1 A lawless on flees when no man pursues:
But the righteous are confident as a lion.
2 For the transgression of a land many (i.e. changes of dynasty in quick succession) are the princes thereof:
But by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
3 A needy strong man that oppresses the weak ones
Is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.
4 They that forsake the law praise a lawless one:
But such as keep the law contend with them.
5 Evil men understand not judgment:
But they that seek the LORD understand all things.
6 Better is a poor one that walks in his integrity,
Than [he that walks] in double ways, though he be rich.
7 Whoso keeps the law is a intelligent son:
But he that is a companion of riotous men shames his father.
8 He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance,
He shall gather it for him that will pity weak ones.
9 He that turns away his ear from hearing instruction,
Even his prayer shall be abomination.
10 Whoso causes upright ones to go astray in an evil way,
He shall fall himself into his own clay pit:
But the upright shall have good things in possession.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes;
But a poor one that has understanding searches him out.
12 When upright ones do rejoice, there is great glory:
But when lawless ones rise, a man is hidden.
13 He that covers his transgressions shall not prosper:
But whoso confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.
14 Happy is the man that stands in awe always:
But he that hardens his heart shall fall into mischief.
15 As a lion growling while devouring his prey (not roaring as he springs upon it), and a ranging bear;
So is a lawless ruler over the needy people.
16 The prince that wants understanding is also a great oppressor [and shall cut short his days]:
But he that hates covetousness shall prolong his days.
17 A man that does violence to the blood a soul
Shall flee to the grave; let none stay him. (I.e. a man oppressed with guilt of murder [cp. Gen. 9:4,5] will flee to the grave [of destruction]; let none lay hold on him; there is no occasion for it; he is his own tormentor, and will probably be his own executioner, or will deliver himself up to justice.)
18 Whoso walks uprightly shall be saved:
But he that is perverse [and walks in double] ways shall fall in one of the two.
19 He that tills his land shall have plenty of bread:
But he that follows after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings:
But he that makes haste to be rich shall not go unpunished.
21 To have respect of persons is not good:
For for a piece of bread [even] a strong man will transgress.
22 He that hastes to be rich has an evil eye,
And considers not that poverty (or want) shall come upon him.
23 He that rebukes a man afterwards shall find more favor
Than he that flatters with the tongue.
24 Whoso robs his father or his mother, and says, "It is no transgression;"
The same is the companion of a destroying man.
25 He that is of a proud soul stirs up strife:
But he that puts his confidence in the LORD shall be made fat.
26 He that trusts in his own heart is a fool:
But whoso walks wisely, he shall be delivered.
27 He that gives to the poor shall not lack:
But he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse.
28 When lawless ones rise, men hide themselves:
But when they perish, the upright ones increase.