Proverbs from the Library of Ashurbanipal, c. 1600 BCE
1. A hostile
act you shall not perform, that fear of vengeance (?) shall
not consume you.
2. You shall
not do evil, that life (?) eternal you may obtain.
3. Does a
woman conceive when a virgin, or grow great without eating?
4. If I put
anything down it is snatched away; if I do more than is expected,
who will repay me?
5 He has
dug a well where no water is, he has raised a husk without kernel.
6. Does a
marsh receive the price of its reeds, or fields the price of
7. The strong
live by their own wages; the weak by the wages of their children.
8. He is
altogether good, but he is clothed with darkness.
9. The face
of a toiling ox you shall not strike with a goad.
10. My knees
go, my feet are unwearied; but a fool has cut into my course.
11. His ass
I am; I am harnessed to a mule---a wagon I draw, to seek reeds
and fodder I go forth.
12. The life
of day before yesterday has departed today.
13. If the
husk is not right, the kernel is not right, it will not produce
14. The tall
grain thrives, but what do we understand of it? The meager grain
thrives, but what do we understand of it?
15. The city
whose weapons are not strong the enemy before its gates shall
not be thrust through.
16. If you
go and take the field of an enemy, the enemy will come and take
a glad heart oil is poured out of which no one knows.
is for the day of trouble, posterity for the future.
19. An ass
in another city becomes its head.
is the mother of eloquence and the father of artists.
21. Be gentle
to your enemy as to an old oven.
22. The gift
of the king is the nobility of the exalted; the gift of the
king is the favor of governors.
in days of prosperity is servitude forever.
is strife where servants are, slander where anointers anoint.
you see the gain of the fear of god, exalt god and bless the
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