33No evil will befall someone who fears the Lord,
but in trials such a one will be rescued again and again.
2 The wise will not hate the law,
but someone who is hypocritical about it is like a boat in a storm.
3 The sensible person will trust in the law;
for such a one the law is as dependable as a divine oracle.
4 Prepare what to say, and then you will be listened to;
draw upon your training, and give your answer.
5 The heart of a fool is like a cartwheel,
and his thoughts like a turning axle.
6 A mocking friend is like a stallion
that neighs no matter who the rider is.
7 Why is one day more important than another,
when all the daylight in the year is from the sun?
8 By the Lords wisdom they were distinguished,
and he appointed the different seasons and festivals.
9 Some days he exalted and hallowed,
and some he made ordinary days.
10 All human beings come from the ground,
and humankind* was created out of the dust.
11 In the fullness of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them
and appointed their different ways.
12 Some he blessed and exalted,
and some he made holy and brought near to himself;
but some he cursed and brought low,
and turned them out of their place.
13 Like clay in the hand of the potter,
to be moulded as he pleases,
so all are in the hand of their Maker,
to be given whatever he decides.
14 Good is the opposite of evil,
and life the opposite of death;
so the sinner is the opposite of the godly.
15 Look at all the works of the Most High;
they come in pairs, one the opposite of the other.
16 Now I was the last to keep vigil;
I was like a gleaner following the grape-pickers;
17 by the blessing of the Lord I arrived first,
and like a grape-picker I filled my wine press.
18 Consider that I have not laboured for myself alone,
but for all who seek instruction.
19 Hear me, you who are great among the people,
and you leaders of the congregation, pay heed!
20 To son or wife, to brother or friend,
do not give power over yourself, as long as you live;
and do not give your property to another,
in case you change your mind and must ask for it.
21 While you are still alive and have breath in you,
do not let anyone take your place.
22 For it is better that your children should ask from you
than that you should look to the hand of your children.
23 Excel in all that you do;
bring no stain upon your honour.
24 At the time when you end the days of your life,
in the hour of death, distribute your inheritance.
25 Fodder and a stick and burdens for a donkey;
bread and discipline and work for a slave.
26 Set your slave to work, and you will find rest;
leave his hands idle, and he will seek liberty.
27 Yoke and thong will bow the neck,
and for a wicked slave there are racks and tortures.
28 Put him to work, in order that he may not be idle,
29 for idleness teaches much evil.
30 Set him to work, as is fitting for him,
and if he does not obey, make his fetters heavy.
Do not be overbearing towards anyone,
and do nothing unjust.
31 If you have but one slave, treat him like yourself,
because you have bought him with blood.
If you have but one slave, treat him like a brother,
for you will need him as you need your life.
32 If you ill-treat him, and he leaves you and runs away,
33 which way will you go to seek him?
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