Proverbs 22
Contemporary English Version

The Value of a Good Reputation

1A good reputation and respect

are worth much more

than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor

are all created

by the Lord.

3When you see trouble coming,

don't be stupid

and walk right into it—

be smart and hide.

4Respect and serve the Lord!

Your reward will be wealth,

a long life, and honor.

5Crooks walk down a road

full of thorny traps.

Stay away from there!

6 Teach your children

right from wrong,

and when they are grown

they will still do right.

7The poor are ruled by the rich,

and those who borrow

are slaves of moneylenders.

8Troublemakers get in trouble,

and their terrible anger

will get them nowhere.

9The Lord blesses everyone

who freely gives food

to the poor.

10Arguments and fights

will come to an end,

if you chase away those

who insult others.

11The king is the friend of all

who are sincere

and speak with kindness.

12The Lord watches over everyone

who shows good sense,

but he frustrates the plans

of deceitful liars.

13Don't be so lazy that you say,

“If I go to work,

a lion will eat me!”

14The words of a bad woman

are like a deep pit;

if you make the Lord angry,

you will fall right in.

15All children are foolish,

but firm correction

will make them change.

16Cheat the poor to make profit

or give gifts to the rich—

either way you lose.

Thirty Wise Sayings

17Here are some sayings

of people with wisdom,

so listen carefully

as I teach.

18You will be glad

that you know these sayings

and can recite them.

19I am teaching them today,

so that you

may trust the Lord.

20I have written thirty sayings

filled with sound advice.

21You can trust them completely

to give you the right words

for those in charge of you.


22Don't take advantage

of the poor

or cheat them in court.

23The Lord is their defender,

and what you do to them,

he will do to you.


24Don't make friends with anyone

who has a bad temper.

25You might turn out like them

and get caught in a trap.


26Don't guarantee to pay

someone else's debt.

27If you don't have the money,

you might lose your bed.


28Don't move a boundary marker+

set up by your ancestors.


29If you do your job well,

you will work for a ruler

and never be a slave.


22.28 marker: In ancient Israel boundary lines were sacred because all property was a gift from the Lord (see Deuteronomy 19.14).

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

© 2006 American Bible Society.  All rights reserved.

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