Proverbs 20

1 If you drink too much wine or strong drink,

you do stupid things and you fight.

It is not wise to become drunk.

2 When the king is angry, he is as dangerous as a lion that roars.

If you make him angry, you will lose your life.

3 If you keep away from arguments, you will receive honour.

Only fools love to quarrel.

4 A lazy farmer does not plough his fields in winter.

As a result, he has nothing to eat when harvest time arrives.

5 A person's thoughts are like deep waters.

But a wise person can bring them into the open.

6 Many people say that you can trust them.

But it is difficult to find a truly faithful person.

7 Righteous people live in an honest way.

Their children will also be happy.

8 When a king sits on his throne as judge,

he sees what is evil and he removes it.

9 Nobody can say, ‘My thoughts are completely pure.

There is no sin in me.’

10 If people use false weights and measures,

the Lord hates anything like that.

11 Even children show what they are like by the things that they do.

You can see if they are honest and good.

12 The Lord has made us with ears to hear with and eyes to see with.

They are both his gift to us.

13 If you love to sleep too much, you will become poor.

Keep awake so that you have food on the table!

14 When somebody is buying something, he says, ‘It is worth nothing!’

But later he boasts about the cheap price!

15 Words that help you to learn things are very valuable.

They are more valuable than gold or jewels.

16 If someone promises to pay the debts of a stranger,

take his coat as a guarantee that he will pay.

17 If you cheat someone to get food to eat,

it may seem good when you taste it.

But soon it will be like sand in your mouth.

18 Things will go well if you receive good advice.

If you want to fight a war, ask wise people to be your advisors.

19 Keep away from people who talk too much.

They will tell everybody about your secrets.

20 If you insult your parents, your life will quickly finish,

like a lamp that suddenly goes out

and leaves you in complete darkness.

21 If you receive riches too early in life,

it will do you no good in the end.

22 Do not say, ‘I will pay you back for the evil thing you did to me.’

Trust the Lord to make it right for you.

23 The Lord hates traders who use false weights.

He hates scales that do not weigh things properly.

24 The Lord chooses the way that we take through life.

We cannot understand what will happen to us.

25 Do not be too quick to promise to give something to God.

If you want to change your mind, you have made a trap for yourself.

26 A wise king can pick out wicked people,

and he will punish them as they deserve.

27 The Lord makes our human spirit like his lamp inside us.

It shows us what we are really like.

28 A king should rule with faithful love and truth.

If he is honest and fair, he will continue to rule.

29 Young men boast about their strength.

Old men are proud of their beautiful grey hair.

30 Painful punishment stops you from doing evil things.

It makes you change to a better way of life.