Chapter 10

1Proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes his father happy, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.   אמִשְׁלֵ֗י שְׁלֹ֫מֹ֥ה פ בֵּ֣ן חָ֖כָם יְשַׂמַּח־אָ֑ב וּבֵ֥ן כְּ֜סִ֗יל תּוּגַ֥ת אִמּֽוֹ:
Proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes his father happy: This is the Holy One, blessed be He (Midrash); another explanation: his actual father.  
but a foolish son is the grief of his mother: He is always with his mother at home, and she sees his foolishness and is troubled. And according to the allegory, a foolish son, like Jeroboam the son of Nebat, is the grief of his mother, the grief of his nation.  
2Treasures of wickedness will not avail, but charity will save from death.   בלֹא־י֖וֹעִילוּ אוֹצְר֣וֹת רֶ֑שַׁע וּ֜צְדָקָ֗ה תַּצִּ֥יל מִמָּֽוֶת:
Treasures of wickedness will not avail: For he was boasting with his riches, as it is stated (Hosea 12:9): “And Ephraim said: Surely I have become rich, etc.”  
but charity will save from death: And if you ask, “A righteous man who squanders his property for charity-from where will he sustain himself?”  
3The Lord will not starve the soul of the righteous, but the destruction [wrought by] the wicked will cast [them] down.   גלֹֽא־יַרְעִ֣יב יְ֖הוָה נֶ֣פֶשׁ צַדִּ֑יק וְהַוַּ֖ת רְשָׁעִ֣ים יֶהְדֹּֽף:
The Lord will not starve the soul of the righteous: [This is the answer to the previous question.]  
but the destruction [wrought by] the wicked will cast [them] down: It will thrust them down and cause them to fall.  
4A poor man makes a deceitful scale, and the hand of those who make true decisions will make [them] rich.   דרָ֗אשׁ עֹשֶֹ֥ה כַף־רְמִיָּ֑ה וְיַ֖ד חָרוּצִ֣ים תַּעֲשִֽׁיר:
A poor man makes a deceitful scale: Whoever is impoverished in [his knowledge of] Torah promulgates false decisions.  
deceitful scales: Scales of deceit. According to its simple meaning, it refers to merchants.  
and the hand of those who make true decisions: The upright, who decide a matter truly and justly without injustice.  
5An intelligent son gathers in the summer, whereas an embarrassing son sleeps soundly during the harvest.   האֹגֵ֣ר בַּ֖קַּיִץ בֵּ֣ן מַשְׂכִּ֑יל נִרְדָּ֥ם בַּ֜קָּצִ֗יר בֵּ֣ן מֵבִֽישׁ:
6Blessings [shall come] upon the head of a righteous man, but violence shall cover the mouth of the wicked.   ובְּרָכוֹת לְרֹ֣אשׁ צַדִּ֑יק וּפִ֥י רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים יְכַסֶּ֥ה חָמָֽס:
but violence shall cover the mouth of the wicked: The violence shall cover their mouths and kill them.  
7The mention of a righteous man is for a blessing, but the name of the wicked shall rot.   זזֵ֣כֶר צַ֖דִּיק לִבְרָכָ֑ה וְשֵׁ֖ם רְשָׁעִ֣ים יִרְקָֽב:
The mention of a righteous man is for a blessing: Whoever mentions a righteous man blesses him.  
but the name of the wicked shall rot: Decay develops in their name, for no one wishes to mention his [the wicked man’s] name, and it is automatically forgotten.  
8The wise-hearted takes commandments, but he who talks foolishly will weary.   חחֲכַם־לֵ֖ב יִקַּ֣ח מִצְוֹ֑ת וֶאֱוִ֥יל שְׂ֜פָתַ֗יִם יִלָּבֵֽט:
The wise-hearted takes commandments: This alludes to our teacher, Moses, for all Israel were busy with the plunder of Egypt, and he was busy with the commandments, as is it said (Exod. 13: 19): “And Moses took Joseph’s bones, etc.”  
but he who talks foolishly will weary: Heb. ילבט, an expression of weariness. It appears in Sifre, in the section commencing (Num. 11:1): “And the people were as complainers.” They said, “How much have we wearied (נתלבטנו) on the way!”  
9He who walks in innocence walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be broken.   טהוֹלֵ֣ךְ בַּ֖תֹּם יֵ֣לֶךְ בֶּ֑טַח וּמְעַקֵּ֥שׁ דְּ֜רָכָ֗יו יִוָּדֵֽעַ:
will be broken: Heb. יודע, will be broken and chastised, as in (Jud. 8:16): “And with them he broke (ויודע) the men of Succoth.”  
10He who winks his eye causes grief, and he who talks foolishly will weary.   יקֹ֣רֵֽץ עַ֖יִן יִתֵּ֣ן עַצָּ֑בֶת וֶאֱוִ֥יל שְׂ֜פָתַ֗יִם יִלָּבֵֽט:
He who winks his eye causes grief: That is the one who entices a person to evil with his winks.  
11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.   יאמְק֣וֹר חַ֖יִּים פִּ֣י צַדִּ֑יק וּפִ֥י רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים יְכַסֶּ֥ה חָמָֽס:
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked, etc.: Their mouth conceals the violence that is in their heart, for they talk smoothly with their lips, but hatred is hidden in their heart. Now the interpretation of this verse is not the same as the above verse (8); the context is indicative of their meaning.  
12Hatred arouses quarrels, but love covers all transgressions.   יבשִׂנְאָה תְּעוֹרֵ֣ר מְדָנִ֑ים וְעַ֥ל כָּל־פְּ֜שָׁעִ֗ים תְּכַסֶּ֥ה אַהֲבָֽה:
Hatred arouses quarrels: Even a sin that was forgotten is remembered though additional iniquities. The final hatred comes and arouses them, for Ezekiel reproved Israel for the transgressions of Egypt (Ezek. 20:7), “And I said to them, ‘Every man shall cast away the abominations of his eyes, etc.’” How many (years was) this hatred hidden, that the Holy One, blessed be He, did not mention it to them until now, when they added transgressions to their sins.  
but love covers all transgressions: When Israel improves their deeds, the Holy One, blessed be He, conceals their transgressions.  
13Wisdom is found in the lips of the understanding, but a rod is for the body of one devoid of sense.   יגבְּשִׂפְתֵ֣י נָ֖בוֹן תִּמָּצֵ֣א חָכְמָ֑ה וְ֜שֵׁ֗בֶט לְגֵ֣ו חֲסַר־לֵֽב:
Wisdom is found in the lips of the understanding: When a person reproves an understanding individual, he replies to him, “I have sinned,” e.g. David, who said to Nathan, “I have sinned” (11 Sam. 12:13).  
but a rod is for the body of one devoid of sense: But one who is devoid of sense does not listen until he is smitten, like Pharaoh.  
14Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool [causes] destruction to come near.   ידחֲכָמִ֥ים יִצְפְּנוּ־דָ֑עַת וּפִֽי־אֱ֜וִיל מְחִתָּ֥ה קְרֹבָֽה:
Wise men store up knowledge: They guard it in their heart so that they do not forget it.  
15The wealth of the rich is the city of his strength; the destruction of the poor is their poverty.   טוה֣וֹן עָ֖שִׁיר קִרְיַ֣ת עֻזּ֑וֹ מְחִתַּ֖ת דַּלִּ֣ים רֵישָֽׁם:
The wealth of the rich: in Torah.  
is the city of his strength: to him.  
the destruction of the poor is their poverty: The poverty that they did not engage in the Torah is their destruction.  
16The act of the righteous is for life; what the wicked bring in is for sin.   טזפְּעֻלַּ֣ת צַדִּ֣יק לְחַיִּ֑ים תְּבוּאַ֖ת רָשָׁ֣ע לְחַטָּֽאת:
The act of the righteous is for life: [This is to be understood] according to its apparent meaning, but the Midrash Aggadah states: Solomon performed the construction of the Temple for the life of Israel, for their atonement.  
what the wicked bring in: What Manasseh brought in, for he brought in the image-that was for sin.  
17The way to life is if one keeps discipline, but he who forsakes reproof misleads.   יזאֹ֣רַח לְ֖חַיִּים שׁוֹמֵ֣ר מוּסָ֑ר וְעוֹזֵ֖ב תּוֹכַ֣חַת מַתְעֶֽה:
The way to life: He who keeps discipline-that is the way to life.  
but he who forsakes reproof misleads: himself and others.  
18He who covers up hatred has false lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.   יחמְכַסֶּ֣ה שִׂ֖נְאָה שִׂפְתֵי־שָׁ֑קֶר וּמוֹצִ֥א דִ֜בָּ֗ה ה֣וּא כְסִֽיל:
He who covers up hatred has false lips: The flatterer has false lips, and he hides hatred in his heart.  
and he who spreads slander is a fool: Heb. דבה, a rumor about his friend, about which people will converse (דובבין).  
19In a multitude of words, transgression will not be avoided, and he who holds back his lips is wise.   יטבְּרֹ֣ב דְּ֖בָרִים לֹ֣א יֶחְדַּל־פָּ֑שַׁע וְחֹשֵֹ֖ךְ שְׂפָתָ֣יו מַשְׂכִּֽיל:
In a multitude of words, transgression will not be avoided: He who talks too much brings on sin.  
and he who holds back his lips: he is wise.  
20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little.   ככֶּ֣סֶף נִ֖בְחָר לְשׁ֣וֹן צַדִּ֑יק לֵ֖ב רְשָׁעִ֣ים כִּמְעָֽט:
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver: for he knows how to reprove.  
the heart of the wicked is worth little: for he does not heed the reproof of the righteous man. Midrash Rabbi Tanhuma (Ki Thissa 6) states: This was stated concerning Iddo the prophet, who called [in prophecy] about the altar in Beth-El, and Jeroboam, although his hand had become stiff, did not heed the reproof, as it is said (I Kings 13: 6): “Entreat now the Lord your God, etc.” ; but not “my God, etc” ; (ad loc.): “and the king’s hand was drawn back to him, and it was as before.” Just as before, he was standing and burning sacrifices to idols, so was it at the end.  
21The lips of the righteous will feed many, but the fools will die for lack of sense.   כאשִׂפְתֵ֣י צַ֖דִּיק יִרְע֣וּ רַבִּ֑ים וֶֽ֜אֱוִילִ֗ים בַּחֲסַר־לֵ֥ב יָמֽוּתוּ:
The lips of the righteous will feed many, etc.: Many eat in his merit and because of his prayer.  
22The blessing of the Lord will bring riches, and toil will add nothing to it.   כבבִּרְכַּ֣ת יְ֖הוָה הִ֣יא תַעֲשִׁ֑יר וְלֹֽא־יוֹסִ֖ף עֶ֣צֶב עִמָּֽהּ:
The blessing of the Lord will bring riches, etc.: One need not toil to gain wealth, for it is enough with the blessing that He blesses him.  
23As it is sport for a fool to carry out a sinful plot, [so is] wisdom for a man of understanding.   כגכִּשְׂח֣וֹק לִ֖כְסִיל עֲשֹ֣וֹת זִמָּ֑ה וְ֜חָכְמָ֗ה לְאִ֣ישׁ תְּבוּנָֽה:
As it is sport for a fool to carry out a sinful plot: Heb. זמה, a plot of sins.  
[so is] wisdom: like sport to a man of understanding; i. e., in his eyes, it is easy to do.  
24The dread of a wicked man-that will befall him, but the desire of the righteous He will grant.   כדמְגוֹרַ֣ת רָ֖שָׁע הִ֣יא תְבוֹאֶ֑נּוּ וְתַאֲוַ֖ת צַדִּיקִ֣ים יִתֵּֽן:
The dread of a wicked man that will befall him: What he fears will befall him. The generation of the Dispersion said, “Lest we scatter” (Gen. 11:4), and their end was that it is written (ibid. 8), “And the Lord scattered them from there.”  
but the desire of the righteous He will grant: He Who has the power to grant it.  
25When the whirlwind passes, the wicked man is no more, but the righteous is the foundation of the world.   כהכַּעֲב֣וֹר ס֖וּפָה וְאֵ֣ין רָשָׁ֑ע וְ֜צַדִּ֗יק יְס֣וֹד עוֹלָֽם:
When the whirlwind passes, the wicked man is no more: Suddenly the fury of a whirlwind comes, and the wicked man is cut off from his place.  
26Like vinegar to the teeth and like smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.   כוכַּחֹ֤מֶץ לַשִּׁנַּ֗יִם וְכֶעָשָׁ֥ן לָעֵינָ֑יִם כֵּ֥ן הֶ֜עָצֵ֗ל לְשֹׁלְחָֽיו:
27Fear of the Lord will add days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.   כזיִרְאַ֣ת יְ֖הוָה תּוֹסִ֣יף יָמִ֑ים וּשְׁנ֖וֹת רְשָׁעִ֣ים תִּקְצֹֽרְנָה:
28The expectation of the righteous [will result in] joy, but the hope of the wicked shall be lost.   כחתּוֹחֶ֣לֶת צַדִּיקִ֣ים שִׂמְחָ֑ה וְתִקְוַ֖ת רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֹּאבֵֽד:
The expectation of the righteous [will result in] joy: Eventually, it will be realized, and they will rejoice.  
but the hope of the wicked shall be lost: for it will not come.  
29The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the innocent, but ruin for those who work iniquity.   כטמָע֣וֹז לַ֖תֹּם דֶּ֣רֶךְ יְהוָ֑ה וּ֜מְחִתָּ֗ה לְפֹ֣עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן:
The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the innocent, but ruin for those who work iniquity: For they do not follow it, and it exacts retribution from them.  
30The righteous will not collapse forever, but the wicked shall not dwell in the land.   לצַדִּ֣יק לְעוֹלָ֣ם בַּל־יִמּ֑וֹט וּ֜רְשָׁעִ֗ים לֹ֣א יִשְׁכְּנוּ־אָֽרֶץ:
The righteous will not collapse forever: When he collapses, his collapse is not a permanent collapse, but he will fall and rise.  
31The mouth of a righteous man speaks wisdom, but a perverse tongue shall be cut off.   לאפִּֽי־צַ֖דִּיק יָנ֣וּב חָכְמָ֑ה וּלְשׁ֥וֹן תַּ֜הְפֻּכ֗וֹת תִּכָּרֵֽת:
The mouth of the righteous man speaks wisdom: Heb. ינוב, speaks, an expression of (Isa. 57:9): “the speech (ניב) of the lips.”  
32The lips of a righteous man know how to please, but the mouth of the wicked [knows] how to distort.   לבשִׂפְתֵ֣י צַ֖דִּיק יֵדְע֣וּן רָצ֑וֹן וּפִ֥י רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים תַּהְפֻּכֽוֹת:
the lips of a righteous man know how to please: They know how to please and placate his Creator, and they know how to please the people and how to make peace among them.