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He who hates ill-gotten gain prolongs his days. He
who gives to the poor suffers no want, but he who
ignores them gets many a curse. When the just
prevail, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan. The just have a care for
the rights of the poor; the wicked have no such concern. When the wicked prevail, crime
increases, but their downfall the just will behold. There is a group whose teeth are swords and
knives -- they devour the needy from the earth and the poor from among men.
Sow not in the furrows of injustice lest you harvest it sevenfold. Odious to the Lord and to men
is arrogance, and the sin of oppression they both hate. Dominion is transferred from one people
to another because of the violence of the arrogant.
Do not give in to sadness, torment not yourself with brooding. Gladness of heart is the very life
of man, cheerfulness prolongs his days. Distract yourself, renew your courage, drive resentment
far away from you. For worry has brought death to many, nor is there anything to be gained from
resentment. Envy and anger shorten one's life, worry brings on premature old age. One who is
cheerful and happy while at table benefits from his food.
God hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow
when she pours our her complaint. Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against
the one that causes them to fall? He who serves God willingly is heard, his petition reaches the
heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds' it does not rest until it reaches its goal. Nor
will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.
Right is repelled, and justice stands far off; for truth stumbles in the public square, uprightness
cannot enter. Honesty is lacking and the man who turns from evil is despoiled.
Happy are those concerned for the lowly and the poor; when misfortune strikes, the Lord delivers
them. The Lord keeps and preserves them, makes them happy in the land, and does not betray
them to their enemies. The Lord sustains them on their sickbed, allays the malady when they are
He who oppresses the poor blasphemes his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy glorifies God.
The wicked man is overthrown by his wickedness, but the just man finds a refuge in his honesty.
Why should I fear in evil days, when my wicked pursuers ring me round, those who trust in their
wealth, and boast of their abundant riches? One cannot redeem oneself, pay to God a ransom.
Too high the price to redeem a life; one would never have enough to stay alive forever and never
see the pit. Anyone can see that the wicked die, the fool and the senseless pass away too, and
must leave their wealth to others. Tombs are their homes forever, their dwellings through all
generations, though they gave their names to their lands. For all their riches mortals do not
abide, they perish like the beasts.
A man's riches serve as ransom for his life, but the poor man heeds no rebuke. Every day is
miserable for the depressed, but a lighthearted man has a continual feast. Better a little with fear
of the Lord, than a great fortune with anxiety. Better a dish of herbs where love is than a fatted
ox and hatred with it. An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord. The
way of the lazy is hemmed in as with thorns, but the path of the diligent is a highway.
Better a little with virtue, than a large income with injustice. Better a poor man who walks in his
integrity, than he who is crooked in his ways and rich. Evil men understand nothing of justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand all. Better a poor man who walks in his integrity than he
who is crooked in his ways and rich.
The Lord overturns the house of the proud, but he preserves intact the widow's landmark. The
wicked man's schemes are an abomination to the Lord, but the pure speak what is pleasing to
him. The one who is greedy for gain brings ruin on his own house, but he who hates bribes will
live. The just man weighs well his utterance, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil. The
Lord is far from the wicked, but the prayer of the just he hears.
The one who makes a fortune by a lying tongue is chasing a bubble over deadly snares. The
oppression of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is right. The
way of the culprit is crooked, but the conduct of the innocent is right.
For you are a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in distress, shelter from the rain, shade
from the heat. The one who has compassion on the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him
for his good deed. The poor from the edge of the sword and from the hand of the mighty, God
saves. Thus the unfortunate have hope and iniquity closes her mouth.
Yet should not a hand be held out to help the wretched in their calamities? Or have I not wept
for the hardships of others; was not my soul grieved for the destitute?
The poor will eat their fill; those who seek the Lord will offer praise. May your hearts enjoy life
If I cry out "Injustice!" I am not heard. I cry for help, but there is no redress.
O mighty king, lover of justice, you alone have established fairness; you have created just rule in
The rich man's wealth is his strong city; the ruination of the lowly is their poverty. A lawsuit
devours the tillage of the poor, but some men perish for lack of a law court. Even by his
neighbor the poor man is hated, but the friends of the rich are many. He sins who despises the
hungry, but happy is he who is kind to the poor!
Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be humble with the
meek than to share plunder with the proud. He who mocks the poor blasphemes his Maker, the
one who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. He who condones the wicked, he who
condemns the just, are both an abomination to the Lord. The wicked man accepts a concealed
bribe to pervert the course of justice.
The poor man implores, but the rich man answers harshly. Wealth adds many friends, but the
friend of the poor man deserts him. All the poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do
his friends shun him? From a man's greed comes his shame; rather be a poor man than a liar.
An unprincipled witness perverts justice, and the mouth of the wicked pours out iniquity.
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. The oppression of the
wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is right. To practice justice is a
joy for the just, but terror for evildoers. He who pursues justice and kindness will find life and
honor. Arrogant is the name for the man of overbearing pride who acts with scornful effrontery.
Some are consumed with avarice all the day, but the just man gives unsparingly. Rich and poor
have a common bond, the Lord is the maker of them all.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Those who oppress the
poor to enrich themselves will yield up their gains to the rich as sheer loss.
Remove not the ancient landmark, nor invade the fields of orphans; for their redeemer is strong;
he will defend their cause against you. Be not provoked with evildoers, nor envious of the
wicked; for the evil man has no future, the lamp of the wicked will be put out. To show partiality
in judgment is not good. The one who says to the wicked -- "You are just" -- will be cursed,
people will denounce them. But those who convict the evildoer will fare well, and on them will
come the blessing of prosperity.
Be not a witness against your neighbor without just cause, thus committing folly with your lips.
Say not, "As he did to me, so will I do to him; I will repay the man according to his deeds." If
your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink. For live coals
you will heap on his head and the Lord will vindicate you. Like a troubled fountain or a polluted
spring is a just man who gives way before the wicked,
He who increases his wealth by interest and overcharge gathers it for him who is kind to the
poor. The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who is intelligent sees through him.
When the just are triumphant, there is great jubilation, but when the wicked gain preeminence,
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food, but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of
poverty. By justice a king give stability to the land; but he who imposes heavy taxes ruins it.
The poor and the oppressor have a common bond: the Lord gives light to the eyes of both. If a
king is zealous for the rights of the poor, his throne stands firm forever. Many curry favor with
the ruler, but the rights of each are from the Lord.
Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: put falsehood and lying far from me,
give me neither poverty nor riches, provide me only with the food I need, lest, being full, I deny
you, saying, "Who is the Lord?" Or, being in ant, I steal, and profane the name of my God.
Love not sleep, lest you be reduced to poverty; eyes wide open mean abundant food. Even to the
death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you. It is not just to despise a man
who is wise but poor, nor proper to honor any sinner.
The poor man is honored for his wisdom, as the rich is honored for his wealth. Honored in
poverty, how much more so in wealth! Dishonored in wealth, in poverty how much the more?
As long as the rich man can use you he will enslave you, but when you are exhausted, he will
abandon you. As long as you have anything he will speak fair words to you, and with smiles he
will win your confidence. When he needs something from you he will cajole you, then without
regret he will impoverish you. While it serves his purpose he will beguile you, then twice or
three times he will terrify you.
Can there be peace between the hyena and the dog? Or between the rich and the poor can there
be peace? Lion's prey are the wild donkeys of the desert, so too the poor are feeding grounds for
the rich. A proud man abhors lowliness; so does the rich man abhor the poor. When a rich man
stumbles he is supported by a friend; when a poor man trips he is pushed down by a friend.
Many are the supporters for a rich man when he speaks; though what he says is odious, it wins
approval. When a poor man speaks they make sport of him; he speaks wisely and no attention is
paid him. A rich man speaks and all are silent, his wisdom they extol to the clouds. A poor man
speaks and they say, "Who is that?" If he slips, they cast him down. Wealth is good when there
is no sin, but poverty is evil by the standards of the proud. The heart of a man changes his
countenance either for good or for evil. The sign of a good heart is a cheerful countenance,
withdrawn and perplexed is the laborious schemer.
Remember the time of hunger in the time of plenty, poverty and want in the day of wealth.
Go not after your lusts, but keep your desires in check. If you satisfy your lustful appetites they
will make you the sport of your enemies. Have no joy in the pleasures of a moment which bring
on poverty redoubled; become not a glutton and a winebibber with nothing in your purse.
Prayer from a poor man's lips is heard at once, and justice is quickly granted him.
Widely known is the boastful speaker, but the wise man knows his own faults. He who builds
his house with another's money is collecting stones for his funeral mound. A band of criminals
is like a bundle of sticks, they will end in a flaming fire.
He does a kindness who lends to his neighbor and he fulfills the precepts who holds out a helping
hand. Lend to your neighbor in his hour of need and pay back your neighbor when a loan falls
due; keep your promise, be honest with him, and you will always come by what you need.
To a poor man, however, be generous; keep him not waiting for your alms; because of the
precept, help the needy, and in their want, do not send them away empty handed. Store up
almsgiving in your treasure house, and it will save you from every evil; better than a stout shield
and sturdy spear it will fight for you against the foe.
Life's prime needs are water, bread, and clothing, a house too, for decent privacy. Better a poor
man's fare under the shadow of one's own roof than sumptuous banquets among strangers. Be it
little or much, be content with what you have, and pay no heed to him who would disparage your
home. Better a poor man strong and robust, than a rich man with wasted frame. The rich man
labors to pile up wealth, and his only rest is wanton pleasure; the poor man toils fro a meager
subsistence, and if ever he rests, he finds himself in want.
In works of charity, one offers fine offerings, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of
praise. To refrain from evil pleases the Lord, and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Let not the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the Lord, "The Lord will surely exclude
me from his people", nor let the eunuch say, "See I am a dry tree". For thus says the Lord: to the
eunuchs who observe my sabbaths and choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant. I
will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name, better than sons and
daughters; an eternal, imperishable name will I give them. And the foreigners who join
themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord and becoming his
servants -- all who keep the Sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, then I will
bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their sacrifices will be
acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says
the Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: Others will I gather to him besides those
There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time
to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant; a time to kill, and a
time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time
to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to
embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep,
and a time to cast away, a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate, a time of war, and a time of peace.
Happy are those who do what is right, whose deeds are always just.
One man is lavish yet grows still richer, another is too sparing, yet is the poorer. He who confers
benefits will be amply enriched, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Him who
monopolizes grain, the people curse -- but blessings upon the head of him who distributes it. He
who seeks the good commands favor, but he who pursues evil will have evil befall him. He who
trusts in his riches will fall, but like green leaves the just flourish.
Again I considered all the oppressions that take place under the sun: the tears of the victims with
none to comfort them! From the hand of their oppressors comes violence and there is none to
comfort them! And those now dead, I declared more fortunate in death than are the living to be
still alive. And better off than both is the yet unborn, who has not seen the wicked work that is
done under the sun.
In great oppression men cry out; they call for help because of the power of the mighty. "For there
are among my people criminals, like fowlers they set traps, but it is men they catch. Their houses
are as full of treachery as a bird-cage is of birds. Therefore they grow powerful and rich, fat and
sleek. They go their wicked way; justice they do not defend by advancing the claim of the
fatherless or judging the cause of the poor. Shall I not punish these things?" Says the Lord.
Therefore, O king, take my advice, atone for your sins by good deeds, and for your misdeeds by
kindness to the poor, then your prosperity will be long.
The covetous man is never satisfied with money, and the lover of wealth reaps no fruit from it; so
this too is vanity. Where there are great riches, there are also many to devour them. Of what use
are they to the owner except to feast his eyes upon? Sleep is sweet to the laboring man, whether
he eats little or much, but the rich man's abundance allows him no sleep.
The brothers and sisters in lowly circumstances should take pride in their high standing, and the
rich in their lowliness, for they will pass away like the flower of the field. For the sun comes up
with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance
vanishes. So will the rich fade away in the midst of their pursuits.
Your strength is not in numbers, nor does your power depend upon stalwart men, but you are the
God of the lowly, the helper of the oppressed, the supporter of the weak, the protector of the
forsaken, the savior of those without hope.
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