Proverbs 11

Watch What You Say and Do

11 The Lord hates anyone
who cheats,
    but he likes everyone
        who is honest.
2 Too much pride
    can put you to shame.
        It’s wiser to be humble.
3 If you do the right thing,
        honesty will be your guide.
    But if you are crooked,
    you will be trapped
        by your own dishonesty.

4 When God is angry,
        money won’t help you.
    Obeying God is the only way
        to be saved from death.
5 If you are truly good,
        you will do right;
    if you are wicked,
    you will be destroyed
        by your own sin.
6 Honesty can keep you safe,
    but if you can’t be trusted,
        you trap yourself.
7 When the wicked die,
        their hopes die with them.
8 Trouble goes right past
    the Lord’s people
        and strikes the wicked.

9 Dishonest people use gossip
        to destroy their neighbors;
    good people are protected
        by their own good sense.
10 When honest people prosper
    and the wicked disappear,
        the whole city celebrates.
11 When God blesses his people,
        their city prospers,
    but deceitful liars
        can destroy a city.

12 It’s stupid to say bad things
        about your neighbors.
    If you are sensible,
        you will keep quiet.
13 A gossip tells everything,
    but a true friend
        will keep a secret.
14 A city without wise leaders
        will end up in ruin;
    a city with many wise leaders
        will be kept safe.

15 It’s a dangerous thing
        to guarantee payment
    for someone’s debts.
        Don’t do it!
16 A gracious woman
        will be respected,
    but a man must work hard
        to get rich.
17 Kindness is rewarded—
    but if you are cruel,
        you hurt yourself.
18 Meanness gets you nowhere,
        but goodness is rewarded.
19 Always do the right thing,
        and you will live;
    keep on doing wrong,
        and you will die.

20 The Lord hates sneaky people,
    but he likes everyone
        who lives right.
21 You can be sure of this:
    All crooks will be punished,
        but God’s people won’t.
22 A beautiful woman
        who acts foolishly
    is like a gold ring
        on the snout of a pig.
23 Good people want what is best,
    but troublemakers
        hope to stir up trouble.

24 Sometimes you can become rich
    by being generous
        or poor by being greedy.
25 Generosity will be rewarded:
        Give a cup of water,
    and you will receive
        a cup of water in return.
26 Charge too much for grain,
        and you will be cursed;
    sell it at a fair price,
        and you will be praised.
27 Try hard to do right,
        and you will win friends;
    go looking for trouble,
        and you will find it.
28 Trust in your wealth,
        and you will be a failure,
    but God’s people will prosper
        like healthy plants.

29 Fools who cause trouble
    in the family
        won’t inherit a thing.
    They will end up as slaves
        of someone with good sense.
30 Live right, and you will eat
        from the life-giving tree.
    And if you act wisely,
        others will follow.
31 If good people are rewarded
        here on this earth,
    all who are cruel and mean
        will surely be punished.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary