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Proverbs 28 King James Version (KJV)

28 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.

They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things.

Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.

He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.

12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

16 The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

17 A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.

18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.

19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.

20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

21 To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.

22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.

25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat.

26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Proverbs 28 New International Version (NIV)

28 The wicked flee though no one pursues,
    but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
    but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

A ruler[a] who oppresses the poor
    is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
    but those who heed it resist them.

Evildoers do not understand what is right,
    but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

Better the poor whose walk is blameless
    than the rich whose ways are perverse.

A discerning son heeds instruction,
    but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.

Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor
    amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
    even their prayers are detestable.

10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
    will fall into their own trap,
    but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.

11 The rich are wise in their own eyes;
    one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.

12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
    but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
    but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
    is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion,
    but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.

17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder
    will seek refuge in the grave;
    let no one hold them back.

18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
    but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.[b]

19 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

20 A faithful person will be richly blessed,
    but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

21 To show partiality is not good
    yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.

22 The stingy are eager to get rich
    and are unaware that poverty awaits them.

23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor
    rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

24 Whoever robs their father or mother
    and says, “It’s not wrong,”
    is partner to one who destroys.

25 The greedy stir up conflict,
    but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.

26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
    but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
    but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
    but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 28:3 Or A poor person
  2. Proverbs 28:18 Syriac (see Septuagint); Hebrew into one
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 28 The Message (MSG)

If You Desert God’s Law

28 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
    even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
    bold as lions.

    When the country is in chaos,
    everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
    to straighten things out.

The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.

If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.

Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.

It’s better to be poor and direct
    than rich and crooked.

Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
    hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Get as rich as you want
    through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
    is going to give it all back to them.

God has no use for the prayers
    of the people who won’t listen to him.

10 Lead good people down a wrong path
    and you’ll come to a bad end;
    do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.

11 The rich think they know it all,
    but the poor can see right through them.

12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
    but when the bad are in charge, watch out!

13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
    you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.

14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
    a hardhearted person lives a hard life.

15 Lions roar and bears charge—
    and the wicked lord it over the poor.

16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
    but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.

17 A murderer haunted by guilt
    is doomed—there’s no helping him.

18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
    a devious life is a doomed life.

Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways

19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
    play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.

20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
    get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.

21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
    you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.

22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
    doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.

23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
    far more than bootlicking flattery.

24 Anyone who robs father and mother
    and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
    is worse than a pirate.

25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
    but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.

26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
    real survivors learn wisdom from others.

27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
    shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.

28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
    but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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