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Proverbs 22 (New International Reader's Version)

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1 You should want a good name more than you want great riches. To be highly respected is better than having silver or gold. 2 The LORD made rich people and poor people. That's what they have in common. 3 Wise people see danger and go to a safe place. But childish people keep going and suffer for it. 4 Have respect for the LORD and don't be proud. That will bring you wealth and honor and life. 5 Thorns and traps lie in the paths of evil people. But those who guard themselves stay far away from them. 6 Train a child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not turn away from it. 7 Rich people rule over those who are poor. Borrowers are slaves to lenders. 8 Anyone who plants evil gathers a harvest of trouble. His power to beat others down will be destroyed. 9 Anyone who gives freely will be blessed. That's because he shares his food with those who are poor. 10 If you drive away those who make fun of others, fighting also goes away. Arguing and unkind words will stop. 11 Have a pure and loving heart, and speak kindly. Then you will be a friend of the king. 12 The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge. But he does away with the words of those who aren't faithful. 13 People who don't want to work say, "There's a lion outside!" Or they say, "I'll be murdered if I go out into the streets!" 14 The mouth of a woman who commits adultery is like a deep pit. Any man the LORD is angry with will fall into it. 15 A child is going to do foolish things. But correcting him will drive his foolishness far away from him. 16 One person may beat poor people down in order to get rich. Another person may give gifts to rich people. Both of them will become poor.

Sayings of Those Who Are Wise

17 Pay attention and listen to the sayings of those who are wise. Apply your heart to the sayings I teach. 18 It is pleasing when you keep them in your heart. Have all of them ready on your lips. 19 You are the one I am teaching today. I want you to trust in the Lord. 20 I have written 30 sayings for you. They will give you knowledge and good advice. 21 I am teaching you words that are completely true. Then you can give the right answers to the one who sent you. 22 Don't take advantage of poor people just because they are poor. Don't beat down those who are in need by taking them to court. 23 The LORD will stand up for them in court. He will take back the stolen goods from those who have robbed them. 24 Don't be a friend with anyone who burns with anger. Don't go around with a person who gets angry easily. 25 You might learn his habits. And then you will be trapped by them. 26 Don't agree to pay for what someone else owes. 27 Don't put up money for him. If you don't have the money to pay, your bed will be taken right out from under you! 28 Don't move old boundary stones that your people set up long ago. 29 Do you see a man who does good work? He will serve kings. He won't serve ordinary people.
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