Old Testament Reading
The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; he who guards his way preserves his life. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. He who gives heed to the word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the LORD. The wise of heart is called a man of discernment, and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness. Wisdom is a fountain of life to him who has it, but folly is the chastisement of fools. The mind of the wise makes his speech judicious, and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. A worker's appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on. A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good. He who winks his eyes plans perverse things, he who compresses his lips brings evil to pass. A hoary head is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the LORD.
Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. A slave who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers. The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tries hearts. An evildoer listens to wicked lips; and a liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue. He who mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of sons is their fathers. Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince. A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers. He who forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter alienates a friend. A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. An evil man seeks only rebellion, and a cruel messenger will be sent against him. Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly. If a man returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house. The beginning of strife is like letting out water; so quit before the quarrel breaks out. He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD. Why should a fool have a price in his hand to buy wisdom, when he has no mind? A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
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The English Old Testament text is taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission.