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Proverbs 24 (Good News Translation)

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1 Don't be envious of evil people, and don't try to make friends with them. 2 Causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouth someone is going to be hurt. 3 Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding. a 4 Where there is knowledge, the rooms are furnished with valuable, beautiful things. 5 Being wise is better than being strong; b yes, knowledge is more important than strength. 6 After all, you must make careful plans before you fight a battle, and the more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win. 7 Wise sayings are too deep for stupid people to understand. They have nothing to say when important matters are being discussed. 8 If you are always planning evil, you will earn a reputation as a troublemaker. 9 Any scheme a fool thinks up is sinful. People hate a person who has nothing but scorn for others. 10 If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed. 11 Don't hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly. 12 You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do. 13 My child, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue, 14 you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you have a bright future. 15 Don't be like the wicked who scheme to rob honest people or to take away their homes. 16 No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again; but disaster destroys the wicked. 17 Don't be glad when your enemies meet disaster, and don't rejoice when they stumble. 18 The Lord will know if you are gloating, and he will not like it; and then maybe he won't punish them. 19 Don't let evil people worry you; don't be envious of them. 20 A wicked person has no future - nothing to look forward to. 21 Have reverence for the Lord, my child, and honor the king. Have nothing to do with people who rebel against them; 22 such people could be ruined in a moment. Do you realize the disaster that God or the king can cause? 23 The wise have also said these things: It is wrong for judges to be prejudiced. 24 If they pronounce a guilty person innocent, they will be cursed and hated by everyone. 25 Judges who punish the guilty, however, will be prosperous and enjoy a good reputation. 26 An honest answer is a sign of true friendship. 27 Don't build your house and establish a home until your fields are ready, and you are sure that you can earn a living. 28 Don't give evidence against others without good reason, or say misleading things about them. 29 Don't say, "I'll do to them just what they did to me! I'll get even with them!" 30 I walked through the fields and vineyards of a lazy, stupid person. 31 They were full of thorn bushes and overgrown with weeds. The stone wall around them had fallen down. 32 I looked at this, thought about it, and learned a lesson from it: 33 Go ahead and take your nap; go ahead and sleep. Fold your hands and rest awhile, 1 34 but while you are asleep, poverty will attack you like an armed robber.
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