1 The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.
2 When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But with wise and knowledgeable leaders, there is stability.
3 A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.
4 To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them.
5 Evil people don't understand justice, but those who follow the LORD understand completely.
6 It is better to be poor and honest than rich and crooked.
7 Young people who obey the law are wise; those who seek out worthless companions bring shame to their parents.
8 A person who makes money by charging interest will lose it. It will end up in the hands of someone who is kind to the poor.
9 The prayers of a person who ignores the law are despised.
10 Those who lead the upright into sin will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things.
11 Rich people picture themselves as wise, but their real poverty is evident to the poor.
12 When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
13 People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy.
14 Blessed are those who have a tender conscience,* but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.1
15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a lion or bear attacking them.
16 Only a stupid prince will oppress his people, but a king will have a long reign if he hates dishonesty and bribes.
17 A murderer's tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don't protect him!
18 The honest will be rescued from harm, but those who are crooked will be destroyed.
19 Hard workers have plenty of food; playing around brings poverty.
20 The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich quick will only get into trouble.
21 Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for something as small as a piece of bread.
22 A greedy person tries to get rich quick, but it only leads to poverty.
23 In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.
24 Robbing your parents and then saying, "What's wrong with that?" is as serious as committing murder.
25 Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.
26 Trusting oneself is foolish, but those who walk in wisdom are safe.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty.
28 When the wicked take charge, people hide. When the wicked meet disaster, the godly multiply.
Read Proverbs 29