1 One who remains stubborn despite frequent reproof
will suddenly be crushed beyond hope of repair.
2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice,
but they groan when the wicked ascend to power.
3 A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a patron of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
4 By ruling justly a king gives stability to his country,
but one who takes bribes causes its downfall.
5 Anyone who flatters his neighbor
is spreading a net to trip him up.
6 An evildoer is ensnared by his own sin,
but an upright man goes forward happily.
7 A righteous man has concern for the condition of the poor,
but an evildoer shows no interest in this matter.
8 Scoffers can set a city aflame,[a]
but wise men turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man argues with a fool,
he will get nowhere whether he rages or laughs.
10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless,[b]
but the upright show concern for him.
11 A fool gives free rein to his anger,
but a wise man bides his time and calms it.
12 If a ruler listens to the testimony of liars,
all of his officials will adopt evil ways.
13 A poor man and an oppressor have this in common:
the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.[c]
14 If a king zealously defends the rights of the poor,
his throne will stand firm forever.
15 The rod of correction[d] bestows wisdom,
but an unreprimanded youth will bring shame on his mother.
16 When the wicked are in power, sins increase,
but the righteous will witness their downfall.
17 If you correct your son,[e] he will give you peace of mind
and bring delight to your soul.
18 Without prophecy the people become uncontrollable,
but blessed are those who keep the law.[f]
19 Mere words do not suffice to control a servant;
even though he understands, he will not obey you.
20 Do you see someone who is too eager to speak?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 If you pamper a slave from his childhood,
in the end he will prove ungrateful.[g]
22 A bad-tempered man provokes quarrels,
and a hothead commits a host of offenses.
23 A man’s pride will bring him low,
but lowly souls will rise to honor.
24 The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy,
for he hears the curse[h] but refuses to answer.
25 The fear of others will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is secure.
26 Many seek the favor of a ruler,
but it is the Lord who administers justice.
27 A sinful man is abhorrent to the upright,
and one who leads a holy life is hated by the wicked.
- Proverbs 29:8 Scoffers can set a city aflame: see note on Prov 1:22; see also Prov 6:14; 11:11; 26:21.
- Proverbs 29:10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless: and they hatch plots against him (see Prov 1:11-16).
- Proverbs 29:13 The Lord gives light to the eyes of both: i.e., gives life, just as he makes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust (see Mt 5:45).
- Proverbs 29:15 Rod of correction: see note on Prov 13:24.
- Proverbs 29:17 Correct your son: teach him and train him (see Prov 13:24; 22:6).
- Proverbs 29:18 The Prophet was not only God’s spokesperson but also the people’s teacher and guide, leading them to keep the divine law. Blessed are those who keep the law: see note on Prov 31:28.
- Proverbs 29:21 Vulgate reading; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- Proverbs 29:24 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. Curse: i.e., the curse leveled at an unidentified criminal or at a witness who fails to come forward (see Lev 5:1; Jdg 17:2).