Righteousness & Mercy

Whoever pursues righteousness and mercy
    will find life, righteousness, and honor (Proverbs 21:21)

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Proverbs 28 (Common English Bible)

The wicked run away even though no one pursues them,
    but the righteous are as confident as a lion.
When a land rebels, there are many leaders;
    but a person with understanding brings order.
Poor people who oppress the needy
    are rain that washes away food.
Those who abandon Instruction praise the wicked,
    but those who follow Instruction battle them.
Evil people don’t understand justice,
    but those who seek theLordunderstand everything.
Better to be poor and walk in innocence
    than to be on crooked paths and wealthy.
Intelligent children follow Instruction,
    but those who befriend gluttons shame their parents.
Those who become rich through high interest rates
    gather money for those who are generous to the poor.
Those who turn their ears from hearing Instruction—
    even their prayers will be detested.
10 Whoever misleads those who do right onto an evil path
    will fall into their own pit,
    but the blameless will inherit good things.
11 Rich people think they are wise,
    but an insightful poor person sees through them.
12 When the righteous rejoice, there is great respect,
    but people hide when the wicked prosper.
13 Those who hide their sins won’t succeed,
    but those who confess and give them up will receive mercy.
14 Happy are those who are continually fearful,
    but those whose hearts are hard fall into trouble.
15 A wicked ruler over the poor
    is like a growling lion or a prowling bear.
16 A prince without understanding is a cruel oppressor,
    but one who hates unjust gain will live long.
17 If someone feels guilty about murder,
    don’t hold them back from fleeing to the pit.
18 Those who walk in innocence will be saved,
    but those who go on twisted paths will fall into the grave.
19 Those who work the land will have plenty to eat,
    but those with worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 Reliable people will have abundant blessings,
    but those with get-rich-quick schemes won’t go unpunished.
21 Those who show favoritism aren’t good;
    people do wrong for a crust of bread.
22 The stingy try to get rich fast,
    unaware that loss will come to them.
23 Those who correct someone will, in the end, find more favor
    than those with flattering tongues.
24 Those who steal from their father and mother,
    and say, “It’s not a crime,”
    are friends of vandals.
25 Greedy people stir up conflict,
    but those who trust theLord become prosperous.
26 Those who trust in their own reasoning are fools,
    but those who walk in wisdom will be kept safe.
27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
    but those who turn a blind eye will be greatly cursed.
28 When the wicked rise up, people hide,
    but when they are destroyed, the righteous multiply.

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Proverbs 2 (Names of God Translated)

The Benefit of Wisdom

My son,
    if you take my words to heart
        and treasure my commands within you,
if you pay close attention to wisdom,
    and let your mind reach for understanding,
if indeed you call out for insight,
    if you ask aloud for understanding,
if you search for wisdom as if it were money
    and hunt for it as if it were hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of Yahweh
    and you will find the knowledge of Elohim.
Yahweh gives wisdom.
    From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He has reserved priceless wisdom for decent people.
    He is a Magen for those who walk in integrity
in order to guard those on paths of justice
    and to watch over the way of his godly ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—
    every good course in life.

10 Wisdom will come into your heart.
    Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Foresight will protect you.
    Understanding will guard you.

12 Wisdom will save you
    from the way of evil,
        from the person who speaks devious things,
13 from those who abandon the paths of righteousness
    to walk the ways of darkness,
14 from those who enjoy doing evil,
    from those who find joy in the deviousness of evil.
15 Their paths are crooked.
    Their ways are devious.

16 Wisdom will also save you
    from an adulterous woman,
        from a loose woman with her smooth talk,
17 who leaves her husband, the closest friend of her youth,
    and forgets her marriage vows to her Elohim.
18 Her house sinks down to death.
    Her ways lead to the souls of the dead.
19 None who have sex with her come back.
    Nor do they ever reach the paths of life.

20 So walk in the way of good people
    and stay on the paths of righteous people.
21 Decent people will live in the land.
    People of integrity will remain in it.
22 But wicked people will be cut off from the land
    and treacherous people will be torn from it.

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Proverbs 1 (Names of God Translation)

The proverbs of Solomon, David’s son who was king of Israel, given

to grasp wisdom and discipline,
    to understand deep thoughts,
to acquire the discipline of wise behavior—
    righteousness and justice and fairness—
to give insight to gullible people,
    to give knowledge and foresight to the young—
        a wise person will listen and continue to learn,
            and an understanding person will gain direction—
to understand a proverb and a clever saying,
    the words of wise people and their riddles.

The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge.
    Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Listen to Wisdom

My son,
    listen to your father’s discipline,
        and do not neglect your mother’s teachings,
            because discipline and teachings
                are a graceful garland on your head
                    and a golden chain around your neck.

10 My son,
    if sinners lure you, do not go along.
11 If they say,
    “Come with us.
        Let’s set an ambush to kill someone.
            Let’s hide to ambush innocent people for fun.
12 We’ll swallow them alive like the grave,
    like those in good health who go into the pit.
13 We’ll find all kinds of valuable possessions.
    We’ll fill our homes with stolen goods.
14 Join us.
    We’ll split the loot equally.”

15 My son,
    do not follow them in their way.
    Do not even set foot on their path,
16 because they rush to do evil
    and hurry to shed blood.
17 It does no good to spread a net
    within the sight of any bird.
18 But these people set an ambush for their own murder.
    They go into hiding only to lose their lives.
19 This is what happens to everyone
    who is greedy for unjust gain.
        Greed takes away his life.

20 Wisdom sings her song in the streets.
    In the public squares she raises her voice.
21 At the corners of noisy streets she calls out.
    At the entrances to the city she speaks her words,
22 “How long will you gullible people love being so gullible?
    How long will you mockers find joy in your mocking?
        How long will you fools hate knowledge?

23 “Turn to me when I warn you.
    I will generously pour out my spirit for you.
        I will make my words known to you.

24 “I called, and you refused to listen.
    I stretched out my hands to you, and no one paid attention.
25 You ignored all my advice.
    You did not want me to warn you.
26 I will laugh at your calamity.
    I will make fun of you
        when panic strikes you,
27 when panic strikes you like a violent storm,
    when calamity strikes you like a wind storm,
        when trouble and anguish come to you.

28 “They will call to me at that time, but I will not answer.
    They will look for me, but they will not find me,
29 because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of Yahweh.
30 They refused my advice.
    They despised my every warning.
31 They will eat the fruit of their lifestyle.
    They will be stuffed with their own schemes.

32 “Gullible people kill themselves because of their turning away.
    Fools destroy themselves because of their indifference.
33 But whoever listens to me will live without worry
    and will be free from the dread of disaster.”

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Sons, Listen . . .

    listen to your father’s discipline,
        and pay attention in order to gain understanding.
After all, I have taught you well.
    Do not abandon my teachings.
When I was a boy learning from my father,
    when I was a tender and only child of my mother,
they used to teach me and say to me,
    “Cling to my words wholeheartedly.
        Obey my commands so that you may live.
Acquire wisdom.
    Acquire understanding.
        Do not forget.
            Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken (Proverbs 4:1-5)

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The Fear of Yahweh

The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.
    The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10)

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An Appropriate Answer

A man has joy in giving an appropriate answer,
And how good and delightful is a word spoken at the right moment—how good it is!
(Proverbs 15:23)

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