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Proverbs 24

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1Don't be jealous of evil people; don't long to spend time with them,
2for they think up cruel plans and discuss how to cause trouble.
3A house is built by wisdom; its foundation is made secure through understanding.
4Its rooms are filled by knowledge with all kinds of valuable and beautiful objects.
5If you have wisdom, you are strong; if you have knowledge, your power increases,
6for with wise guidance you can go to war; you will be victorious by having many good advisors.
7Wisdom goes over the heads of stupid people; they have nothing to contribute when important matters are discussed.
8Anyone who plans to do evil will be seen as a troublemaker.
9Plans thought up by stupid people are sinful. Everyone hates those who are scornful of others.
10If you give up in times of trouble, it shows how weak you are.
11Rescue those who are being led away to be executed; save those who are stumbling on their way to be slaughtered.
12If you say, “Look, we didn't know anything about this,” don't you think the God who judges your motives will see what's happening? He who watches over you knows, and he will pay people back for what they've done.
13My son, eating honey is good for you; the honeycomb tastes sweet.
14In the same way, you should know that wisdom is good for you; if you find it, there will be a future for you, and your hope will not be crushed.
15Don't be like a criminal waiting to ambush the home of good people; don't attack the place where they live.
16Those who do right may fall down seven times, and still get up again; but the wicked are brought down by disaster.
17Don't celebrate when your enemies fall; don't be glad when they trip up,
18otherwise when the Lord sees it, he'll be unhappy with you and won't punish your enemies as he planned.

19Don't get all upset over the wicked, or be jealous of those who do wrong,
20for evil people have no future—the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21My son, honor the Lord and the king, and don't join those who are rebellious,
22for disaster will suddenly fall on them. Who knows how the Lord and king will punish them?
23These are more sayings of the wise: Showing favoritism when passing judgment is wrong.
24Those who tell the guilty, “You're innocent,” will be cursed by the people and hated by the nation,
25while those who convict the guilty will be appreciated, and will receive a rich blessing.
26An honest answer is a kiss on the lips.
27Do the work you need to do outside first, then prepare and sow your fields, and only after that start building your house.
28Don't testify against your neighbors without having a good reason, and don't tell lies.
29Don't say to yourself, “I'm going to do to him what he did to me! I'll pay him back for what he's done!”
30I walked past the field of a lazy man, past a vineyard of someone with no sense.
31It was all overgrown with thorns, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall had fallen down.
32As I looked I thought about it, and what I saw taught me a lesson:
33You may say, “Please, just a little more sleep, a little longer snooze, a little more folding of the arms to rest”—
34and poverty will attack you like a robber, destitution like an armed warrior.