The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 22


A good name is more desirable than great riches, and high esteem, than gold and silver.


Rich and poor have a common bond: the LORD is the maker of them all.


The shrewd man perceives evil and hides, while simpletons continue on and suffer the penalty.


The reward of humility and fear of the LORD is riches, honor and life.


Thorns and snares are on the path of the crooked; he who would safeguard his life will shun them.


Train a boy in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it.


The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.


He who sows iniquity reaps calamity, and the rod destroys his labors.


The kindly man will be blessed, for he gives of his sustenance to the poor.


Expel the arrogant man and discord goes out; strife and insult cease.


The LORD loves the pure of heart; the man of winning speech has the king for his friend.


The eyes of the LORD safeguard knowledge, but he defeats the projects of the faithless.


1 The sluggard says, "A lion is outside; in the streets I might be slain."


The mouth of the adulteress is a deep pit; he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.


Folly is close to the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.


2 He who oppresses the poor to enrich himself will yield up his gains to the rich as sheer loss.


3 4 The sayings of the wise: Incline your ear, and hear my words, and apply your heart to my doctrine;


For it will be well if you keep them in your bosom, if they all are ready on your lips.


5 That your trust may be in the LORD, I make known to you the words of Amen-em-Ope.


Have I not written for you the "Thirty," with counsels and knowledge,


To teach you truly how to give a dependable report to one who sends you?


Injure not the poor because they are poor, nor crush the needy at the gate;


For the LORD will defend their cause, and will plunder the lives of those who plunder them.


Be not friendly with a hotheaded man, nor the companion of a wrathful man,


Lest you learn his ways, and get yourself into a snare.


Be not one of those who give their hand in pledge, of those who become surety for debts;


For if you have not the means to pay, your bed will be taken from under you.


Remove not the ancient landmark which your fathers set up.


You see a man skilled at his work? He will stand in the presence of kings; he will not stand in the presence of obscure men.



1 [13] To avoid the effort required for doing good, the sluggard exaggerates the difficulties that must be overcome.

2 [16] Money gained by exploiting the poor is in turn lost to those who are more wealthy.

3 [ 22:17- 24:22] This collection of proverbs, introduced as sayings of the wise, is given in the more intimate and personal form of an address to a pupil called the son and is arranged in strophes instead of couplets.

4 [ 22:17- 23:35] The maxims warn against: oppression of the poor and defenseless ( Proverb 22:22-23), anger ( Proverb 22:24-25), giving surety for debts ( Proverb 22:26-27), bad manners at a king's table ( Proverb 23:1-2), anxiety for riches ( Proverb 23:4-5), a grudging host ( Proverb 23:6-8), intemperance in food and drink ( Proverb 23:19-21, 29-35), and adultery ( Proverb 23:26-28). They exhort to: careful workmanship ( Proverb 22:29), respect for the rights of orphans ( Proverb 23:10-11), correction of the young ( Proverb 23:13-14), filial piety ( Proverb 23:15-16, 22-25), and fear of the LORD ( Proverb 23:17-18).

5 [19-20] Amen-em-Ope:an Egyptian scribe to whom is attributed a collection of maxims in Thirty chapters ( Proverb 22:20) composed for the instruction of his children and addressed to a young man who wishes to enter upon a career. The inspired editor of Proverbs does not translate these, but uses their materials in constructing a similar collection of proverbs.

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