The writer gives the reader numerous comparisons between the plight of the wise versus the plight of the wicked.
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.
2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
3 A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.
8 A man will be commended according to his wisdom,
But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.
9 Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant,
Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.
10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread,
But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.
12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.
13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble.
14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,
And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.
16 A fool’s wrath is known at once,
But a prudent man covers shame.
17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit.
18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
19 The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
21 No grave trouble will overtake the righteous,
But the wicked shall be filled with evil.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
23 A prudent man conceals knowledge,
But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.
26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man’s precious possession.
28 In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.
These comparisons make it abundantly clear that living a holy, wise life far surpasses the foolish, if temporarily pleasureful, life of the wicked and the simple. Give your life to God’s will and the pursuit of His wisdom, and life will be much more pleasant, easy, and prosperous!