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Proverbs 22 (New Century Version)

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1 Being respected is more important than having great riches. To be well thought of is better than silver or gold. 2 The rich and the poor are alike in that the Lord made them all. 3 The wise see danger ahead and avoid it, but fools keep going and get into trouble. 4 Respecting the Lord and not being proud will bring you wealth, honor, and life. 5 Evil people's lives are like paths covered with thorns and traps. People who guard themselves don't have such problems. 6 Train children how to live right, and when they are old, they will not change. 7 The rich rule over the poor, and borrowers are servants to lenders. 8 Those who plan evil will receive trouble. Their cruel anger will come to an end. 9 Generous people will be blessed, because they share their food with the poor. 10 Get rid of the one who makes fun of wisdom. Then fighting, quarrels, and insults will stop. 11 Whoever loves pure thoughts and kind words will have even the king as a friend. 12 The Lord guards knowledge, but he destroys false words. 13 The lazy person says, "There's a lion outside! I might get killed out in the street!" 14 The words of an unfaithful wife are like a deep trap. Those who make the Lord angry will get caught by them. 15 Every child is full of foolishness, but punishment can get rid of it. 16 Whoever gets rich by mistreating the poor, and gives presents to the wealthy, will become poor. 17 Listen carefully to what wise people say; pay attention to what I am teaching you. 18 It will be good to keep these things in mind so that you are ready to repeat them. 19 I am teaching them to you now so that you will put your trust in the Lord. 20 I have written thirty sayings for you, which give knowledge and good advice. 21 I am teaching you true and reliable words so that you can give true answers to anyone who asks. 22 Do not abuse poor people because they are poor, and do not take away the rights of the needy in court. 23 The Lord will defend them in court and will take the life of those who take away their rights. 24 Don't make friends with quick-tempered people or spend time with those who have bad tempers. 25 If you do, you will be like them. Then you will be in real danger. 26 Don't promise to pay what someone else owes, and don't guarantee anyone's loan. 27 If you cannot pay the loan, your own bed may be taken right out from under you. 28 Don't move an old stone that marks a border, because those stones were set up by your ancestors. 29 Do you see people skilled in their work? They will work for kings, not for ordinary people.
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