|Whoever touches pitch will be defiled, |
and whoever associates with a proud man will become like him.
|Do not lift a weight beyond your strength, |
nor associate with a man mightier and richer than you.
How can the clay pot associate with the iron kettle?
The pot will strike against it, and will itself be broken.
|A rich man does wrong, and he even adds reproaches; |
a poor man suffers wrong, and he must add apologies.
|A rich man will exploit you if you can be of use to him, |
but if you are in need he will forsake you.
|If you own something, he will live with you; |
he will drain your resources and he will not care.
|When he needs you he will deceive you, he will smile at you and give you hope. |
He will speak to you kindly and say, "What do you need?"
|He will shame you with his foods, |
until he has drained you two or three times;
and finally he will deride you.
Should he see you afterwards, he will forsake you, and shake his head at you.
|Take care not to be led astray, |
and not to be humiliated in your feasting.
|When a powerful man invites you, be reserved; |
and he will invite you the more often.
|Do not push forward, lest you be repulsed; |
and do not remain at a distance, lest you be forgotten.
|Do not try to treat him as an equal, nor trust his abundance of words; |
for he will test you through much talk, and while he smiles he will be examining you.
|Cruel is he who does not keep words to himself; |
he will not hesitate to injure or to imprison.
|Keep words to yourself and be very watchful, |
for you are walking about with your own downfall.
|Every creature loves its like, |
and every person his neighbor;
|all living beings associate by species, |
and a man clings to one like himself.
|What fellowship has a wolf with a lamb? |
No more has a sinner with a godly man.
|What peace is there between a hyena and a dog? |
And what peace between a rich man and a poor man?
|Wild asses in the wilderness are the prey of lions; |
likewise the poor are pastures for the rich.
|Humility is an abomination to a proud man; |
likewise a poor man is an abomination to a rich one.
|When a rich man totters, he is steadied by friends, |
but when a humble man falls, he is even pushed away by friends.
|If a rich man slips, his helpers are many; |
he speaks unseemly words, and they justify him.
If a humble man slips, they even reproach him;
he speaks sensibly, and receives no attention.
|When the rich man speaks all are silent, |
and they extol to the clouds what he says.
When the poor man speaks they say, "Who is this fellow?"
And should he stumble, they even push him down.
|Riches are good if they are free from sin, |
and poverty is evil in the opinion of the ungodly.
|A man's heart changes his countenance, |
either for good or for evil.
|The mark of a happy heart is a cheerful face, |
but to devise proverbs requires painful thinking.
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