Proverbs 20
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1  Wine is a scoffer, strong drink a roisterer; He who is muddled by them will not grow wise.

א  לֵץ הַיַּין הֹמֶה שֵׁכָר וְכָל־שֹׁגֶה בּוֹ לֹא יֶחְכָּם׃

2  The terror of a king is like the roar of a lion; He who provokes his anger risks his life.

ב  נַהַם כַּכְּפִיר אֵימַת מֶלֶךְ מִתְעַבְּרוֹ חוֹטֵא נַפְשׁוֹ׃

3  It is honorable for a man to desist from strife, But every fool becomes embroiled.

ג  כָּבוֹד לָאִישׁ שֶׁבֶת מֵרִיב וְכָל־אֱוִיל יִתְגַּלָּע׃

4  In winter the lazy man does not plow; At harvesttime he seeks, and finds nothing.

ד  מֵחֹרֶף עָצֵל לֹא־יַחֲרֹשׁ ישאל [וְשָׁאַל] בַּקָּצִיר וָאָיִן׃

5  The designs in a man’s mind are deep waters But a man of understanding can draw them out.

ה  מַיִם עֲמֻקִּים עֵצָה בְלֶב־אִישׁ וְאִישׁ תְּבוּנָה יִדְלֶנָּה׃

6  He calls many a man his loyal friend, But who can find a faithful man?

ו  רָב־אָדָם יִקְרָא אִישׁ חַסְדּוֹ וְאִישׁ אֱמוּנִים מִי יִמְצָא׃

7  The righteous man lives blamelessly; Happy are his children who come after him.

ז  מִתְהַלֵּךְ בְּתֻמּוֹ צַדִּיק אַשְׁרֵי בָנָיו אַחֲרָיו׃

8  The king seated on the throne of judgment Can winnow out all evil by his glance.

ח  מֶלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁב עַל־כִּסֵּא־דִין מְזָרֶה בְעֵינָיו כָּל־רָע׃

9  Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am purged of my sin”?

ט  מִי־יֹאמַר זִכִּיתִי לִבִּי טָהַרְתִּי מֵחַטָּאתִי׃

10  False weights and false measures, Both are an abomination to Hashem.

י  אֶבֶן וָאֶבֶן אֵיפָה וְאֵיפָה תּוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה גַּם־שְׁנֵיהֶם׃

11  A child may be dissembling in his behavior Even though his actions are blameless and proper.

יא  גַּם בְּמַעֲלָלָיו יִתְנַכֶּר־נָעַר אִם־זַךְ וְאִם־יָשָׁר פָּעֳלוֹ׃

12  The ear that hears, the eye that sees— Hashem made them both.

יב  אֹזֶן שֹׁמַעַת וְעַיִן רֹאָה יְהֹוָה עָשָׂה גַם־שְׁנֵיהֶם׃

13  Do not love sleep lest you be impoverished; Keep your eyes open and you will have plenty of food.

יג  אַל־תֶּאֱהַב שֵׁנָה פֶּן־תִּוָּרֵשׁ פְּקַח עֵינֶיךָ שְׂבַע־לָחֶם׃

14  “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But having moved off, he congratulates himself.

יד  רַע רַע יֹאמַר הַקּוֹנֶה וְאֹזֵל לוֹ אָז יִתְהַלָּל׃

15  Gold is plentiful, jewels abundant, But wise speech is a precious object.

טו  יֵשׁ זָהָב וְרָב־פְּנִינִים וּכְלִי יְקָר שִׂפְתֵי־דָעַת׃

16  Seize his garment, for he stood surety for another; Take it as a pledge, [for he stood surety] for an unfamiliar woman.

טז  לְקַח־בִּגְדוֹ כִּי־עָרַב זָר וּבְעַד נכרים [נָכְרִיָּה] חַבְלֵהוּ׃

17  Bread gained by fraud may be tasty to a man, But later his mouth will be filled with gravel.

יז  עָרֵב לָאִישׁ לֶחֶם שָׁקֶר וְאַחַר יִמָּלֵא־פִיהוּ חָצָץ׃

18  Plans laid in council will succeed; Wage war with stratagems.

יח  מַחֲשָׁבוֹת בְּעֵצָה תִכּוֹן וּבְתַחְבֻּלוֹת עֲשֵׂה מִלְחָמָה׃

19  He who gives away secrets is a base fellow; Do not take up with a garrulous man.

יט  גּוֹלֶה־סּוֹד הוֹלֵךְ רָכִיל וּלְפֹתֶה שְׂפָתָיו לֹא תִתְעָרָב׃

20  One who reviles his father or mother, Light will fail him when darkness comes.

כ  מְקַלֵּל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ יִדְעַךְ נֵרוֹ באישון [בֶּאֱשׁוּן] חֹשֶׁךְ׃

21  An estate acquired in haste at the outset Will not be blessed in the end.

כא  נַחֲלָה מבחלת [מְבֹהֶלֶת] בָּרִאשֹׁנָה וְאַחֲרִיתָהּ לֹא תְבֹרָךְ׃

22  Do not say, “I will requite evil”; Put your hope in Hashem and He will deliver you.

al to-MAR a-sha-l’-mah RA ka-VAY la-do-NAI v’-YO-sha LAKH

כב  אַל־תֹּאמַר אֲשַׁלְּמָה־רָע קַוֵּה לַיהֹוָה וְיֹשַׁע לָךְ׃

 20:22   Put your hope in Hashem and He will deliver you

Sometimes we see wrongdoing in this world, and it bothers us. This verse teaches that it is not up to man to avenge evil, rather, this is Hashem’s duty. However, the fourteenth-century sage Rabbi Levi ben Gershon, better known as Ralbag, points out that we should not wish for God’s vengeance against our enemies, but only for salvation from their harm. Similarly, the Talmud (Berachot 10a) comments, regarding the verse in Sefer Tehillim (104:35), that we should not pray for our enemies’ demise, but for them to repent of their evil ways.Comment

23  False weights are an abomination to Hashem; Dishonest scales are not right.

כג  תּוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֶבֶן וָאָבֶן וּמֹאזְנֵי מִרְמָה לֹא־טוֹב׃

24  A man’s steps are decided by Hashem; What does a man know about his own way?

כד  מֵיהֹוָה מִצְעֲדֵי־גָבֶר וְאָדָם מַה־יָּבִין דַּרְכּוֹ׃

25  It is a snare for a man to pledge a sacred gift rashly And to give thought to his vows only after they have been made.

כה  מוֹקֵשׁ אָדָם יָלַע קֹדֶשׁ וְאַחַר נְדָרִים לְבַקֵּר׃

26  A wise king winnows out the wicked, And turns the wheel upon them.

כו  מְזָרֶה רְשָׁעִים מֶלֶךְ חָכָם וַיָּשֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶם אוֹפָן׃

27  The lifebreath of man is the lamp of Hashem Revealing all his inmost parts.

כז  נֵר יְהֹוָה נִשְׁמַת אָדָם חֹפֵשׂ כָּל־חַדְרֵי־בָטֶן׃

28  Faithfulness and loyalty protect the king; He maintains his throne by faithfulness.

כח  חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת יִצְּרוּ־מֶלֶךְ וְסָעַד בַּחֶסֶד כִּסְאוֹ׃

29  The glory of youths is their strength; The majesty of old men is their gray hair.

כט  תִּפְאֶרֶת בַּחוּרִים כֹּחָם וַהֲדַר זְקֵנִים שֵׂיבָה׃

30  Bruises and wounds are repayment for evil, Striking at one’s inmost parts.

ל  חַבֻּרוֹת פֶּצַע תמריק [תַּמְרוּק] בְּרָע וּמַכּוֹת חַדְרֵי־בָטֶן׃

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Proverbs 19
Proverbs 21

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Proverbs 20

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