Chapter 29

1A man who requires reproof but stiffens his nape, will suddenly be broken without cure.   אאִ֣ישׁ תּ֖וֹכָחוֹת מַקְשֶׁה־עֹ֑רֶף פֶּ֥תַע יִ֜שָּׁבֵ֗ר וְאֵ֣ין מַרְפֵּֽא:
but stiffens his nape: not to listen.  
will suddenly be broken: He will quickly be broken.  
2When the righteous become great, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, the people sigh.   בבִּרְב֣וֹת צַ֖דִּיקִים יִשְׂמַ֣ח הָעָ֑ם וּבִמְשֹׁ֥ל רָ֜שָׁ֗ע יֵאָ֥נַֽח עָֽם:
3A man who loves wisdom makes his father happy, but one who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.   גאִֽישׁ־אֹהֵ֣ב חָ֖כְמָה יְשַׂמַּ֣ח אָבִ֑יו וְרֹעֶ֥ה ז֜וֹנ֗וֹת יְאַבֶּד־הֽוֹן:
but one who keeps company with harlots: Heb. ורעה. He joins harlots to himself, as its apparent meaning. Our Sages, however, said: “He who says, ‘This tradition is acceptable, I will learn it, but this one is not acceptable, I will not learn it.’” The support [for this view] from the verse is that זונות throughout the Scriptures is not spelled fully [with two “vavim”] except this once only.  
4A king establishes the country with justice, but a haughty man tears it down.   דמֶ֗לֶךְ בְּ֖מִשְׁפָּט יַעֲמִ֣יד אָ֑רֶץ וְאִ֖ישׁ תְּרוּמ֣וֹת יֶֽהֶרְסֶֽנָּה:
establishes the country: If he is an honest judge, he establishes the country.  
but a haughty man: Heb. תרומות, a haughty man, who does not care to take time in judgment. Our Rabbis (Keth. 105b) stated: “If the judge is like a king, who does not have to acquire friends and accept bribes, he establishes the country. But if he is like a priest, who asks for terumoth in the threshing floors, he tears it down.”  
5A man who flatters his friend spreads out a net for his feet.   הגֶּבֶר מַחֲלִ֣יק עַל־רֵעֵ֑הוּ רֶ֜֗שֶׁת פּוֹרֵ֥שׂ עַל־פְּעָמָֽיו:
flatters: Heb. מחליק, talks smoothly.  
6When a wicked man sins, there is a snare, and a righteous man sings and rejoices.   ובְּפֶ֤שַֽׁע אִ֣ישׁ רָ֣ע מוֹקֵ֑שׁ וְ֜צַדִּ֗יק יָר֥וּן וְשָׂמֵֽחַ:
When a wicked man sins: a snare will come.  
and a righteous man: who did not go in his ways, sings and rejoices.  
7A righteous man knows the judgment of the poor; a wicked man does not put his mind to knowing it.   זיֹדֵ֣עַ צַ֖דִּיק דִּ֣ין דַּלִּ֑ים רָ֜שָׁ֗ע לֹא־יָבִ֥ין דָּֽעַת:
the judgment of the poor: The torments of the poor and what they require, and puts his mind to them.  
8Scornful men inflame a city, but the wise turn away wrath.   חאַנְשֵׁ֣י לָ֖צוֹן יָפִ֣יחוּ קִרְיָ֑ה וַ֜חֲכָמִ֗ים יָשִׁ֥יבוּ אָֽף:
inflame: Heb. יפיחו, lit. they blow. They inflame it like a flame of fire that is fanned by the wind.  
9When a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he is angry or he laughs, he will have no contentment.   טאִֽישׁ־חָכָ֗ם נִ֖שְׁפָּט אֶת־אִ֣ישׁ אֱוִ֑יל וְרָגַ֥ז וְ֜שָׂחַ֗ק וְאֵ֣ין נָֽחַת:
a wise man contends: Heb. נשפט, debates with the fool.  
he will have no contentment: Whether he shows him an angry countenance or he shows him a laughing countenance, there is no contentment either in this or in that. He finds no satisfaction. We find in the case of Amaziah that the Holy One, blessed be He, showed him a laughing countenance and delivered Edom into his hands, and when he returned from defeating them, (11 Chron 25: 14) “he brought their (sic) gods, etc. and prostrated himself before them.” To Ahaz, the Holy One, blessed be He, showed an angry countenance and delivered him into the hands of the kings of Aram (ibid. 28:23): “And he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, etc. for he said, ‘The gods of Aram are helping them.’”  
10Murderous men hate the innocent, but the upright seek his soul.   יאַנְשֵׁ֣י דָ֖מִים יִשְׂנְאוּ־תָ֑ם וִֽ֜ישָׁרִ֗ים יְבַקְשׁ֥וּ נַפְשֽׁוֹ:
seek his soul: [This is] an expression of love, and it appears that it is so, as David said to Abiathar (I Sam. 22:23): “for he who seeks my soul seeks your soul.” He who will deal kindly with me will deal kindly with you. The exegetes, however, do not agree with me.  
11A fool lets out all his wind, but afterwards a wise man will quiet it.   יאכָּל־ר֖וּחוֹ יוֹצִ֣יא כְסִ֑יל וְ֜חָכָ֗ם בְּאָח֥וֹר יְשַׁבְּחֶֽנָּה:
will quiet it: When the fool has let out all his wind, the wise man comes and humbles it with the reply of his mouth. Similar to this is (Ps. 65: 8): “Who stills (משביח) the noise of the seas” ; (ibid. 89:10): “when its waves rise up, You still (תשבחם) them.”  
12A ruler who hearkens to false words-all his servants are wicked.   יבמשֵׁל מַקְשִׁ֣יב עַל־דְּבַר־שָׁ֑קֶר כָּֽל־מְשָׁרְתָ֥יו רְשָׁעִֽים:
13A poor man and a man of deep thoughts were visited upon; the Lord enlightens the eyes of both of them.   יגרָ֤שׁ וְאִ֣ישׁ תְּכָכִ֣ים נִפְגָּ֑שׁוּ מֵ֤אִיר־עֵינֵ֖י שְׁנֵיהֶ֣ם יְהוָֽה:
and a man of deep thoughts: A man of thoughts, a Torah scholar. And our Sages explained it concerning a disciple who said to a teacher, “Teach me.”  
14A king who judges the poor justly-his throne will be established forever.   ידמֶ֤לֶךְ שׁוֹפֵ֣ט בֶּֽאֱמֶ֣ת דַּלִּ֑ים כִּ֜סְא֗וֹ לָעַ֥ד יִכּֽוֹן:
15A rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left free brings shame to his mother.   טושֵׁ֣בֶט וְ֖תוֹכַחַת יִתֵּ֣ן חָכְמָ֑ה וְנַ֥עַר מְ֜שֻׁלָּ֗ח מֵבִ֥ישׁ אִמּֽוֹ:
but a child left free: Whom his father set free to follow the dictates of his heart, ultimately…  
brings shame to his mother: This is Ishmael; since he was wicked, he brought about that Sarah should say to Abraham (Gen. 21:10): “Expel this bondwoman and her son.”  
16When the wicked attain greatness, transgression increases, and the righteous will see their downfall.   טזבִּרְב֣וֹת רְ֖שָׁעִים יִרְבֶּה־פָּ֑שַׁע וְ֜צַדִּיקִ֗ים בְּֽמַפַּלְתָּ֥ם יִרְאֽוּ:
17Chastise your son and he will give you rest, and he will grant pleasures to your soul.   יזיַסֵּ֣ר בִּ֖נְךָ וִֽינִיחֶ֑ךָ וְיִתֵּ֖ן מַעֲדַנִּ֣ים לְנַפְשֶֽׁךָ:
18Without vision the people become unrestrained, but he who keeps the Torah is fortunate.   יחבְּאֵ֣ין חָ֖זוֹן יִפָּ֣רַֽע עָ֑ם וְשֹׁמֵ֖ר תּוֹרָ֣ה אַשְׁרֵֽהוּ:
Without vision the people become unrestrained: When Israel causes prophecy to withdraw from them by mocking the prophets, they will become unrestrained and will degenerate.  
19A slave cannot be chastised with words, because he will understand, but without response.   יטבִּדְבָרִים לֹא־יִוָּ֣סֶר עָ֑בֶד כִּֽי־יָ֜בִ֗ין וְאֵ֣ין מַעֲנֶֽה:
because he will understand, but without response: As soon as he sees him (sic) that the one who was reproving him is silent, he reverts to his sins; therefore, one must chastise him with blows and punishments. He does not speak of an actual slave, but about all who disobey the words of the judges.  
20If you see a man hasty with his words, there is more hope for a fool than for him.   כחָזִ֗יתָ אִ֖ישׁ אָ֣ץ בִּדְבָרָ֑יו תִּקְוָ֖ה לִכְסִ֣יל מִמֶּֽנּוּ:
hasty with his words: Who hurries and rushes to reply.  
there is more hope for a fool than for him: A fool has more hope than he.  
21If one pampers his slave from childhood, he will ultimately be a ruler.   כאמְפַנֵּ֣ק מִנֹּ֣עַר עַבְדּ֑וֹ וְ֜אַחֲרִית֗וֹ יִהְיֶ֥ה מָנֽוֹן:
If one pampers his slave from childhood: [This refers to] the evil inclination.  
a ruler: Heb. מנון, a ruler, and so is (Ps.72:17): “May His name be magnified (ינון) as long as the sun exists.” Similarly, every instance of נין in the Bible, since the son rises in his father’s stead to rule over his property.  
22A quick-tempered man stirs up strife, and a wrathful man abounds in transgression.   כבאִֽישׁ־אַ֖ף יְגָרֶ֣ה מָד֑וֹן וּבַ֖עַל חֵמָ֣ה רַב־פָּֽשַׁע:
stirs up strife: According to its apparent meaning, מדון is the Divine standard of justice.  
23A man's haughtiness will humble him, but one of humble spirit will grasp honor.   כגגַּאֲוַ֣ת אָ֖דָם תַּשְׁפִּילֶ֑נּוּ וּשְׁפַל־ר֜֗וּחַ יִתְמֹ֥ךְ כָּבֽוֹד:
will grasp honor: Heb. יתמך, will come near the honor and constantly grasp it.  
24He who shares with a thief hates his soul; he hears an oath but does not testify.   כדחוֹלֵ֣ק עִם־גַּ֖נָּב שׂוֹנֵ֣א נַפְשׁ֑וֹ אָלָ֥ה יִ֜שְׁמַ֗ע וְלֹ֣א יַגִּֽיד:
he hears an oath: that they adjure him, “Did you see so and so who stole so much and so much from me?” And since he shares with him, he does not testify.  
25A snare brings terror to a person, but he who trusts in the Lord will be safeguarded.   כהחֶרְדַּ֣ת אָ֖דָם יִתֵּ֣ן מוֹקֵ֑שׁ ובוֹטֵ֖חַ בַּיהוָ֣ה יְשֻׂגָּֽב:
A snare brings terror to a person: It is transposed. A snare of sin brings terror to a person. Another explanation: According to its apparent meaning, if a person is stingy and fears that if he gives charity he will require help from people, this fear will be a snare for him. I prefer the former [interpretation], however.  
26Many seek the countenance of a ruler, but the judgment of a person is from the Lord.   כורַבִּים מְבַקְשִׁ֣ים פְּנֵי־מוֹשֵׁ֑ל וּ֜מֵיְהוָ֗ה מִשְׁפַּט־אִֽישׁ:
the countenance of a ruler: to litigate before him.  
but the judgment of a person: Any [judgment], whether he will be adjudged innocent or guilty. Scripture [here] speaks of the gentile kings.  
27An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and a person whose way is straight is an abomination to a wicked man.   כזתּוֹעֲבַ֣ת צַ֖דִּיקִים אִ֣ישׁ עָ֑וֶל וְתוֹעֲבַ֖ת רָשָׁ֣ע יְשַׁר־דָּֽרֶךְ:
whose way is straight: A man who is straight in his ways.