1 Any friend will say, 'I am your friend too,' but some friends are friends only in name.
2 Is it not a deadly sorrow when a comrade or a friend turns enemy?
3 O evil inclination, why were you created, to cover the earth with deceit?
4 One kind of comrade congratulates a friend in prosperity but in time of trouble appears on the other side.
5 One kind of comrade genuinely feels for a friend and when it comes to a fight, springs to arms.
6 Do not forget the genuine friend, do not push him out of mind once you are rich.
7 Any adviser will offer advice, but some are governed by self-interest.
8 Beware of someone who offers advice; first find out what he wants himself- since his advice coincides with his own interest -- in case he has designs on you
9 and tells you, 'You are on the right road,' but stands well clear to see what will happen to you.
10 Do not consult anyone who looks at you askance, conceal your plans from people jealous of you.
11 Do not consult a woman about her rival, or a coward about war, a merchant about prices, or a buyer about selling, anyone mean about gratitude, or anyone selfish about kindness, a lazy fellow about any sort of work, or a casual worker about finishing a job, an idle servant about a major undertaking-- do not rely on these for any advice.
12 But have constant recourse to some devout person, whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul matches your own, and who, if you go wrong, will be sympathetic.
13 Finally, stick to the advice your own heart gives you, no one can be truer to you than that;
14 since a person's soul often gives a clearer warning than seven watchmen perched on a watchtower.
15 And besides all this beg the Most High to guide your steps into the truth.
16 Reason should be the basis for every activity, reflection must come before any undertaking.
17 Thoughts are rooted in the heart, and this sends out four branches:
18 good and evil, life and death, and mistress of them always is the tongue.
19 One kind of person is clever at teaching others, yet is no good whatever to himself;
20 another, very eloquent, is detested and ends by starving to death,
21 not having won the favour of the Lord, and being destitute of all wisdom.
22 Another considers himself wise and proclaims his intellectual conclusions as certainties.
23 But the truly wise instructs his people and his intellectual conclusions are certainties.
24 The wise is showered with blessings, and all who see him will call him happy.
25 Human life lasts a number of days, but the days of Israel are beyond counting.
26 The wise will earn confidence among the people, his name will live for ever.
27 During your life, my child, see what suits your constitution, do not give it what you find disagrees with it;
28 for not everything is good for everybody, nor does everybody like everything.
29 Do not be insatiable for any delicacy, do not be greedy for food,
30 for over-eating leads to illness and excess leads to liver-attacks.
31 Many people have died from over-eating; control yourself, and so prolong your life.