Chapter 28

1The wicked flee though no one gives chase, But the righteous are as confident as a lion.

אנָסוּ וְאֵין־רֹדֵף רָשָׁע וְצַדִּיקִים כִּכְפִיר יִבְטָח׃

2When there is rebellion in the land, many are its rulers; But with a man who has understanding and knowledge, stability will last.

בבְּפֶשַׁע אֶרֶץ רַבִּים שָׂרֶיהָ וּבְאָדָם מֵבִין יֹדֵעַ כֵּן יַאֲרִיךְ׃

3A poor man who withholds what is due to the wretched Is like a destructive rain that leaves no food.

גגֶּבֶר רָשׁ וְעֹשֵׁק דַּלִּים מָטָר סֹחֵף וְאֵין לָחֶם׃

4Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, But those who heed instruction fight them.

דעֹזְבֵי תוֹרָה יְהַלְלוּ רָשָׁע וְשֹׁמְרֵי תוֹרָה יִתְגָּרוּ בָם׃

5Evil men cannot discern judgment, But those who seek Hashem discern all things.

האַנְשֵׁי־רָע לֹא־יָבִינוּ מִשְׁפָּט וּמְבַקְשֵׁי יְהֹוָה יָבִינוּ כֹל׃

6Better is a poor man who lives blamelessly Than a rich man whose ways are crooked.

וטוֹב־רָשׁ הוֹלֵךְ בְּתֻמּוֹ מֵעִקֵּשׁ דְּרָכַיִם וְהוּא עָשִׁיר׃

7An intelligent son heeds instruction, But he who keeps company with gluttons disgraces his father.

זנוֹצֵר תּוֹרָה בֵּן מֵבִין וְרֹעֶה זוֹלְלִים יַכְלִים אָבִיו׃

8He who increases his wealth by loans at discount or interest Amasses it for one who is generous to the poor.

mar-BEH ho-NO b'-NE-shekh v'-tar-BEET l'-kho-NAYN da-LEEM yik-b'-TZE-nu

חמַרְבֶּה הוֹנוֹ בְּנֶשֶׁךְ ובתרבית [וְתַרְבִּית] לְחוֹנֵן דַּלִּים יִקְבְּצֶנּוּ׃

28:8   Amasses it for one who is generous to the poor

Despite sayings to the contrary, sometimes it seems that the wicked do prosper. After all, if crime didn’t pay, nobody would bother to try. This concerned even the greatest of biblical personalities, such as Yirmiyahu, who asks, “Wherefore does the way of the wicked prosper?” (Jeremiah 12:1). However, King Shlomo reassures us, one who becomes rich through dishonest means merely accumulates the wealth for the benefit of the righteous, as Hashem will ensure it arrives in their possession in the end.

9He who turns a deaf ear to instruction— His prayer is an abomination.

טמֵסִיר אָזְנוֹ מִשְּׁמֹעַ תּוֹרָה גַּם־תְּפִלָּתוֹ תּוֹעֵבָה׃

10He who misleads the upright into an evil course Will fall into his own pit, But the blameless will prosper.

ימַשְׁגֶּה יְשָׁרִים בְּדֶרֶךְ רָע בִּשְׁחוּתוֹ הוּא־יִפּוֹל וּתְמִימִים יִנְחֲלוּ־טוֹב׃

11A rich man is clever in his own eyes, But a perceptive poor man can see through him.

יאחָכָם בְּעֵינָיו אִישׁ עָשִׁיר וְדַל מֵבִין יַחְקְרֶנּוּ׃

12When the righteous exult there is great glory, But when the wicked rise up men make themselves scarce.

יבבַּעֲלֹץ צַדִּיקִים רַבָּה תִפְאָרֶת וּבְקוּם רְשָׁעִים יְחֻפַּשׂ אָדָם׃

13He who covers up his faults will not succeed; He who confesses and gives them up will find mercy.

יגמְכַסֶּה פְשָׁעָיו לֹא יַצְלִיחַ וּמוֹדֶה וְעֹזֵב יְרֻחָם׃

14Happy is the man who is anxious always, But he who hardens his heart falls into misfortune.

ידאַשְׁרֵי אָדָם מְפַחֵד תָּמִיד וּמַקְשֶׁה לִבּוֹ יִפּוֹל בְּרָעָה׃

15A roaring lion and a prowling bear Is a wicked man ruling a helpless people.

טואֲרִי־נֹהֵם וְדֹב שׁוֹקֵק מֹשֵׁל רָשָׁע עַל עַם־דָּל׃

16A prince who lacks understanding is very oppressive; He who spurns ill-gotten gains will live long.

טזנָגִיד חֲסַר תְּבוּנוֹת וְרַב מַעֲשַׁקּוֹת שנאי [שֹׂנֵא] בֶצַע יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים׃

17A man oppressed by bloodguilt will flee to a pit; Let none give him support.

יזאָדָם עָשֻׁק בְּדַם־נָפֶשׁ עַד־בּוֹר יָנוּס אַל־יִתְמְכוּ־בוֹ׃

18He who lives blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked in his ways will fall all at once.

יחהוֹלֵךְ תָּמִים יִוָּשֵׁעַ וְנֶעְקַשׁ דְּרָכַיִם יִפּוֹל בְּאֶחָת׃

19He who tills his land will have food in plenty, But he who pursues vanities will have poverty in plenty.

יטעֹבֵד אַדְמָתוֹ יִשְׂבַּע־לָחֶם וּמְרַדֵּף רֵקִים יִשְׂבַּע־רִישׁ׃

20A dependable man will receive many blessings, But one in a hurry to get rich will not go unpunished.

כאִישׁ אֱמוּנוֹת רַב־בְּרָכוֹת וְאָץ לְהַעֲשִׁיר לֹא יִנָּקֶה׃

21To be partial is not right; A man may do wrong for a piece of bread.

כאהַכֵּר־פָּנִים לֹא־טוֹב וְעַל־פַּת־לֶחֶם יִפְשַׁע־גָּבֶר׃

22A miserly man runs after wealth; He does not realize that loss will overtake it.

כבנִבֳהָל לַהוֹן אִישׁ רַע עָיִן וְלֹא־יֵדַע כִּי־חֶסֶר יְבֹאֶנּוּ׃

23He who reproves a man will in the end Find more favor than he who flatters him.

כגמוֹכִיחַ אָדָם אַחֲרַי חֵן יִמְצָא מִמַּחֲלִיק לָשׁוֹן׃

24He who robs his father and mother and says, “It is no offense,” Is a companion to vandals.

כדגּוֹזֵל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ וְאֹמֵר אֵין־פָּשַׁע חָבֵר הוּא לְאִישׁ מַשְׁחִית׃

25A greedy man provokes quarrels, But he who trusts Hashem shall enjoy prosperity.

כהרְחַב־נֶפֶשׁ יְגָרֶה מָדוֹן וּבוֹטֵחַ עַל־יְהֹוָה יְדֻשָּׁן׃

26He who trusts his own instinct is a dullard, But he who lives by wisdom shall escape.

כובּוֹטֵחַ בְּלִבּוֹ הוּא כְסִיל וְהוֹלֵךְ בְּחָכְמָה הוּא יִמָּלֵט׃

27He who gives to the poor will not be in want, But he who shuts his eyes will be roundly cursed.

כזנוֹתֵן לָרָשׁ אֵין מַחְסוֹר וּמַעְלִים עֵינָיו רַב־מְאֵרוֹת׃

28When the wicked rise up, men go into hiding, But when they perish the righteous increase.

כחבְּקוּם רְשָׁעִים יִסָּתֵר אָדָם וּבְאָבְדָם יִרְבּוּ צַדִּיקִים׃