The Word Made Fresh
1Wicked people run away even when not being chased,
but good people stand their ground as bold as lions.
2People will rebel when they have many rulers,
but an intelligent ruler will provide lasting order.
3A ruler oppressing the poor
is like a heavy rain that inundates everything.
4Those who turn away from the law praise worthless rulers,
but those who respect the law will fight against them.
5Wicked people don’t understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD do.
6It is better to be poor and live with integrity
than to be rich and completely untrustworthy.
7Wise children obey the law,
but gluttons and their pals bring shame to their parents.
8One who increases their wealth by charging exorbitant interest
only gathers it for another who is kind to the poor.
9The prayers of one who will not abide by the law
are foolish and ineffective.
10Those who mislead others into evil
will fall into their own pits,
but the blameless will inherit well.
11The self-esteem of the wealthy will grow,
but even the poor who are intelligent see through it.
12When good people triumph there is rejoicing.
When bad people prevail, others go into hiding.
13Those who hide their mistakes may yet prosper;
but those who confess and reform their ways receive mercy.
14Those who are never without fear still can be content,
but the hard-hearted will meet with trouble.
15A wicked ruler over a poverty-stricken people
is like a roaring lion or charging bear.
16The ruler who has no understanding is cruel and oppressive;
but one who hates unjust gain will enjoy a long life.
17If someone murders another
let him be a fugitive until he dies,
and don’t allow anyone to offer protection.
18If you walk in integrity you will be safe,
but if you follow crooked ways you will fall into error.
19Those who till the land will have plenty of bread.
Those who pursue worthless pleasures will have plenty of nothing.
20Those who are faithful will receive many blessings,
but those who are in a hurry to be rich will suffer.
21It is not good to show partiality to another,
but for bread to eat, a person may have to do wrong.
22One who is in a hurry to get rich
never sees the loss that is sure to come.
23The one who reprimands another
will afterward find more favor than the one who flatters.
24Anyone who robs a parent and then says, “That’s not a crime,”
is no better than a partner to a thief.
25A greedy person stirs up strife,
but those who trust the LORD will be rewarded.
26A fool trusts in his own wits.
Those who live wisely will come through safely.
27Those who give to the poor will lack nothing.
Those who turn a blind eye will be cursed.
28When bad people prevail, others go into hiding.
When bad people perish, the righteous increase.
2: I wonder what the ancients would have thought about the stability of a country that changes its head of state every four to eight years?
2-10: Leadership and law are treated in these verses. Intelligent leadership influences how well the people obey the law.
11: Sometimes what appears to be wisdom is merely the pose of pride and vanity.
12: Perhaps nothing defines the differences between the righteous and the wicked as well as the reaction of other people when they triumph.
21: Here is a touching acknowledgment that sometimes the poor are poor through no fault of their own and the failure of society to help them grants them immunity from punishment for certain actions that are normally crimes.
Let those who can handle their own affairs handle their own affairs. Give those who cannot a little slack.