Chapter 28

1The wicked flee without a pursuer, but the righteous are as trusting as a young lion.   אנָ֣סוּ וְאֵין־רֹדֵ֣ף רָשָׁ֑ע וְ֜צַדִּיקִ֗ים כִּכְפִ֥יר יִבְטָֽח:
The wicked flee without a pursuer: The wicked flee when their misfortune comes, and they fall on an insignificant thing without a pursuer.  
but the righteous: are courageous [through their trust] in the Holy One, blessed be He.  
as a young lion: which trusts its might.  
2Because of the sin of a land, its princes are many, but because of an understanding, knowledgeable man, so will [its retribution] be delayed.   בבְּפֶ֣שַֽׁע אֶ֖רֶץ רַבִּ֣ים שָׂרֶ֑יהָ וּבְאָדָ֥ם מֵבִ֥ין יֹ֜דֵ֗עַ כֵּ֣ן יַאֲרִֽיךְ:
Because of the sin of a land, its princes are many: This is the punishment of a land, viz. that it has many princes, and they do not respond to any man.  
but because of an understanding… man: But because of an understanding man, the retribution will be delayed from coming.  
3A poor man who oppresses the poor is like a flooding rain that leaves no food.   גגֶּ֣בֶר רָ֖שׁ וְעשֵׁ֣ק דַּלִּ֑ים מָטָ֥ר סֹ֜חֵ֗ף וְאֵ֣ין לָֽחֶם:
A poor man: An ignorant judge.  
who oppresses the poor: in judgment because he does not take his time in arriving at a verdict. He is like rain that floods a field, and it does not produce fruit.  
flooding: Heb. סחף and the language of the Mishnah (Keth. 1:6): “his field was ruined (נסתחפה) ” and similarly (Jer. 46: 15): “Have your mighty men been swept away (נחסף) ?” They were flooded, they slipped and stumbled.  
4Those who forsake the Torah praise the wicked, but those who keep the Torah contend with them.   דעֹזְבֵ֣י ת֖וֹרָה יְהַֽלְל֣וּ רָשָׁ֑ע וְשֹׁמְרֵ֥י ת֜וֹרָ֗ה יִתְגָּ֥רוּ בָֽם:
5Men of evil do not understand judgment, but those who seek the Lord understand everything.   האַנְשֵׁי־רָ֖ע לֹא־יָבִ֣ינוּ מִשְׁפָּ֑ט וּמְבַקְשֵׁ֥י יְ֜הוָ֗ה יָבִ֥ינוּ כֹֽל:
Men of evil do not understand judgment: They do not give attention to the ultimate retribution, that they should think about it and repent of their way and be saved.  
but those who seek the Lord understand everything: Good and evil. משפט is justise in Old French. In this manner, Rabbi Tanhuma explained it as referring to the generation of the Flood.  
6A poor man who walks innocently is better than one of perverse ways who is rich.   וטֽוֹב־רָ֖שׁ הוֹלֵ֣ךְ בְּתֻמּ֑וֹ מֵעִקֵּ֥שׁ דְּ֜רָכַ֗יִם וְה֣וּא עָשִֽׁיר:
A poor man… is better: Even one who is poor in Torah.  
who walks innocently: with good deeds.  
7He who keeps the Torah is the son of an understanding man, but he who befriends gluttons puts his father to shame.   זנוֹצֵ֣ר תּ֖וֹרָה בֵּ֣ן מֵבִ֑ין וְרֹעֶה זֽ֜וֹלְלִ֗ים יַכְלִ֥ים אָבִֽיו:
but he who befriends gluttons: Heb. ורעה. He associates with gluttons. This is an expression of friends (רעים).  
8He who increases his riches with usury and interest gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.   חמַרְבֶּ֣ה ה֖וֹנוֹ בְּנֶ֣שֶׁךְ וְתַרְבִּ֑ית (וְבתַרְבִּ֑ית כתיב) לְחוֹנֵ֖ן דַּלִּ֣ים יִקְבְּצֶֽנּוּ:
He who increases his riches with usury and interest… for him who is gracious to the poor: The government hears about him, that he is becoming wealthy by illegal means, and they confiscate his money, with which they build bridges and repair highways. This is being gracious to the poor. In this manner, Rabbi Tanhuma expounded on it.  
9He who turns his ear away from hearing the Torah-even his prayer is an abomination.   טמֵסִ֣יר אָ֖זְנוֹ מִשְּׁמֹ֣עַ תּוֹרָ֑ה גַּֽם־תְּ֜פִלָּת֗וֹ תּוֹעֵבָֽה:
10He who misleads the upright in an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the innocent will inherit goodness.   ימַשְׁגֶּ֤ה יְשָׁרִ֨ים בְּדֶ֥רֶךְ רָ֗ע בִּשְׁחוּת֥וֹ הֽוּא־יִפּ֑וֹל וּ֜תְמִימִ֗ים יִנְחֲלוּ־טֽוֹב:
into his own pit: Heb. בשחותו, from an expression of שחת, a pit.  
11A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a discerning poor man will search him out.   יאחָכָ֣ם בְּ֖עֵינָיו אִ֣ישׁ עָשִׁ֑יר וְדַ֖ל מֵבִ֣ין יַחְקְרֶֽנּוּ:
A rich man… but a discerning poor man: Scripture speaks about a teacher and a pupil, that the pupil searches out [the understanding of the subject matter,] and through him, the teacher gains wisdom.  
12When the righteous rejoice, there is much glory, but when the wicked rise up, a person will be searched out.   יבבַּעֲלֹ֣ץ צַ֖דִּיקִים רַבָּ֣ה תִפְאָ֑רֶת וּבְק֥וּם רְ֜שָׁעִ֗ים יְחֻפַּ֥שׂ אָדָֽם:
person will be searched out: He will be searched out with all kinds of false accusations.  
13He who conceals his sins will not succeed, but he who confesses and abandons [them] will obtain mercy.   יגמְכַסֶּ֣ה פְ֖שָׁעָיו לֹ֣א יַצְלִ֑יחַ וּמוֹדֶ֖ה וְעֹזֵ֣ב יְרֻחָֽם:
but he who confesses and abandons: He confesses his sins and abandons them, never to return to them.  
14Fortunate is the man who is always afraid, but he who hardens his heart will fall into evil.   ידאַשְׁרֵ֣י אָ֖דָם מְפַחֵ֣ד תָּמִ֑יד וּמַקְשֶׁ֥ה לִ֜בּ֗וֹ יִפּ֥וֹל בְּרָעָֽה:
who is always afraid: He is concerned with punishment, and therefore distances himself from sin.  
15A wicked man ruling over a poor people is like a roaring lion and a growling bear.   טואֲרִי־נֹ֖הֵם וְדֹ֣ב שׁוֹקֵ֑ק משֵׁ֥ל רָ֜שָׁ֗ע עַ֣ל עַם־דָּֽל:
like a roaring lion: he is to them.  
and a growling bear: נהימה, roaring, to a lion, and שקיקה, growling, to a bear, are both expressions of a cry.  
16A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, for he who hates unlawful gain will live long.   טזנָגִ֗יד חֲסַ֣ר תְּ֖בוּנוֹת וְרַ֥ב מַעֲשַׁקּ֑וֹת שֹ֥נֵאי שֹ֥נֵא בֶ֜֗צַע יַאֲרִ֥יךְ יָמִֽים:
who lacks understanding: As he lacks understanding, he is a great oppressor because he does not give any thought to his life. [Therefore,] he oppresses excessively, for one who hates unlawful gain will live long. [Consequently, he who oppresses others will die young.]  
17A man who is guilty of robbing one's lifeblood will flee to the pit, but no one will support him.   יזאָדָם עָשֻׁ֣ק בְּדַם־נָ֑פֶשׁ עַד־בּ֥וֹר יָ֜נ֗וּס אַל־יִתְמְכוּ־בֽוֹ:
A man who is guilty of robbing one’s lifeblood: (Upon whom the crime of robbing blood lies.) He is one who causes his fellow to sin, and his soul is lost because of him.  
will flee to the pit: Until his dying day, he will flee for aid, that it should be expiated for him.  
but no one will support him: from Heaven to give him the possibility to repent, so that he will not be in Paradise while his pupil is in Gehinnom. In this manner, it is expounded upon in Tractate Yoma (87a).  
18He who walks innocently will be saved, but he who is perverse in his way will fall in one.   יחהוֹלֵ֣ךְ תָּ֖מִים יִוָּשֵׁ֑עַ וְנֶעְקַ֥שׁ דְּ֜רָכַ֗יִם יִפּ֥וֹל בְּאֶחָֽת:
will fall in one: In one evil, and there will be no rising up after his downfall.  
19He who tills his soil will be sated with bread, but he who pursues vain things will be sated with poverty.   יטעֹבֵ֣ד אַ֖דְמָתוֹ יִֽשְׂבַּֽע־לָ֑חֶם וּמְרַדֵּ֥ף רֵ֜קִ֗ים יִֽשְׂבַּֽע־רִֽישׁ:
will be sated with poverty: Heb. ריש, poverty.  
20A trustworthy man will have many blessings, but he who hastens to become rich will not go unpunished.   כאִ֣ישׁ אֱ֖מוּנוֹת רַב־בְּרָכ֑וֹת וְאָ֥ץ לְ֜הַעֲשִׁ֗יר לֹ֣א יִנָּקֶֽה:
A trustworthy man: who gives his tithes faithfully, for there is no witness to the matter, but the Holy One, blessed be He, sees and lavishes blessings upon him.  
but he who hastens to become rich: He hastens the time to become rich from the belongings of the poor.  
21To be partial is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will sin.   כאהַֽכֵּר־פָּנִ֥ים לֹא־ט֑וֹב וְעַל־פַּת־לֶ֜֗חֶם יִפְשַׁע־גָּֽבֶר:
a man will sin: one who perverts justice.  
22He who hastens to [acquire] wealth is a man with an evil eye, and he does not know that want will come upon him.   כבנִֽבֳהָ֥ל לַה֗וֹן אִ֖ישׁ רַ֣ע עָ֑יִן וְלֹֽא־יֵדַע כִּי־חֶ֥סֶר יְבֹאֶֽנּוּ:
He who hastens to [acquire] wealth: He who hastens to increase wealth and steals his heave-offerings and tithes.  
that want will come upon him: Want will come to him, for a curse will be sent upon the work of his hands.  
23He who admonishes man after Me, will find more favor than he who speaks with flattery.   כגמ֘וֹכִ֤יחַ אָדָ֣ם אַ֖חֲרַי חֵ֣ן יִמְצָ֑א מִֽמַּחֲלִ֥יק לָשֽׁוֹן:
He who admonishes man: for the sins he has committed and separates him from them.  
afterwards will find more favor: After a time, he will find more favor in his eyes than one who speaks with flattery. We find in Gen. Rabbah (44:5): “Wherever it says אחרי, it means only long after; אחר, it is soon after. In Tanhuma, in the portion entitled ” These are the words “ : ” He who admonishes man after Me “ -this refers to Moses, who admonished Israel after the Holy One, blessed be He, who were called ” man, “ as it is stated (Ezek. 34:31): ” You are men, “ and it stated concerning him (Ex. 33:17): ” For you have found favor in My sight."  
more favor than he who speaks with flattery: This refers to Balaam, who said fine things to Israel (Num. 24:5): “How goodly are your tents, O Jacob!” Moses announces (Deut. 11:16): “Beware lest your heart be deceived,” and Balaam announces and flatters, “Do what your heart desires; He does not care: (Num. 23:19) ‘God is not a man that He should lie,’ concerning the nations, but concerning you, ‘He says but He does not do.’ ” And Solomon cries about both of them, (above 27: 6): “Wounds of a lover are faithful, whereas kisses of an enemy are burdensome.”  
24He who robs his father or his mother and says, "This is not a sin," is the companion of a destroyer.   כדגּוֹזֵ֤ל אָ֘בִ֤יו וְאִמּ֗וֹ וְאֹמֵ֥ר אֵֽין־פָּ֑שַׁע חָבֵ֥ר ה֜֗וּא לְאִ֣ישׁ מַשְׁחִֽית:
He who robs his father: The Holy One, blessed be He.  
or his mother: The people of Israel. He who causes the people to sin by robbing the Holy One, blessed be He, estranges His children from Him and robs them of goodness.  
destroyer: Jeroboam.  
25A greedy man stirs up quarrels, but he who puts his trust in the Lord will be greatly gratified.   כהרְחַב־נֶ֖פֶשׁ יְגָרֶ֣ה מָד֑וֹן וּבוֹטֵ֖חַ עַל־יְהוָ֣ה יְדֻשָּֽׁן:
A greedy man: to attain all his desire.  
stirs up quarrels: He incites the Divine standard of justice upon himself  
26He who trusts his heart is a fool, but he who goes with wisdom will escape.   כובּוֹטֵ֣חַ בְּ֖לִבּוֹ ה֣וּא כְסִ֑יל וְהוֹלֵ֥ךְ בְּ֜חָכְמָ֗ה ה֣וּא יִמָּלֵֽט:
27He who gives to a poor man will suffer no want, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.   כזנוֹתֵ֣ן לָ֖רָשׁ אֵ֣ין מַחְס֑וֹר וּמַעְלִ֥ים עֵ֜ינָ֗יו רַב־מְאֵרֽוֹת:
He who gives to a poor man: charity.  
will suffer no want: (to give him much charity.) And so it is with the teacher who does not withhold Torah from his pupil.  
28When the wicked rise up, people hide; but when they perish, the righteous increase.   כחבְּק֣וּם רְ֖שָׁעִים יִסָּתֵ֣ר אָדָ֑ם וּ֜בְאָבְדָ֗ם יִרְבּ֥וּ צַדִּיקִֽים: