Bible in Basic English


1 These are more wise sayings of Solomon, copied out by the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

2 It is the glory of God to keep a thing secret : but the glory of kings is to have it searched out.
3 The heaven is high and the earth is deep, and the hearts of kings may not be searched out.
4 Take away the waste from silver, and a vessel will come out for the silver-worker.
5 Take away evil-doers from before the king, and the seat of his power will be made strong in righteousness.
6 Do not take glory for yourself before the king, and do not put yourself in the place of the great:
7 For it is better to have it said to you, Come up here ; than for you to be put down in a lower place before the ruler.

8 Do not be quick to go to law about what you have seen, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbour has put you to shame?
9 Have a talk with your neighbour himself about your cause, but do not give away the secret of another : 10 Or your hearer may say evil of you, and your shame will not be turned away.
11 A word at the right time is like apples of gold in a network of silver.
12 Like a nose-ring of gold and an ornament of the best gold, is a wise man who says sharp words to an ear ready to give attention.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of grain-cutting, so is a true servant to those who send him; for he gives new life to the soul of his master.
14 As clouds and wind without rain, so is one who takes credit for an offering he has not given.

15 A judge is moved by one who for a long time undergoes wrongs without protest, and by a soft tongue even bone is broken.
16 If you have honey, take only as much as is enough for you ; for fear that, being full of it, you may not be able to keep it down.
17 Let not your foot be frequently in your neighbour's house, or he may get tired of you, and his feeling be turned to hate.
18 One who gives false witness against his neighbour is a hammer and a sword and a sharp arrow.
19 Putting one's faith in a false man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a shaking foot.
20 Like one who takes off clothing in cold weather and like acid on a wound, is he who makes melody to a sad heart.
21 If your hater is in need of food, give him bread ; and if he is in need of drink, give him water : 22 For so you will put coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will give you your reward.
23 As the north wind gives birth to rain, so is an angry face caused by a tongue saying evil secretly.
24 It is better to be living in an angle of the house-top, than with a bitter-tongued woman in a wide house.
25 As cold water to a tired soul, so is good news from a far country.
26 Like a troubled fountain and a dirty spring, is an upright man who has to give way before evil-doers.
27 It is not good to take much honey : so he who is not looking for honour will be honoured.
28 He whose spirit is uncontrolled is like an unwalled town which has been broken into.

Moral lessons

1 Like snow in summer and rain when the grain is being cut, so honour is not natural for the foolish.
2 As the sparrow in her wandering and the swallow in her flight, so the curse does not come without a cause.
3 A whip for the horse, a mouth-bit for the ass, and a rod for the back of the foolish.
4 Do not give to the foolish man a foolish answer, or you will be like him.
5 Give a foolish man a foolish answer, or he will seem wise to himself.
6 He who sends news by the hand of a foolish man is cutting off his feet and drinking in damage.
7 The legs of one who has no power of walking are hanging loose ; so is a wise saying in the mouth of the foolish.
8 Giving honour to a foolish man is like attempting to keep a stone fixed in a cord.
9 Like a thorn which goes up into the hand of a man overcome by drink, so is a wise saying in the mouth of a foolish man.
10 Like an archer wounding all who go by, is a foolish man overcome by drink.
11 Like a dog going back to the food which he has not been able to keep down, is the foolish man doing his foolish acts over again.
12 Have you seen a man who seems to himself to be wise ? There is more hope for the foolish than for him.
13 The hater of work says, There is a lion in the way ; a lion is in the streets.
14 A door is turned on its pillar, and the hater of work on his bed.
15 The hater of work puts his hand deep into the basin : lifting it again to his mouth is a weariness to him.
16 The hater of work seems to himself wiser than seven men who are able to give an answer with good sense.
17 He who gets mixed up in a fight which is not his business, is like one who takes a dog by the ears while it is going by.
18 As one who is off his head sends about flaming sticks and arrows of death, 19 So is the man who gets the better of his neighbour by deceit, and says, Am I not doing so in sport ?
20 Without wood, the fire goes out ; and where there is no secret talk, argument is ended.
21 Like breath on coals and wood on fire, so a man given to argument gets a fight started.
22 The words of one who says evil of his neighbour secretly are like sweet food, they go down into the inner parts of the stomach.
23 Smooth lips and an evil heart are like a vessel of earth plated with silver waste.
24 With his lips the hater makes things seem what they are not, but deceit is stored up inside him ; 25 When he says fair words, have no belief in him ; for in his heart are seven evils : 26 Though his hate is covered with deceit, his sin will be seen openly before the meeting of the people.
27 He who makes a hole in the earth will himself go falling into it : and on him by whom a stone is rolled the stone will come back again.
28 A false tongue has hate for those who have clean hearts, and a smooth mouth is a cause of falling.

Antihetic proverbs

1     Do not make a noise about tomorrow, for you are not certain what a day's outcome may be.
2 Let another man give you praise, and not your mouth ; one who is strange to you, and not your lips.
3 A stone has great weight, and sand is crushing ; but the wrath of the foolish is of greater weight than these.
4 Wrath is cruel, and angry feeling an overflowing stream ; but who does not give way before envy ?
5 Better is open protest than love kept secret.
6 The wounds of a friend are given in good faith, but the kisses of a hater are false.
7 The full man has no use for honey, but to the man in need of food every bitter thing is sweet.
8 Like a bird wandering from the place of her eggs is a man wandering from his station.
9 Oil and perfume make glad the heart, and the wise suggestion of a friend is sweet to the soul.
10 Do not give up your friend and your father's friend ; and do not go into your brother's house in the day of your trouble : better is a neighbour who is near than a brother far off.
11 My son, be wise and make my heart glad, so that I may give back an answer to him who puts me to shame.
12 The sharp man sees the evil and takes cover : the simple go straight on and get into trouble.
13 Take a man's clothing if he makes himself responsible for a strange man, and get an undertaking from him who gives his word for strange men.
14 He who gives a blessing to his friend with a loud voice, getting up early in the morning, will have it put to his account as a curse.
15 Like an unending dropping on a day of rain is a bitter-tongued woman.
16 He who keeps secret the secret of his friend, will get himself a name for good faith.
17 Iron makes iron sharp ; so a man makes sharp his friend.
18 Whoever keeps a fig-tree will have its fruit ; and the servant waiting on his master will be honoured.
19 Like face looking at face in water, so are the hearts of men to one another.
20 The underworld and Abaddon are never full, and the eyes of man have never enough.
21 The heating-pot is for silver and the oven-fire for gold, and a man is measured by what he is praised for.
22 Even if a foolish man is crushed with a hammer in a vessel among crushed grain, still his foolish ways will not go from him.

23 Take care to have knowledge about the condition of your flocks, looking well after your herds ; 24 For wealth is not for ever, and money does not go on for all generations.
25 The grass comes up and the young grass is seen, and the mountain plants are got in.
26 The lambs are for your clothing, and the he-goats make the value of a field :
27 There will be goats' milk enough for your food, and for the support of your servant-girls.

Antihetic proverbs

1 The evil man goes running away when no man is after him, but the upright are without fear, like the lion.
2 Because of the sin of the land, its troubles are increased ; but by a man of wisdom and knowledge they will be put out like a fire.
3 A man of wealth who is cruel to the poor is like a violent rain causing destruction of food.
4 Those who have no respect for the law give praise to the evil-doer ; but such as keep the law are against him.
5 Evil men have no knowledge of what is right ; but those who go after the Lord have knowledge of all things.
6 Better is the poor man whose ways are upright, than the man of wealth whose ways are not straight.
7 He who keeps the law is a wise son, but he who keeps company with feasters puts shame on his father.
8 He who makes his wealth greater by taking interest, only gets it together for him who has pity on the poor.
9 As for the man whose ear is turned away from hearing the law, even his prayer is disgusting.
10 Anyone causing the upright to go wandering in an evil way, will himself go down into the hole he has made ; but the upright will have good things for their heritage.
11 The man of wealth seems to himself to be wise, but the poor man who has sense has a low opinion of him.
12 When the upright do well, there is great glory ; but when evil-doers are lifted up, men do not let themselves be seen.
13 He who keeps his sins secret will not do well ; but one who is open about them, and gives them up, will get mercy.
14 Happy is the man in whom is the fear of the Lord at all times ; but he whose heart is hard will come into trouble.
15 Like a loud-voiced lion and a wandering bear, is an evil ruler over a poor people.
16 The prince who has no sense is a cruel ruler ; but he who has no desire to get profit for himself will have long life.
17 One who has been the cause of a man's death will go in flight to the underworld : let no man give him help.
18 He whose ways are upright will be safe, but sudden will be the fall of him whose ways are twisted.
19 By ploughing his land a man will have bread in full measure ; but he who goes after good-for-nothing persons will be poor enough.
20 A man of good faith will have great blessing, but one attempting to get wealth quickly will not go free from punishment.
21 It is not good to have respect for a man's position : for a man will do wrong for a bit of bread.
22 He who is ever desiring wealth goes running after money, and does not see that need will come on him.
23 He who says words of protest to a man will later have more approval than one who says smooth words with his tongue.
24 He who takes from his father or his mother what is theirs by right, and says, It is no sin ; is the same as a taker of life.
25 He who is ever desiring profit is a cause of fighting ; but he who puts his faith in the Lord will be made fat.
26 He whose faith is in himself is foolish ; but everyone walking wisely will be kept safe.
27 He who gives to the poor will never be in need, but great curses will be on him who gives no attention to them.
28 When evil-doers are lifted up, men take cover ; but when destruction overtakes them, the upright are increased.

General observastions

1 A man hating sharp words and making his heart hard, will suddenly be broken and will not be made well again.
2 When the upright have power, the people are glad ; when an evil man is ruler, grief comes on the people.
3 A man who is a lover of wisdom is a joy to his father : but he who goes in the company of loose women is a waster of wealth.
4 A king, by right rule, makes the land safe ; but one full of desires makes it a waste.
5 A man who says smooth things to his neighbour is stretching out a net for his steps.
6 In the steps of an evil man there is a net for him, but the upright man gets away quickly and is glad.
7 The upright man gives attention to the cause of the poor : the evil-doer gives no thought to it.
8 Men of pride are the cause of violent acts in a town, but by wise men wrath is turned away.
9 If a wise man goes to law with a foolish man, he may be angry or laughing, but there will be no rest.
10 Men of blood are haters of the good man, and evil-doers go after his soul.
11 A foolish man lets out all his wrath, but a wise man keeps it back quietly.
12 If a ruler gives attention to false words, all his servants are evil-doers.
13 The poor man and his creditor come face to face : the Lord gives light to their eyes equally.
14 The king who is a true judge in the cause of the poor, will be safe for ever on the seat of his power.
15 The rod and sharp words give wisdom : but a child who is not guided is a cause of shame to his mother.
16 When evil men are in power, wrongdoing is increased ; but the upright will have pleasure when they see their downfall.
17 Give your son training, and he will give you rest ; he will give delight to your soul.
18 Where there is no vision, the people are uncontrolled ; but he who keeps the law will be happy.
19 A servant will not be trained by words ; for though the sense of the words is clear to him, he will not give attention.
20 Have you seen a man who is quick with his tongue ? There is more hope for a foolish man than for him.
21 If a servant is gently cared for from his early years, he will become a cause of sorrow in the end.
22 An angry man is the cause of fighting, and a man given to wrath does much wrong.
23 A man's pride will be the cause of his fall, but he who has a gentle spirit will get honour.
24 A man who takes part with a thief has hate for his soul ; he is put under oath, but says nothing.
25 The fear of man is a cause of danger: but whoever puts his faith in the Lord will have a safe place on high.
26 The approval of a ruler is desired by great numbers : but the decision in a man's cause comes from the Lord.
27 An evil man is disgusting to the upright, and he who is upright is disgusting to evil-doers.

Praise of a worthy woman

1 The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, from Massa.
The man says : I am full of weariness, O God, I am full of weariness ; O God, I have come to an end :
2 For I am more like a beast than any man, I have no power of reasoning like a man :
3 I have not got wisdom by teaching, so that I might have the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down ? who has taken the winds in his hands, prisoning the waters in his robe ? by whom have all the ends of the earth been fixed? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if you are able to say?

5 Every word of God is tested : he is a breastplate to those who put their faith in him.
6 Make no addition to his words, or he will make clear your error, and you will be seen to be false.

7 I have made request to you for two things ; do not keep them from me before my death:
8 Put far from me all false and foolish things : do not give me great wealth or let me be in need, but give me only enough food : 9 For fear that if I am full, I may be false to you and say, Who is the Lord ? or if I am poor, I may become a thief, using the name of my God wrongly.

10 Do not say evil of a servant to his master, or he will put a curse on you, and you will get into trouble.

11 There is a generation who put a curse on their father, and do not give a blessing to their mother.
12 There is a generation who seem to themselves to be free from sin, but are not washed from their unclean ways.
13 There is a generation, O how full of pride are their eyes ! O how their brows are lifted up!
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, their strong teeth like knives, for the destruction of the poor from the earth, and of those who are in need from among men.

15 The night-spirit has two daughters, Give, give. There are three things which are never full, even four which never say, Enough :
16 The underworld, and the woman without a child ; the earth which never has enough water, and the fire which never says, Enough.

17 The eye which makes sport of a father, and sees no value in a mother when she is old will be rooted out by the ravens of the valley, and be food for the young eagles.

18 There are three things, the wonder of which overcomes me, even four things outside my knowledge : 19 The way of an eagle in the air ; the way of a snake on a rock ; the way of a ship in the heart of the sea; and the way of a man with a girl.

20 This is the way of a false wife ; she takes food, and, cleaning her mouth, says, I have done no wrong.
21 For three things the earth is moved, and there are four which it will not put up with : 22 A servant when he becomes a king ; a man without sense when his wealth is increased ; 23 A hated woman when she is married ; and a servant-girl who takes the place of her master's wife.

24 There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are very wise : 25 The ants are a people not strong, but they put by a store of food in the summer ; >26 The conies are only a feeble people, but they make their houses in the rocks; 27 The locusts have no king, but they all go out in bands ; 28 You may take the lizard in your hands, but it is in kings' houses.
29 There are three things whose steps are good to see, even four whose goings are fair: 30 The lion, which is strongest among beasts, not turning from his way for any ; 31 The war-horse, and the he-goat, and the king when his army is with him.

32 If you have done foolishly in lifting yourself up, or if you have had evil designs, put your hand over your mouth.
33 The shaking of milk makes butter, and the twisting of the nose makes blood come : so the forcing of wrath is a cause of fighting.

Praise of a worthy woman

1 The words of Lemuel, king of Massa : the teaching which he had from his mother.

2 What am I to say to you, O Lemuel, my oldest son ? and what, O son of my body ? and what, O son of my oaths?
3 Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which is the destruction of kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to take wine, or for rulers to say, Where is strong drink ? 5 For fear that through drinking they may come to have no respect for the law, wrongly judging the cause of those who are in trouble.
6 Give strong drink to him who is near to destruction, and wine to him whose soul is bitter : 7 Let him have drink, and his need will go from his mind, and the memory of his trouble will be gone.
8 Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death.
9 Let your mouth be open, judging rightly, and give right decisions in the cause of the poor and those in need.

10 Who may make discovery of a woman of virtue ? For her price is much higher than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband has faith in her, and he will have profit in full measure.
12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She gets wool and linen, working at the business of her hands.
14 She is like the trading-ships, getting food from far away.
15 She gets up while it is still night, and gives meat to her family, and their food to her servant-girls.
16 After looking at a field with care, she gets it for a price, planting a vine-garden with the profit of her work.
17 She puts a band of strength round her, and makes her arms strong.
18 She sees that her marketing is of profit to her : her light does not go out by night.
19 She puts her hands to the cloth-working rod, and her fingers take the wheel.
20 Her hands are stretched out to the poor ; yes, she is open-handed to those who are in need.
21 She has no fear of the snow for her family, for all those in her house are clothed in red.
22 She makes for herself cushions of needlework ; her clothing is fair linen and purple.
23 Her husband is a man of note in the public place, when he takes his seat among the responsible men of the land.
24 She makes linen robes and gets a price for them, and traders take her cloth bands for a price.
25 Strength and self-respect are her clothing ; she is facing the future with a smile.
26 Her mouth is open to give out wisdom, and the law of mercy is on her tongue.
27 She gives attention to the ways of her family, she does not take her food without working for it.
28 Her children get up and give her honour, and her husband gives her praise, saying,
29 Unnumbered women have done well, but you are better than all of them.
30 Fair looks are a deceit, and a beautiful form is of no value ; but a woman who has the fear of the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her credit for what her hands have made : let her be praised by her works in the public place.

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