1. Painful is the lot of all men, a heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam from the day they leave their mother's womb to the day they return to the mother of us all.
2. What is on their mind, what they fear in their heart, is the day of their death.
3. From the king, glorious on his throne, robed in purple and wearing a crown,
4. to the lowliest person sitting in dust and ashes and covered with sackcloth, there is anger, envy, trouble and unrest, fear of death, rivalry and quarrels.
5. And at night when we lie down we have fresh worries:
6. scarcely are we at rest and asleep when we are troubled by dreams as vivid as if it were day and we were fleeing from a battle.
7. When it is time to wake up, we feel surprised to find that there is nothing to fear.
8. This is the fate of every living creature, man and beast, but for sinners it is seven times worse,
9. in death, bloodshed, strife, sword, misfortune, famine, affliction and calamity.
10. All these were created for the wicked, and the flood as well was sent on their account.
11. Everything that comes from the earth goes back to the earth, and what comes from the waters returns to the sea.
12. All bribery, all injustice will disappear but good faith will last forever.
13. The unjust riches will vanish like a stream that dries up; they will crash like a clap of thunder during a downpour.
14. A generous man has reason to rejoice, whereas sinners go to their ruin.
15. The children of the ungodly will not be blessed with large families; they are like plants taking root on sheer rock,
16. like reeds in water and along the river bank, withering sooner than other plants.
17. Kindness is like a garden of blessings and charity endures forever.
18. Life is pleasant both for an independent person and a self-reliant worker, but still better off is the one who finds a treasure.
19. The name of a man who has children or who has established a town will live on, but to have found wisdom is a greater good. Owning cattle and plantations brings fame, but a perfect wife is a richer blessing.
20. Wine and music gladden the heart, but better still is the love of wisdom.
21. The flute and harp make fine music, but even more appreciated is a pleasant voice.
22. Gracefulness and beauty delight the eye, but not as much as the fresh growth of fields.
23. It is always good for friends and companions to meet, better still for husband and wife.
24. Brothers and protectors are useful in hard times, but it will be of greater help to have been a giver of alms.
25. Gold and silver make for security but good advice is better.
26. Wealth and strength give confidence, but good counsel is more esteemed than either. You cannot suffer loss when you fear the Lord, with it you have all the support you need.
27. The fear of the Lord is like a garden of blessings; it clothes a person better than any glory.
28. My son, do not live the life of a beggar; it would be better to die than to beg.
29. When a man is always eyeing another's table, it cannot be said that he is really living, for he is defiling himself with another's food; an intelligent and educated man will avoid this.
30. That for which a shameless man begs may seem sweet to his mouth but his inner being is burning.