My son, have you sinned?
Do it no more;
and ask forgiveness for your past sins.
Flee from sin as from the face of a snake;
for if you go near, it will bite you.
Its teeth are like lion’s teeth,
slaying people’s souls.
All iniquity is as a two-edged sword.
Its stroke has no healing.
Terror and violence will waste away riches.
So the house of an arrogant man will be laid waste.
Supplication from a poor man’s mouth reaches to the ears of* Gr. him. God,
and his judgment comes speedily.
One who hates reproof is in the path of the sinner.
He who fears the Lord will repent in his heart.
He who is mighty in tongue is known far away;
but the man of understanding knows when he slips.
He who builds his house with other men’s money
is like one who gathers stones for his own tomb.
The congregation of wicked men is as a bundle of tow
with a flame of fire at the end of them.
10 The way of sinners is paved with stones;
and at the end of it is the pit of Hades.
11 He who keeps the law becomes master of its intent.
The fulfilment of the fear of the Lord is wisdom.
12 He who is not clever will not be instructed.
There is a cleverness which makes bitterness abound.
13 The knowledge of a wise man will be made to abound as a flood,
and his counsel as a fountain of life.
14 The inward parts of a fool are like a broken vessel.
He will hold no knowledge.
15 If a man of knowledge hears a wise word,
he will commend it and add to it.
The wanton man hears it, and it displeases him,
so he throws it away behind his back.
16 The chatter of a fool is like a burden in the way,
but grace will be found on the lips of the wise.
17 The utterance of the prudent man will be sought for in the congregation.
They will ponder his words in their heart.
18 As a house that is destroyed, so is wisdom to a fool.
The knowledge of an unwise man is talk without sense. Gr. unexamined words.
19 Instruction is as fetters on the feet of an unwise man,
and as manacles on the right hand.
20 A fool lifts up his voice with laughter,
but a clever man smiles quietly.
21 Instruction is to a prudent man as an ornament of gold,
and as a bracelet upon his right arm.
22 The foot of a fool rushes into a house,
but a man of experience will be ashamed of entering.
23 A foolish man peers into the door of a house,
but a man who is instructed will stand outside.
24 It is rude for someone to listen at a door,
but a prudent person will be grieved with the disgrace.
25  The lips of strangers will be grieved at these things,
but the words of prudent men will be weighed in the balance.
26 The heart of fools is in their mouth,
but the mouth of wise men is their heart.
27 When the ungodly curses an adversary,
he curses his own soul.
28 A whisperer defiles his own soul,
and will be hated wherever he travels.

*21:5 Gr. him.

21:18 Gr. unexamined words.