7 One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8 The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
but a poor man hears no threat.
It is not wise to judge by appearances, as you never know what lies beneath the surface. This goes for happiness as well as for wealth, as the saying goes: “the happiest people I know are those I don’t know well.” The fool pretends to be wealthier than he is, but for every one he impresses there are two who seek to take advantage of him. It is wise to be humble in appearance, if not also in means.
“The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.” Wealth has its benefits, but it does not come without trouble. The wealthy are targeted by all kinds of schemers and swindlers, false friends and greedy relatives. Though the poor have little, they have it with peace. This is why it is all the more foolish to pretend to be rich, why expose yourself to more risk with none of the benefit?