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STRIVE not with a mighty man, lest thou fall into his hands.

2 Be not at variance with a rich man, lest he overweigh thee for gold hath destroyed many, and perverted the hearts of kings.

3 Strive not with a man that is full of tongue, and heap not wood upon his fire.

4 Jest not with a rude man, lest thy ancestors be disgraced. 5 Kindle not the coals of a sinner, lest thou be burnt with the flame of his fire.

6 Rise not up in anger at the presence of an injurious person, lest he lie in wait to entrap thee in thy words.

7 Lend not unto him that is mightier than thyself; for if thou lendest him, count it but lost.

8 Be not surety above thy power: for if thou be surety, take care to pay it.

9 Go not to law with a judge; for thev will judge for him according to his honour.

10 Travel not by the way with a bold fellow, lest he become grievous unto thee: for he will do according to his own will, and thou shalt perish with him through his folly.

11 Strive not with an angry man, and go not with him into


a solitary place for blood is as nothing in his sight; and where there is no help, he will overthrow thee.

12 Make not thyself an underling to a foolish man; neither accept the person of the mighty.

13 Consult not with a fool; for he cannot keep counsel.

14 Do no secret thing before a stranger; for thou knowest not what he will bring forth.

15 Open not thine heart to every man, lest he requite thee with a shrewd turn.

16 Bring not every man into thine house; for the deceitful man hath many trains.

17 Like as a partridge taken and kept in a cage, so is the heart of the proud; and like as a spy, watcheth he for thy fall:

18 For he lieth in wait, and turneth good into evil, and in things worthy praise will lay blame upon thee.

19 Of a spark of fire a heap of coals is kindled: and a sinful man layeth wait for blood.

20 Take heed of a mischievous man, for he worketh wickedness; lest he bring upon thee a perpetual blot.

21 Receive a stranger into thine house, and he will disturb thee, and turn thee out of thine


22 If thou love to hear, thou shalt receive understanding: and if thou bow thine ear, thou shalt be wise.

23 Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer.

24 If thou hast understanding, answer thy neighbour; if not, lay thy hand upon thy mouth.

25 Honour and shame is in talk: and the tongue of man is his fall.

26 Blame not before thou hast examined the truth: understand first, and then rebuke.

27 Answer not before thou hast heard the cause neither interrupt men in the midst of their talk.

28 Strive not in a matter that concerneth thee not; and sit not in judgement with sin


29 My son, meddle not with many matters: for if thou meddle much, thou shalt not be innocent ; and if thou follow after, thou shalt not obtain, neither shalt thou escape by fleeing.

30 Never trust thine enemy: for like as iron rusteth, so is his wickedness.

31 Though he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him; and thou shalt be unto him as if thou hadst wiped a lookingglass, and thou shalt know that his rust hath not been altogether wiped away.

32 Set him not by thee, lest, when he hath overthrown thee, he stand up in thy place: neither let him sit at thy right hand, lest he seek to take thy seat, and thou at the last remember my words, and be pricked therewith.

33 Who will pity a charmer that is bitten with a serpent,

or any such as come nigh wild beasts?

34 So one that goeth to a sinner, and is defiled with him in his sins, who will pity?

35 For a while he will abide with thee, but if thou begin to fall, he will not tarry.

36 An enemy speaketh sweetly with his lips, but in his heart he imagineth how to throw thee into a pit: he will weep with his eyes, but if he find oppornity, he will not he satisfied with blood..

37 If adversity come upon thee, thou shalt find him there first; and though he pretend to help thee, yet shall he undermine thee.

38 He will shake his head, and clap his hands, and whisper much, and change his countenance.

39 Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill; so shalt thou not doubt the fear of death and if thou come unto him, make no fault, lest he take away thy life presently: remember that thou goest in the midst of snares, and that thou walkest upon the battlements of the city.

40 As near as thou canst, guess at thy neighbour, and consult with the wise.

41 Let thy talk be with the wise, and all thy communication in the law of the Most High.

42 And let just men eat and drink with thee; and let thy glorying be in the fear of the Lord.

43 For the hand of the arti

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HE that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith; and he that hath fellowship with a proud man shall be like unto him.

2 Burden not thyself above thy power while thou livest; and have no fellowship with one that is mightier and richer than thyself; for how agree the kettle and the earthen pot together? for if the one be smitten against the other, it shall be broken.

3 The rich man hath done wrong, and yet he threateneth withal the poor is wronged, and he must entreat also.

4 If thou be for his profit, he will use thee: but if thou have nothing, he will forsake thee.

5 If thou have any thing, he will live with thee; yea, he will make thee bare, and will not be sorry for it.

6 If he have need of thee, he will deceive thee, and smile upon thee, and put thee in hope; he will speak thee fair, and say, What wantest thou?

7 And he will shame thee by his meats, until he have drawn thee dry twice or thrice, and at the last he will laugh thee to scorn: afterward, when he

seeth thee, he will forsake thee, and shake his head at thee.

8 Beware that thou be not deceived, and brought down in thy jollity.

9 If thou be invited of a mighty man, withdraw thyself, and so much the more will he invite thee.

10 Press not thou upon him, lest thou be put back; stand not far off, lest thou be forgotten.

11 Affect not to be made equal unto him in talk, and believe not his many words: for with much communication will he tempt thee, and smiling upon thee will get out thy secrets.

12 But cruelly he will lay up thy words, and will not spare to do thee hurt, and to put thee in prison.

13 Observe, and take good heed, for thou walkest in peril of thy overthrowing : when thou hearest these things, awake in thy sleep.

14 What fellowship hath the wolf with the lamb? so the sinner with the godly.

15 What agreement is there between the hyena and a dog? and what peace between the rich and the poor.

16 As the wild ass is the lion's prey in the wilderness : so the rich eat up the poor.

17 As the proud hate humility: so doth the rich abhor the poor.

18 A rich man beginning to fall is held up of his friends: but a poor man being down is thrust also away by his friends.

19 When a rich man is fallen, he hath many helpers: he speak

eth things not to be spoken, and yet men justify him: the poor man slipped, and yet they rebuked him too; he spake wisely, and could have no place.

20 When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue, and, look, what he saith, they extol it to the clouds: but if the poor man speak, they say, What fellow is this? and if he stumble, they will help to overthrow him.

21 Better is the life of a poor man in a mean cottage, than delicate fare in another man's house.

22 Riches are good unto him that hath no sin, and poverty is evil in the mouth of the ungodly. 23 Whether a man be rich or poor, if he have a good heart toward the Lord, he shall at all times rejoice with a cheerful


24 The heart of a man changeth his countenance, whether it be for good or evil: and a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.

25 The gladness of the heart is the life of man, and the cheerfulness of the heart prolongeth his days.

26 Bless him that made thee, and hath replenished thee with his good things.


A WISE judge will instruct his people; and the government of a prudent man is well ordered.

2 As the judge of the people is himself, so are his officers; and what manner of man the

ruler of the city is, such are all they that dwell therein.

3 An unwise king destroyeth his people; but through the prudence of them which are in authority the city shall be. inhabited.

4 The power of the earth is in the hand of the Lord; and in due time he will set over it one that is profitable.

5 In the hand of God is the prosperity of man: and upon the person of the scribe shall he lay his honour.

6 The multitude of the wise is the welfare of the world: and a wise king is the upholding of the people.

7 A wise man shall inherit glory among his people, and his name shall be perpetual.

8 Nations shall shew forth his wisdom, and the congregation shall declare his praise.

9 If he die, he shall leave a greater name than a thousand: and if he live, he shall increase it.

10 Love the Lord all thy life, and call upon him for thy salvation.

11 The fear of the Lord goeth before the obtaining of authority: but roughness and pride is the losing thereof.

12 Whether he be rich, noble, or poor, their glory is the fear of the Lord.

13 It is not meet to despise the poor man that hath understanding; neither is it convenient to magnify a sinful man.

14 Great men, and judges, and potentates, shall be honoured; yet is there none of them

greater than he that feareth the remember that wrath will not Lord. tarry long.

15 Unto the servant that is wise shall they that are free do service: and he that hath knowledge will not grudge when he is reformed.

16 Be not overwise in doing thy business; and boast not thyself in the time of thy di


¶ 17 Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all things, than he that boasteth himself, and wanteth bread.

18 Hate not laborious work, neither husbandry which the Most High hath ordained.

19 To labour, and to be content with that a man hath, is a sweet life.

20 Number not thyself among the multitude of sinners, but

21 My son, glorify thy soul in meekness, and give it honour according to the dignity thereof.

22 Who will justify him that sinneth against his own soul? and who will honour him that dishonoureth his own life?

23 The poor man is honoured for his skill, and the rich man is honoured for his riches.

24 He that is honoured in poverty, how much more in riches? and he that is dishonourable in riches, how much more in poverty ?

25 When thou hast enough, remember the time of hunger: and when thou art rich, think upon poverty and need.

SECTION XVII.-Excellency of Wisdom.


My son, gather instruction from thy youth up: so shalt thou find wisdom till thine old age.

2 Come unto her as one that plougheth and soweth, and wait for her good fruits: for thou shalt not toil much in labouring about her, but thou shalt eat of her fruits right soon.

3 She is very unpleasant to the unlearned: he that is without understanding will not remain with her.

4 She will lie upon him as a mighty stone of trial; and he will cast her from him ere it be long.

5 For wisdom is according to her name, and she is not manifest unto many.

¶6 Give ear, my son, receive my advice, and refuse not my counsel,

7 And put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chain.

8 Bow down thy shoulder, and bear her, and be not grieved with her bonds.

9 Come unto her with thy whole heart, and keep her ways with all thy power.

10 Search, and seek, and she shall be made known unto thee: and when thou hast got hold of her, let her not go.

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