Proverbs 22

1 If you have to choose between having a good name or lots of money, choose a good name. You should want people to think that you are great. That is better than silver or gold.

2 Rich people and poor people meet together. The Lord created them all.

3 A wise man sees the danger and he hides himself. But a man who does not think will walk immediately into danger and punishment.

4 Do not think that you are important. And be afraid of the Lord. If you do those things, you will get many valuable things. And you will have a long life. And people will say that you are very good.

5 Stay away from the paths of bad people. They are dark and dangerous.

6 Teach children how they should live. They will remember it all their lives.

7 People lend money. They rule over those who receive it. And rich people rule over poor people.

8 A bad man who causes trouble for other people will cause trouble for himself. He will no longer have the power to rule over other people.

9 Give some of your food to poor people. The Lord will bless you because you do.

10 Send away a man who is too proud. Then there will be nothing to argue about. It will be the end of all quarrels and shame.

11 Some men love to do what is right. They speak in a kind way to everyone. They will have the king as a friend.

12 The Lord watches over words that are true. And he does not forget the words of bad men. He does not let them become true.

13 A lazy man stays in his house. He says, ‘There is a lion outside. It might kill me in the street.’

14 The mouth of an adulteress is like a deep hole. The Lord is angry with those who fall into it.

15 A child loves to do silly things. You must hit him when he does wrong things. If you do, he will learn to do right things.

16 A man may take money from poor people because he hopes to become rich. Another man may give gifts to rich people because he hopes to become rich. But both those men will become poor.

17 Listen. I will teach you what wise people have said. Study what they have taught.

18 If you remember those things, you will be happy. Try to remember them and to repeat them.

19 I want you to hope in the Lord. So, I will tell you now what they have taught.

20 I have written down 30 proverbs for you. They will make you wise. They will give good ideas to you. And they will teach you what is true.

21 Someone may send you to discover what is true. If he does, you should bring back the right answer.

22 You are stronger than poor people. It is wrong to do cruel things to them. Sometimes, when they bring people to the rulers, those people do not have anybody to speak on their behalf.

23 The Lord will speak on their behalf. A rich person may try to take everything that poor people have. If he does, the Lord will take away the life of that rich person.

24 Do not be a friend to people who are very, very angry.

25 You might become like them and you might always be an angry person.

26 Do not promise to pay the money that someone else should have paid.

27 If you are unable to pay, they will take away even your bed.

28 Do not move the old stones that your fathers and their fathers put there. They show the border of your land.

29 The king will give work to a man who works well. But he has to do better than most men.