1 A worker who is a drunkard will not become rich.
He who despises small things will fall little by little.
2 Wine and women will make men of understanding go astray.
He who joins with prostitutes is reckless.
3 Decay and worms will have him as their heritage.
A reckless soul will be taken away.
4 He who is hasty to trust is shallow-hearted.
He who sins offends against his own soul.
He who rejoices in wickedness will be condemned.*
He who hates gossip has less wickedness.
7 Never repeat what is told you,
and you won’t lose anything.
8 Whether it is of friend or foe, don’t tell it.
Unless it is a sin to you, don’t reveal it.
9 For if he has heard you and observed you,
when the time comes, he will hate you.
10 Have you heard something? Let it die with you.
Be brave: it will not make you burst!
11 A fool will travail in pain with a word,
as a woman in labor with a child.
12 As an arrow that sticks in the flesh of the thigh,
so is gossip in a fool.
13 Question a friend; it may be he didn’t do it.
If he did something, it may be that he may do it no more.
14 Question your neighbor; it may be he didn’t say it.
If he has said it, it may be that he may not say it again.
15 Question a friend; for many times there is slander.
Don’t trust every word.
16 There is one who slips, and not from the heart.
Who is he who hasn’t sinned with his tongue?
17 Reprove your neighbor before you threaten him;
and give place to the law of the Most High. 18-19 ‡
20 All wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
In all wisdom is the doing of the law. 21 §
22 The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom.
The prudence of sinners is not counsel.
23 There is a wickedness, and it is an abomination.
There is a fool lacking in wisdom.
24 Better is one who has little understanding, and fears God,
than one who has much intelligence and transgresses the law.
25 There is an exquisite subtlety, and it is unjust.
And there is one who perverts favor to gain a judgment.*
26 There is one who does wickedly, who hangs down his head with mourning;
but inwardly he is full of deceit,
27 bowing down his face, and pretending to be deaf in one ear.
Where he isn’t known, he will take advantage of you.
28 And if for lack of power he is hindered from sinning,
if he finds opportunity, he will do mischief.
29 A man will be known by his appearance.
One who has understanding will be known by his face when you meet him.
30 A man’s attire, grinning laughter,
and the way he walks show what he is.