Proverbs 22

1 It is better to receive honour from people than to be very rich.

If people respect you, that is better than silver or gold.

2 This is true about rich people and poor people:

The Lord created them all.

3 A careful person can see danger and he will hide himself.

But a silly person never stops, and he walks into trouble.

4 You should be humble. You should respect and obey the Lord.

Then you will receive riches, honour and a long life.

5 Wicked people go through a lot of trouble,

like thorn bushes and traps in their way.

So be careful to keep far away from them.

6 If you teach children the right way to live,

they will not forget it when they are older.

7 Rich people have authority over poor people.

People who borrow money have to serve those who lend it to them.

8 If you plant evil things,

your harvest will be trouble.

If you are angry and you hurt people,

it will never help you.

9 If you are kind to poor people and you share your food with them,

God will bless you.

10 If someone laughs at what is right, send him away.

Then there will be no more arguments, quarrels and insults.

11 If you live in a pure way, and you speak kind words,

you will have the king as your friend.

12 The Lord watches over truth, to keep it safe.

But when people tell lies, he makes them useless.

13 A lazy person stays in his house.

He says, ‘There is a lion outside in the street!

If I go out, it will kill me!’

14 The mouth of an adulteress is like a deep hole.

If you make the Lord angry, you will fall into it!

15 Children love to do foolish things.

To stop them, you must warn and punish them.

16 Someone may be cruel to poor people to make himself rich.

Someone else may give gifts to rich people to make them his friends.

But both those people will become poor in the end.

30 wise thoughts

17 Listen carefully. I will teach you what wise people have said. Think about the things that I am teaching you. 18 If you remember these things, you will be happy. Tell them to other people. 19 I want you to trust in the Lord. So I will tell you these things today. They are for you.

20 I have written down 30 wise thoughts for you. They will teach you what is right, so that you know how to live well. 21 You can trust these words because they are true. Then you can give a good answer to the people who sent you to me.

22:20We have put in the numbers (1 to 30).

22 1. Do not cheat poor people just because they are poor. Do not attack helpless people in court.

23 The Lord will speak on their behalf. He will punish anyone who cheats them.

24 2. Do not become a friend of angry people. Keep away from them. 25 You might become angry, like them. Then you would spoil your whole life.

26 3. Do not promise to pay someone else's debt. 27 If you cannot pay, they will take away your bed, even while you are sleeping on it!

28 4. Do not move any stone that shows the border of your land. Your ancestors put it there to stop arguments.

29 5. A worker with special skills may work for a king. He will no longer have to work for ordinary people.