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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 33

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1No misfortune ever befalls him who fears the Lord: in trials he will be rescued time and again. 2A wise person does not hate the law, but he who is insincere about it is like a skiff in a squall. 3A sensible person puts his trust in the law, finding it reliable like the oracle of God.

4If you want a hearing, prepare what you have to say; marshal your learning, then give your answer. 5The feelings of a fool turn like a cartwheel, and his thoughts spin like an axle. 6A sarcastic friend is like a stallion which neighs no matter who is on its back.

7Why is one day more important than another, when every day in the year has its light from the sun? 8It was by the Lord's decision that they were distinguished; he appointed the various seasons and festivals: 9some days he made high and holy, and others he assigned to the common run of days. 10All mankind comes from the ground— Adam himself was created out of earth— 11yet in his great wisdom the Lord distinguished them and made them go their various ways: 12some he blessed and lifted high, some he hallowed and brought near to himself, others he cursed and humbled and removed from their place. 13As clay is in the potter's hands to be moulded just as he chooses, so are human beings in the hands of their Maker to be dealt with as he decides. 14Good is the opposite of evil, and life of death; so the sinner is the opposite of the godly. 15Look at all the works of the Most High— they are in pairs, one the counterpart of the other.

16I, last of all, kept watch. I was like a gleaner following the grape-pickers, and by the Lord's blessing I arrived in time to fill my winepress as full as any of them. 17Note that I did not toil for myself alone, but for all who seek learning. 18Listen to me, you dignitaries among the people; you leaders of the assembly, give me your attention.

19As long as you live, give no one power over yourself— son or wife, brother or friend. Do not give your possessions to another, in case you change your mind and want them back. 20As long as you have life and breath, do not let anyone take your place. 21It is better for your children to ask help from you than for you to be dependent on them. 22In all that you do, keep the upper hand and allow no stain on your reputation. 23Let your life run its full course and then, at the hour of death, distribute your property.

24Fodder, the stick, and burdens for a donkey; for a servant—bread, discipline, and work! 25Keep your slave at work, if you want rest for yourself; if you let him slack, he will be looking for his liberty. 26The ox is tamed by yoke and harness, the bad servant by rack and torture. 27Set him to work to keep him from being idle, for idleness is a great teacher of mischief. 28Give him work to do, for that is what he is for, and if he disobeys you, load him with fetters. 29Do not be too exacting towards anyone or do anything contrary to justice. 30If you have only one servant, treat him as you do yourself, because you bought him at a high price a 33:30 at a high price: Gk with blood. . 31If you have only one servant, treat him like a brother; you will need him as much as you need yourself. If you ill-treat him and he takes to his heels, where will you go to look for him?

Notes:

a 33:30 at a high price: Gk with blood.

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