A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy.
When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.
Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.
If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
Bloodthirsty men hate a man of integrity and seek to kill the upright.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.
The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.
If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.
The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.
Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond.
Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.
An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.
A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.
The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy; he is put under oath and dare not testify.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that man gets justice.
The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.
The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh--an oracle : This man declared to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ucal:
"I am the most ignorant of men; I do not have a man's understanding.
I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!
"Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
"Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, `Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
"Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it.
"There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers;
those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful;
those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from among mankind.
"The leech has two daughters. `Give! Give!' they cry. "There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, `Enough!':
the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, `Enough!'
"The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
"There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.
"This is the way of an adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, `I've done nothing wrong.'
"Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up:
a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food,
an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.
"Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;
locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;
a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces.
"There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:
a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;
a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king with his army around him.
"If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth!
For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.