The Enticement of Sinners
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us,
let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse”—
my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
A man of violence entices his neighbor
and leads him in a way that is not good.
Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to his ways.
If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.
Do not Harm Others
Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
Better is a dry morsel with quiet
than a house full of feasting with strife.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
The righteous hates falsehood,
but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.
Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
Like a madman who throws firebrands,
arrows, and death
is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
but a just weight is his delight.
A just balance and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag are his work.
Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
and false scales are not good.
Do not move the ancient landmark
that your fathers have set.
Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
Whoever is greedy for unjust gain
troubles his own household,
but he who hates bribes will live.
A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes
of the one who gives it;
wherever he turns he prospers.
The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
to pervert the ways of justice.
A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will perish.
A worthless witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.
He who justifies the wicked
and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the righteous of justice.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
These also are sayings of the wise.
Partiality in judging is not good.
Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.
Holy Bible, English Standard Version,
as arranged in chronological order by F. Legard Smith