Proverbs 22–24

1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,

and loving favor rather than silver and gold.

2 The rich and poor have this in common,

the Lord is the maker of them all.

3 A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself,

but the simple pass on and are punished.

4 By humility and the fear of the Lord

are riches, and honor, and life.

5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;

he who guards his soul will be far from them.

6 Train up a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not depart from it.

7 The rich rules over the poor,

and the borrower is servant to the lender.

8 He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,

and the rod of his anger will fail.

9 He who has a bountiful eye will be blessed,

for he gives of his bread to the poor.

10 Cast out the scorner, and contention will go out;

yes, strife and reproach will cease.

11 He who loves pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips

the king will be his friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,

and He overthrows the words of the transgressor.

13 The slothful man says, “There is a lion without!

I will be slain in the streets!”

14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;

he who is detested by the Lord will fall therein.

15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child,

but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.

16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,

and he who gives to the rich, will surely come to want.

17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,

and apply your heart to my knowledge;

18 for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;

they will readily be fitted in your lips.

19 That your trust may be in the Lord,

I have made known to you this day, even to you.

20 Have I not written to you excellent things

in counsels and knowledge,

21 that I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth,

that you might answer the words of truth

to those who send to you?

22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,

neither oppress the afflicted in the gate;

23 for the Lord will plead their cause,

and spoil the soul of those who spoiled them.

24 Make no friendship with an angry man,

and with a furious man you will not go,

25 lest you learn his ways

and get a snare to your soul.

26 Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,

or of those who use securities for debts;

27 if you have nothing to pay,

why should he take away your bed from under you?

28 Do not remove the ancient landmark

which your fathers have set.

29 Do you see a man diligent in his business?

He will stand before kings;

he will not stand before obscure men.

Chapter 23

1 When you sit to eat with a ruler,

consider diligently what is before you;

2 and put a knife to your throat,

if you are a man given to appetite.

3 Be not desirous of his delicacies,

for they are deceptive food.

4 Do not labor to be rich;

cease from your own wisdom.

5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?

For riches certainly make themselves wings;

they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

6 Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye,

neither desire his delicacies;

7 for as he thinks in his heart,

so is he.

“Eat and drink!” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you.

8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,

and lose your sweet words.

9 Do not speak in the ears of a fool,

for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not remove the old landmark,

nor enter the fields of the fatherless;

11 for their Redeemer is mighty;

He will plead their cause with you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction,

and your ears to the words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold correction from a child,

for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die.

14 You shall beat him with the rod,

and deliver his soul from death.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,

my heart will rejoice—even mine.

16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice

when your lips speak right things.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,

but continue in the fear of the Lord all day long;

18 for surely there is an end,

and your expectation will not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;

and guide your heart in the way.

20 Do not be among winebibbers,

among riotous eaters of meat;

21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22 Listen to your father who gave you life,

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,

also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,

and he who fathers a wise child will have joy of him.

25 Your father and your mother will be glad,

and she who bore you will rejoice.

26 My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes observe my ways.

27 For a prostitute is a deep ditch,

and a seductress is a narrow pit.

28 She also lies in wait as for a prey,

and increases the transgressors among men.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has contentions? Who has babbling?

Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

30 Those who tarry long at the wine,

those who go to seek mixed wine.

31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup,

when it swirls around smoothly;

32 at the last it bites like a serpent,

and stings like a viper.

33 Your eyes will see strange things,

and your heart will utter perverse things.

34 Yes, you will be as he who lies down in the midst of the sea,

or as he who lies upon the top of a mast.

35 “They have stricken me,” you will say, “and I was not sick;

they have beaten me, and I did not feel it.

When will I awake?

I will seek it yet again.”

Chapter 24

1 Do not be envious against evil men,

nor desire to be with them;

2 for their heart studies destruction,

and their lips talk of mischief.

3 Through wisdom is a house built,

and by understanding it is established;

4 and by knowledge the rooms will be filled

with all precious and pleasant riches.

5 A wise man is strong;

yes, a man of knowledge increases strength.

6 For by wise counsel you will wage your war,

and in multitude of counselors there is safety.

7 Wisdom is too high for a fool;

he does not open his mouth in the gate.

8 He who devises to do evil

will be called a schemer of plots.

9 The thought of foolishness is sin,

and the scorner is an abomination to men.

10 If you faint in the day of adversity,

your strength is small.

11 If you refrain to deliver those who are drawn unto death,

and those who are ready to be slain;

12 if you say, “Surely we did not know this,”

does not He who ponders the heart consider it?

And He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?

And will He not render to every man according to his works?

13 My son, eat honey because it is good,

and the honeycomb that is sweet to your taste;

14 so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;

when you have found it, then there will be a reward,

and your expectation will not be cut off.

15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;

do not spoil his resting place;

16 for a just man falls seven times and rises up again,

but the wicked will fall into mischief.

17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,

and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;

18 lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,

and He turn away His wrath from him.

19 Do not fret because of evil men,

nor be envious of the wicked;

20 for there will be no reward to the evil man;

the candle of the wicked will be put out.

21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;

and do not meddle with those who are given to change;

22 for their calamity will rise suddenly,

and who knows the ruin of them both?

23 These things also belong to the wise:

It is not good to show partiality in judgment.

24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”

him the people will curse; nations will abhor him.

25 But to those who rebuke him will be delight,

and a good blessing will come upon them.

26 Every man will kiss his lips

that gives a right answer.

27 Prepare your work outside,

and make it fit for yourself in the field;

and afterwards build your house.

28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,

and do not deceive with your lips.

29 Do not say, “I will do so to him as he has done to me;

I will render to the man according to his work.”

30 I went by the field of the slothful,

and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

31 and it was all grown over with thorns,

and nettles covered its surface,

and the stone wall was broken down.

32 Then I saw, and considered it;

I looked on it and received instruction:

33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to sleep,

34 so your poverty will come like a stalker,

and your need as an armed man.

2 Corinthians 8

1 Moreover, brothers, we want you to experience the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, 2 how in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty overflowed toward the riches of their generous giving. 3 For I bear record that according to their means, and beyond their means, they freely gave, 4 begging us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of ministering to the saints. 5 This they did, not as we expected. First, they gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this gracious deed for you. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love to us—see that you abound in this grace also.

8 I say this not as a command, but to prove through the authenticity of others, the sincerity also of your love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that through His poverty you might be rich.

10 And in this matter I give my advice. It is appropriate for you, who began last year not only to give, but also to willingly give. 11 Now therefore complete the task, so that, as there was a willingness to do so, there may be a performance of it according to your means. 12 For if there is a willing mind first, the gift is accepted according to what a man possesses and not according to what he does not possess.

13 I do not mean that other men have relief, and you be burdened, 14 but for equality, that your abundance now at this time may supply their need, and their abundance may supply your need—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had no excess. And he who gathered little had no lack.”

16 But thanks be to God, who placed the same sincere care in the heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation. But being more zealous, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches. 19 And not only that, but he was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which we administer to the glory of the same Lord, and to declare your willing mind, 20 to prevent any man from blaming us in administering this abundant gift, 21 providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.

22 Furthermore, we have sent with them our brother whom we have frequently proved diligent in many things, but now is much more diligent, due to the great confidence which he has in you. 23 If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper concerning you. Or if our brothers are inquired about, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.