1 A wise ruler will educate his people, and his government will be orderly. 2 All the officials and all the citizens will be like their ruler. 3 An uneducated king will ruin his people, but a government will grow strong if its rulers are wise. 4 The Lord sees to the government of the world and brings the right person to power at the right time. 5 The success of that person is in the Lord's hands. The Lord is the source of the honor given to any official.
6 Don't be angry with someone for every little thing he does wrong. Don't do anything out of injured pride. 7 Arrogance and injustice are hated by both the Lord and people. 8 Injustice, arrogance, and wealth cause nations to fall from power, and others then rise to take their place. 9 We are only dust and ashes; what have we got to be proud of Our body decays even while we are alive. 10 A long illness puzzles the doctor. Even a king may be alive today and dead tomorrow. 11 When a person dies, all he then possesses is worms, flies, and maggots.
12 Pride has its beginning when a person abandons the Lord, his maker. 13 Pride is like a fountain pouring out sin, and whoever persists in it will be full of wickedness. That is why the Lord brought terrible punishments on some people and completely destroyed them. 14 The Lord has overthrown kings and put humbler people in their place. 15 The Lord has pulled up nations by the roots and established humbler ones in their place. 16 The Lord has overthrown empires and completely devastated their lands. 17 He destroyed some so completely that they are not even remembered any more. 18 The Creator never intended for human beings to be arrogant and violent.
People Who Should Be Honored
19 Who deserves honor? The human race does, because people fear the Lord. Who does not deserve honor? The human race does not, because people break the Lord's commands. 20 A leader should be honored by those who follow him, and the Lord honors those who fear him.
22 Rich people, famous people, and poor people all take pride in their fear of the Lord. 23 It is not right to refuse honor to a poor person who is intelligent, and it is not right to give honor to a sinner. 24 People of influence, rulers, and judges will be honored, but none of them is greater than a person who fears the Lord. 25 A slave who is wise will have free citizens serving him; and if they are sensible, they will not resent it.
Humility and Self-respect
26 When you do your work, don't make a show of your skill, and don't try to put on a show when you are in trouble. 27 It is better to work and have more than you need than to go around boasting but hungry.
28 My child, keep your self-respect, but remain modest. Value yourself at your true worth. 29 There is no excuse for a person to run himself down. No one respects a person who has no respect for himself. 30 Poor people can be honored for their good sense, and rich people can be honored for their wealth. 31 If someone is honored while he is poor, think how much he will be honored if he becomes rich! If someone is despised while he is rich, think how much more he will be despised if he becomes poor!