is not very great.
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don't stand back and let them die.
12 Don't try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn't know about it. For God knows all hearts, and he sees you. He keeps watch over your soul, and he knows you knew! And he will judge all people according to what they have done.
13 My child,* eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.2
14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw at the home of the godly. And don't raid the house where the godly live.
16 They may trip seven times, but each time they will rise again. But one calamity is enough to lay the wicked low.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemies fall into trouble. Don't be happy when they stumble.
18 For the LORD will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers; don't envy the wicked.
20 For the evil have no future; their light will be snuffed out.
21 My child, fear the LORD and the king, and don't associate with rebels.
22 For you will go down with them to sudden disaster. Who knows where the punishment from the LORD and the king will end?
23 Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.
24 A judge who says to the wicked, "You are innocent," will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations.
25 But blessings are showered on those who convict the guilty.
26 It is an honor to receive an honest reply.
27 Develop your business first before building your house.
28 Do not testify spitefully against innocent neighbors; don't lie about them.
29 And don't say, "Now I can pay them back for all their meanness to me! I'll get even!"
30 I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one lacking sense.
31 I saw that it was overgrown with thorns. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down.
32 Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson:
33 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--
34 and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Read Proverbs 25