Warnings and Instructions

The wicked flee when no one pursues them,
But the righteous are as bold as a lion.(A)

When a land does wrong, it has many princes,
But when the ruler is a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability endures.

A poor man who oppresses and exploits the lowly
Is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.(B)

Those who [a]set aside the law [of God and man] praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law [of God and man] struggle with them.©

Evil men do not understand justice,
But they who long for and seek the Lord understand it fully.(D)

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked and two-faced though he is rich.(E)

He who keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise and discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father [and himself].

He who increases his wealth by interest and usury (excessive interest)
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.(F)

He who turns his ear away from listening to the law [of God and man],
Even his prayer is repulsive [to God].(G)
He who leads the upright astray on an evil path
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.
The rich man [who is conceited and relies on his wealth instead of God] is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor man who has understanding [because he relies on God] is able to see through him.
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory and celebration;
But when the wicked rise [to prominence], men hide themselves.
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and [b]turns away from his sins will find compassion and mercy.(H)
Blessed and favored by God is the man who fears [sin and its consequence] at all times,
But he who hardens his heart [and is determined to sin] will fall into disaster.
Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding and common sense [and his wickedness shortens his days],
But he who hates unjust gain will [be blessed and] prolong his days.
A man who is burdened with the guilt of human blood (murder)
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him or give him refuge.
He who walks blamelessly and uprightly will be kept safe,
But he who is crooked (perverse) will suddenly fall.
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows worthless people and frivolous pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
A faithful (right-minded) man will abound with blessings,
But he who hurries to be rich will not go unpunished.(I)
To have regard for one person over another and to show favoritism is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
He who has an evil and envious eye hurries to be rich
And does not know that poverty will come upon him.(J)
He who [appropriately] reprimands a [wise] man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.
He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “This is no sin,”
Is [not only a thief but also] the companion of a man who destroys.
An arrogant and greedy man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be blessed and prosper.
He who trusts confidently in his own heart is a [dull, thickheaded] fool,
But he who walks in [skillful and godly] wisdom will be rescued.(K)
He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes [from their need] will have many curses.(L)
When the wicked rise [to power], men hide themselves;
But when the wicked perish, the [consistently] righteous increase and become great.(M)


  1. Proverbs 28:4 Lit forsake.
  2. Proverbs 28:13 Lit forsakes.

Cross references

  1. Proverbs 28:1 : Lev 26:17, 36; Ps 53:5
  2. Proverbs 28:3 : Matt 18:28
  3. Proverbs 28:4 : Prov 29:18
  4. Proverbs 28:5 : John 7:17; 1 Cor 2:15; 1 John 2:20, 27
  5. Proverbs 28:6 : Prov 19:1
  6. Proverbs 28:8 : Job 27:16, 17; Prov 13:22; Eccl 2:26
  7. Proverbs 28:9 : Ps 66:18; 109:7; Prov 15:8; Zech 7:11
  8. Proverbs 28:13 : Ps 32:3, 5; 1 John 1:8-10
  9. Proverbs 28:20 : Prov 13:11; 20:21; 23:4; 1 Tim 6:9
  10. Proverbs 28:22 : Prov 21:5; 28:20
  11. Proverbs 28:26 : James 1:5
  12. Proverbs 28:27 : Deut 15:7; Prov 19:17; 22:9
  13. Proverbs 28:28 : Prov 28:12