Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord with uprightness, and seek him with sincerity of heart;
because he is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
For perverse thoughts separate men from God, and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish;
because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit, and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts, and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.
For wisdom is a kindly spirit and will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words; because God is witness of his inmost feelings, and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all things together knows what is said;
therefore no one who utters unrighteous things will escape notice, and justice, when it punishes, will not pass him by.
For inquiry will be made into the counsels of an ungodly man, and a report of his words will come to the Lord, to convict him of his lawless deeds;
because a jealous ear hears all things, and the sound of murmurings does not go unheard.
Beware then of useless murmuring, and keep your tongue from slander; because no secret word is without result, and a lying mouth destroys the soul.
Do not invite death by the error of your life, nor bring on destruction by the works of your hands;
because God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.
For he created all things that they might exist, and the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them; and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.
For righteousness is immortal.
But ungodly men by their words and deeds summoned death; considering him a friend, they pined away, and they made a covenant with him, because they are fit to belong to his party.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)