Better to have a little with righteousness 1 than to have abundant income without justice. 2
Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice.
It is better to be poor and godly than rich and dishonest.
Far better to be right and poor than to be wrong and rich.
Better is a little with righteousness, than great wealth with wrongdoing.
Better is a little with righteousness than large income with injustice.
Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.
[is] a little
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to have a little
than to have abundant
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1 sn The lines contrast the modest income with the abundant income; but the real contrast is between righteousness and the lack of justice (or injustice). “Justice” is used for both legal justice and ethical conduct. It is contrasted with righteousness in 12:5 and 21:7; it describes ethical behavior in 21:3. Here the point is that unethical behavior tarnishes the great gain and will be judged by God.
2 sn This is another “better” saying; between these two things, the first is better. There are other options – such as righteousness with wealth – but the proverb is not concerned with that. A similar saying appears in Amenemope 8:19-20 (ANET 422).