1There shall no evil happen unto him that feareth the Lord;
But in temptation once and again will he deliver him.
2A wise man will not hate the law;
But he that is a hypocrite therein is as a ship in a storm.
3A man of understanding will put his trust in the law;
And the law is faithful unto him, as when one asketh at the oracle.
4Prepare thy speech, and so shalt thou be heard;
Bind up instruction, and make thine answer.
5The heart of a fool is as a cartwheel;
And his thoughts like a rolling axletree.
6A stallion horse is as a mocking friend;
He neigheth under every one that sitteth upon him.
7Why doth one day excel another,
When all the light of every day in the year is of the sun?
8By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished;
And he varied seasons and feasts:
9Some of them he exalted and hallowed,
And some of them hath he made ordinary days.
10And all men are from the ground,
And Adam was created of earth.
11In the abundance of his knowledge the Lord distinguished them,
And made their ways various:
12Some of them he blessed and exalted,
And some of them he hallowed and brought nigh to himself:
Some of them he cursed and brought low,
And overthrew them from their place.
13As the clay of the potter in his hand,
All his ways are according to his good pleasure;
So men are in the hand of him that made them,
To render unto them according to his judgement.
14Good is set over against evil,
And life over against death:
So is the sinner over against the godly.
15And thus look upon all the works of the Most High;
Two and two, one against another.
16And I waked up last,
As one that gleaneth after the grape-gatherers:
By the blessing of the Lord I got before them,
And filled my winepress as one that gathereth grapes.
17Consider that I laboured not for myself alone,
But for all them that seek instruction.
18Hear me, ye great men of the people,
And hearken with your ears, ye rulers of the congregation.
19To son and wife, to brother and friend,
Give not power over thee while thou livest;
And give not thy goods to another,
Lest thou repent and make supplication for them again.
20Whilst thou yet livest, and breath is in thee,
Give not thyself over to anybody.
21For better it is that thy children should supplicate thee,
Than that thou shouldest look to the hand of thy sons.
22In all thy works keep the upper hand;
Bring not a stain on thine honour.
23In the day that thou endest the days of thy life,
And in the time of death, distribute thine inheritance.
24Fodder, a stick, and burdens, for an ass;
Bread, and discipline, and work, for a servant.
25Set thy servant to work, and thou shalt find rest:
Leave his hands idle, and he will seek liberty.
26Yoke and thong will bow the neck:
And for an evil servant there are racks and tortures.
27Send him to labour, that he be not idle;
For idleness teacheth much mischief.
28Set him to work, as is fit for him;
And if he obey not, make his fetters heavy.
29And be not excessive toward any;
And without judgement do nothing.
30If thou hast a servant, let him be as thyself,
Because thou hast bought him with blood.
31If thou hast a servant, treat him as thyself;
For as thine own soul wilt thou have need of him:
If thou treat him ill, and he depart and run away,
Which way wilt thou go to seek him?