Chapter 13

1A wise son [seeks] his father's discipline, but a scorner does not listen to rebuke.   אבֵּ֣ן חָ֖כָם מ֣וּסַר אָ֑ב וְ֜לֵ֗ץ לֹא־שָׁמַ֥ע גְּעָרָֽה:
A wise son… his father’s discipline: This is an elliptical verse: a wise son asks for and loves his father’s discipline. Some say: Because of the father’s discipline, he is wise.  
but a scorner does not listen to rebuke: For he does not accept reproof.  
2From the fruit of a man's mouth he will eat good, but the desire of the treacherous is violence.   במִפְּרִ֣י פִי־אִ֖ישׁ יֹ֣אכַל ט֑וֹב וְנֶ֖פֶשׁ בֹּגְדִ֣ים חָמָֽס:
From the fruit of man’s mouth he will eat good: From the reward of his Torah, he will eat the good in this world and the principal will exist in the world to come.  
but the desire of the treacherous is violence: Heb. ונפש. The desire of the treacherous is violence, as in (Gen. 23:8): “If it is your desire (נפשכם) ” and (Ps. 27:12): “Do not give me for the desire of (בנפש) my adversaries.”  
3He who watches his mouth guards his soul; for one who opens his lips wide there is ruin.   גנֹצֵ֣ר פִּ֖יו שֹׁמֵ֣ר נַפְשׁ֑וֹ פֹּשֵֹ֥ק שְׂ֜פָתָ֗יו מְחִתָּה־לֽוֹ:
one who opens his lips wide: Heb. פשק, opens his lips to speak constantly all his desire, from (Ezek. 16:25): “And you spread wide (ותפשקי) your legs,” an expression of wideness.  
4The soul of the lazy man desires but has nothing, but the soul of the diligent shall be sated.   דמִתְאַוָּ֣ה וָ֖אַיִן נַפְשׁ֣וֹ עָצֵ֑ל וְנֶ֖פֶשׁ חָרֻצִ֣ים תְּדֻשָּֽׁן:
The soul of the lazy man desires but has nothing: His soul desires all good, but has nothing.  
but the soul of the diligent shall be sated: The upright who eat from the toil of their hands. This is its meaning according to its simple interpretation. According to its allegorical meaning, in the future he will see the glory of the Torah scholar and long for it, but he will not achieve it.  
5The righteous man hates a false word, but the wicked disgraces and embarrasses.   הדְּבַר־שֶׁ֖קֶר יִשְׂנָ֣א צַדִּ֑יק וְ֜רָשָׁ֗ע יַבְאִ֥ישׁ וְיַחְפִּֽיר:
The righteous man hates a false word: The righteous man hates a false word, but the wicked accepts it.  
disgraces and embarrasses: the people therewith.  
6Charity guards him who is steadfast in his way, but wickedness brings ruin upon the sinner.   וצְדָקָה תִּצֹּ֣ר תָּם־דָּ֑רֶךְ וְ֜רִשְׁעָ֗ה תְּסַלֵּ֥ף חַטָּֽאת:
but wickedness brings ruin upon the sinner: Heb. חטאת, lit. sin. Like חטאת, a sinner, but since he is completely wicked, he calls him חטאת, sin. The meaning is that his wickedness will bring ruin upon the sinner and humble him. Every expression of סלוף means ruin and stumbling, like (below 19:3) “A person’s foolishness ruins (תסלף) his way,” and brings evil upon him.  
7There is one who feigns riches but has nothing; one who feigns poverty but has great wealth.   זיֵ֣שׁ מִ֖תְעַשֵּׁר וְאֵ֣ין כֹּ֑ל מִ֜תְרוֹשֵׁ֗שׁ וְה֣וֹן רָֽב:
There is one who feigns riches: He shows himself to be rich. Another explanation: There is a man who becomes rich in the end but has nothing in the beginning, and there is one who comes to poverty from great riches. Another explanation: There is one who becomes wealthy by robbing the poor, but in the end he has nothing, and there is one who becomes poor by scattering his money and giving it to the poor, but great wealth is in store for him.  
8The ransom of a man's soul is his wealth, as long as the poor man has not heard a rebuke.   חכֹּ֣פֶר נֶֽפֶשׁ־אִ֣ישׁ עָשְׁר֑וֹ וְ֜רָ֗שׁ לֹא־שָׁמַ֥ע גְּעָרָֽה:
The ransom of a man’s soul is his wealth: A man’s wealth is the ransom of his soul, for he performed charity with it.  
as long as the poor man has not heard a rebuke: As long as he does not let the poor man hear a rebuke, i.e., he gives to him and does not embarrass him. Another explanation:  
The ransom of a man’s soul is his wealth: His Torah.  
but a poor man: in the words of Torah,  
did not hear a rebuke: He does not know to turn away from evil, since he is not cautious. The Midrash Aggadah interprets it as speaking of the half-shekel, which Scripture levied on all Israel and made the poor and the rich equal in that respect-so that the poor does not hear a rebuke from the rich, saying to him, “My share is greater than your share in the public sacrifices.”  
9The light of the righteous will rejoice, but the candle of the wicked will ebb away.   טאוֹר־צַדִּיקִ֥ים יִשְׂמָ֑ח וְנֵ֖ר רְשָׁעִ֣ים יִדְעָֽךְ:
will ebb away: Heb. ידעך, an expression of springing, for the flame springs and is cut off.  
10Only with wickedness does one cause quarrels, but there is wisdom with those who take counsel.   ירַק־בְּ֖זָדוֹן יִתֵּ֣ן מַצָּ֑ה וְאֶת־נ֖וֹעָצִ֣ים חָכְמָֽה:
Only with wickedness does one cause quarrels: Heb. מצה, controversy.  
but there is wisdom with those who take counsel: But wisdom lies with those who behave with counsel.  
11Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he who gathers by hand will increase.   יאהוֹן מֵהֶ֣בֶל יִמְעָ֑ט וְקֹבֵ֖ץ עַל־יָ֣ד יַרְבֶּֽה:
Wealth gotten by vanity: One who makes his study in bundles.  
shall be diminished: For he will forget it little by little.  
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.   יבתּוֹחֶ֣לֶת מְ֖מֻשָּׁכָה מַחֲלָה־לֵ֑ב וְעֵ֥ץ חַ֜יִּ֗ים תַּאֲוָ֥ה בָאָֽה:
Hope deferred: He relies on his friend and does nothing.  
makes the heart sick: Heb. מחלה, brings sickness to the heart. This מחלה is not a noun like (Ex. 23: 25): “And I will remove sickness (מחלה) from your midst,” but like (Lev. 11:6): “bringing up (מעלת) the cud.”  
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life: lit. but a tree of life is a desire fulfilled. This is inverted; i.e., a desire fulfilled is like a tree of life. The hope that the Holy One, blessed be He, had hoped for Israel and looked forward for them to repent-brought them ultimately to heartsickness when they did not repent. And when His desire is fulfilled-that they comply with His will-it is a tree of life to them.  
13He who despises a thing will be pledged to it, but he who reveres a commandment will be rewarded.   יגבָּ֣ז לְ֖דָבָר יֵחָ֣בֶל ל֑וֹ וִירֵ֥א מִ֜צְוָ֗ה ה֣וּא יְשֻׁלָּֽם:
He who despises a thing will be pledged to it: Heb. יחבל. He who despises one of the words of the Torah will ultimately be taken for it as a pledge.  
but he who reveres a commandment will be rewarded: lit. will be paid. He will receive a reward. Midrash Tehillim expounds: “He who despises a thing will be pledged to it” concerning David, who said before the Holy One, blessed be He, “Of what use are the madmen that You created?” He replied, “By your life, you will ultimately need madness.” When he came before Achish to feign madness, “and he let his saliva run down upon his beard, etc.” (I Sam. 21:14).  
14The instruction of a wise man is a spring of life, to turn away from the snares of death.   ידתּוֹרַ֣ת חָ֖כָם מְק֣וֹר חַיִּ֑ים לָ֜ס֗וּר מִמֹּ֥קְשֵׁי מָֽוֶת:
The instruction of a wise man is a spring of life: for he teaches him to turn away from the snares of death.  
15Good sense will grant favor, but the way of the treacherous is harsh.   טושֵֹֽכֶל־ט֖וֹב יִתֶּן־חֵ֑ן וְדֶ֖רֶךְ בֹּגְדִ֣ים אֵיתָֽן:
but the way of the treacherous is harsh: It is harsh for him and for others.  
16Every cunning man acts with forethought, but a fool exposes [his] stupidity.   טזכָּל־עָ֖רוּם יַעֲשֶֹ֣ה בְדָ֑עַת וּ֜כְסִ֗יל יִפְרֹ֥שׂ אִוֶּֽלֶת:
Every cunning man acts with forethought: He performs his deeds with forethought, like David: “Let them seek for my lord, the king, a young girl, a virgin, etc.” (I Kings 1:2).  
but a fool exposes [his] stupidity: This is Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3): “Let the king appoint, etc.” They knew that he would not marry them all. Therefore, whoever had a daughter concealed her.  
17A wicked messenger falls into evil, but a faithful emissary brings healing.   יזמַלְאָ֣ךְ רָ֖שָׁע יִפֹּ֣ל בְּרָ֑ע וְצִ֖יר אֱמוּנִ֣ים מַרְפֵּֽא:
A wicked messenger falls into evil: like Balaam, to whom the Holy One, blessed be He, said (Num. 22:35): “Go with the men,” but he dealt wickedly to entice Balak to follow his evil counsel; therefore, he fell by the sword.  
but a faithful emissary brings healing: This is Moses, our teacher.  
18Poverty and disgrace befall him who spurns discipline, but he who keeps reproof will be honored.   יחרֵ֣ישׁ וְ֖קָלוֹן פּוֹרֵ֣עַ מוּסָ֑ר וְשׁוֹמֵ֖ר תּוֹכַ֣חַת יְכֻבָּֽד:
Poverty and disgrace: Poverty and disgrace come upon him who spurns discipline.  
19A desire fulfilled pleases the soul, but the abomination of the fools is to turn away from evil.   יטתַּאֲוָ֣ה נִ֖הְיָה תֶעֱרַ֣ב לְנָ֑פֶשׁ וְתוֹעֲבַ֥ת כְּ֜סִילִ֗ים ס֣וּר מֵרָֽע:
pleases the soul: When a person’s desire comes to him it pleases his soul. Therefore, it is an abomination to a fool to turn away from evil because it pleases him to gratify his desire.  
fulfilled: Heb. נהיה, lit. is. Another explanation:  
a desire fulfilled: The Holy One, blessed be He, desires that Israel do His will, and when His desire is fulfilled, it pleases Him. And it is the abomination of the wicked that they turn away from their evil to gratify their desire.  
20He who goes with the wise will become wise, but he who befriends the fools will be broken.   כהֹלֵ֣וךְ הוֹלֵ֣ךְ אֶת־חֲכָמִ֣ים וֶחְכָּ֑ם יֶחְכָּ֑ם וְרֹעֶ֖ה כְסִילִ֣ים יֵרֽוֹעַ:
He who goes with the wise will become wise, but he who befriends the fools: Who joins fools to be his friends.  
will be broken: Heb. ירוע, will be shattered.  
21Evil will pursue the sinners but the righteous He will pay a good [reward].   כאחַטָּאִים תְּרַדֵּ֣ף רָעָ֑ה וְאֶת־צַ֜דִּיקִ֗ים יְשַׁלֶּם־טֽוֹב:
Evil will pursue the sinners: As for a wicked man, his wickedness pursues him to his destruction.  
22A good man will leave an inheritance for his sons' sons, but the wealth of a sinner is laid away for the righteous.   כבט֗וֹב יַנְחִ֥יל בְּנֵֽי־בָנִ֑ים וְצָפ֥וּן לַ֜צַּדִּ֗יק חֵ֣יל חוֹטֵֽא:
A good man will leave an inheritance: of his merit and his property to his sons’ sons, but a sinner does not leave over an inheritance to his sons, for his wealth and his property are laid away for the righteous, as it is written (Esther 8:2): “And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.”  
23An abundance of food is the result of the plowing of the poor, and some perish because of lack of propriety.   כגרָב־אֹ֖כֶל נִ֣יר רָאשִׁ֑ים וְיֵ֥שׁ נִ֜סְפֶּ֗ה בְּלֹ֣א מִשְׁפָּֽט:
An abundance of food is the result of the plowing of the poor: I saw in the great Masorah [on the words רב אכל]: The word רב appears thirty-three times with a “kamatz,” but this one has a short “kamatz,” and it is joined to the word אכל, food, with a “makkaf” (hyphen); and I saw there that אכל is vowelized with a “pattah” (i.e., a “segol” which is a small “pattah”), and it is accented on the first syllable, as in (Gen. 41:35): “all the food (אכל) of the good years.” According to its vowelization, this is its interpretation: Much grain comes to the world through the plowing of the poor people; i.e., much Torah emanates from pupils whose teachers learn from them through their debate concerning the halachah.  
and some perish: And many of them perish from the world because [they have] no propriety, for they do not behave properly; and concerning the grain, some grain suffers because of its owner, who does not separate its tithes and its gifts for the poor as is proper. Our Sages explained in tractate Hagigah (4b) “And some perish without justice,” concerning the messenger of the angel of death, who changes one name for another and causes the death of one whose time has not come. But, if it [this explanation] is so, the end of the verse has nothing to do with its beginning.  
24He who holds back his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him early.   כדחוֹשֵֹ֣ךְ שִׁ֖בְטוֹ שׂוֹנֵ֣א בְנ֑וֹ וְ֜אֹהֲב֗וֹ שִֽׁחֲר֥וֹ מוּסָֽר:
He who holds back his rod: His end will be that he will hate his son because he will see him getting into mischief.  
disciplines him early: He always chastises him in the morning.  
25A righteous man eats to sate his appetite, but the stomach of the wicked shall feel want.   כהצַדִּ֗יק אֹ֖כֵל לְשֹ֣בַע נַפְשׁ֑וֹ וּבֶ֖טֶן רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֶּחְסָֽר:
to sate his appetite: It always seems to him that he is satisfied. (  
shall feel want: It does not seem to them that they are satisfied.)