1 Every friend will say, “I also am his friend”;
but there is a friend which is only a friend in name.
2 Isn’t there a grief in it even to death
when a companion and friend is turned into an enemy?
3 O wicked imagination, why were you formed
to cover the dry land with deceit?
4 There is a companion who rejoices in the gladness of a friend,
but in time of affliction will be against him.
5 There is a companion who for the belly’s sake labors with his friend,
yet in the face of battle will carry his buckler.
6 Don’t forget a friend in your soul.
Don’t be unmindful of him in your riches.
7 Every counselor extols counsel,
but some give counsel in their own interest.
8 Let your soul beware of a counselor,
and know in advance what is his interest
(for he will take counsel for himself),
lest he cast the lot against you,
9 and say to you, “Your way is good.”
Then he will stand near you, to see what will happen to you.
10 Don’t take counsel with one who looks askance at you.
Hide your counsel from those who are jealous of you.
11 Don’t consult with a woman about her rival,
with a coward about war,
with a merchant about business,
with a buyer about selling,
with an envious man about thankfulness,
with an unmerciful man about kindliness,
with a sluggard about any kind of work,
with a hireling in your house about finishing his work,
or with an idle servant about much business.
Pay no attention to these in any matter of counsel.
12 But rather be continually with a godly man,
whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments,
who in his soul is as your own soul,
and who will grieve with you, if you fail.
13 Make the counsel of your heart stand,
for there is no one more faithful to you than it.
14 For a man’s soul is sometimes inclined to inform him
better than seven watchmen who sit on high on a watch-tower.
15 Above all this ask the Most High
that he may direct your way in truth.
16 Let reason be the beginning of every work.
Let counsel go before every action.
17 As a token of the changing of the heart,
18 four kinds of things rise up:
good and evil, life and death.
That which rules over them continually is the tongue.
19 There is one who is clever and the instructor of many,
and yet is unprofitable to his own soul.
20 There is one who is subtle in words, and is hated.
He will be destitute of all food.
21 For grace was not given to him from the Lord,
because he is deprived of all wisdom.
22 There is one who is wise to his own soul;
and the fruits of his understanding are trustworthy in the mouth.
23 A wise man will instruct his own people.
The fruits of his understanding are trustworthy.
24 A wise man will be filled with blessing.
All those who see him will call him happy.
25 The life of a man is counted by days.
The days of Israel are innumerable.
26 The wise man will inherit confidence among his people.
His name will live forever.
27 My son, test your soul in your life.
See what is evil for it, and don’t give in to it.
28 For not all things are profitable for all men.
Not every soul has pleasure in everything.
29 Don’t be insatiable in any luxury.
Don’t be greedy in the things that you eat.
30 For overeating brings disease,
and gluttony causes nausea.
31 Because of gluttony, many have perished,
but he who takes heed shall prolong his life.