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1The wicked flee when no one pursues,

but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

2When a land rebels

it has many rulers;

but with an intelligent ruler

there is lasting order.

3A ruler who oppresses the poor

is a beating rain that leaves no food.

4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,

but those who keep the law struggle against them.

5The evil do not understand justice,

but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.

6Better to be poor and walk in integrity

than to be crooked in one’s ways even though rich.

7Those who keep the law are wise children,

but companions of gluttons shame their parents.

8One who augments wealth by exorbitant interest

gathers it for another who is kind to the poor.

9When one will not listen to the law,

even one’s prayers are an abomination.

10Those who mislead the upright into evil ways

will fall into pits of their own making,

but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.

11The rich is wise in self-esteem,

but an intelligent poor person sees through the pose.

12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,

but when the wicked prevail, people go into hiding.

13No one who conceals transgressions will prosper,

but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

14Happy is the one who is never without fear,

but one who is hard-hearted will fall into calamity.

15Like a roaring lion or a charging bear

is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

16A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor;

but one who hates unjust gain will enjoy a long life.

17If someone is burdened with the blood of another,

let that killer be a fugitive until death;

let no one offer assistance.

18One who walks in integrity will be safe,

but whoever follows crooked ways will fall into the Pit.

19Anyone who tills the land will have plenty of bread,

but one who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

20The faithful will abound with blessings,

but one who is in a hurry to be rich will not go unpunished.

21To show partiality is not good—

yet for a piece of bread a person may do wrong.

22The miser is in a hurry to get rich

and does not know that loss is sure to come.

23Whoever rebukes a person will afterward find more favor

than one who flatters with the tongue.

24Anyone who robs father or mother

and says, “That is no crime,”

is partner to a thug.

25The greedy person stirs up strife,

but whoever trusts in the Lord will be enriched.

26Those who trust in their own wits are fools;

but those who walk in wisdom come through safely.

27Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,

but one who turns a blind eye will get many a curse.

28When the wicked prevail, people go into hiding;

but when they perish, the righteous increase.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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