12If you do good, know to whom you do it,
and you will be thanked for your good deeds.
2 Do good to the devout, and you will be repaid
if not by them, certainly by the Most High.
3 No good comes to one who persists in evil
or to one who does not give alms.
4 Give to the devout, but do not help the sinner.
5 Do good to the humble, but do not give to the ungodly;
hold back their bread, and do not give it to them,
for by means of it they might subdue you;
then you will receive twice as much evil
for all the good you have done to them.
6 For the Most High also hates sinners
and will inflict punishment on the ungodly.*
7 Give to one who is good, but do not help the sinner.
8 A friend is not known* in prosperity,
nor is an enemy hidden in adversity.
9 Ones enemies are friendly* when one prospers,
but in adversity even ones friend disappears.
10 Never trust your enemy,
for like corrosion in copper, so is his wickedness.
11 Even if he humbles himself and walks bowed down,
take care to be on your guard against him.
Be to him like one who polishes a mirror,
to be sure it does not become completely tarnished.
12 Do not put him next to you,
or he may overthrow you and take your place.
Do not let him sit at your right hand,
or else he may try to take your own seat,
and at last you will realize the truth of my words,
and be stung by what I have said.
13 Who pities a snake-charmer when he is bitten,
or all those who go near wild animals?
14 So no one pities a person who associates with a sinner
and becomes involved in the others sins.
15 He stands by you for a while,
but if you falter, he will not be there.
16 An enemy speaks sweetly with his lips,
but in his heart he plans to throw you into a pit;
an enemy may have tears in his eyes,
but if he finds an opportunity he will never have enough of your blood.
17 If evil comes upon you, you will find him there ahead of you;
pretending to help, he will trip you up.
18 Then he will shake his head, and clap his hands,
and whisper much, and show his true face.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 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.
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10 February 2011