Moral Benefits of Wisdom

My son,(A) if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding(B)
indeed, if you call out for insight(C)
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,(D)
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.(E)
For the Lord gives wisdom;(F)
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.(G)
He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield(H) to those whose walk is blameless,(I)
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.(J)

Then you will understand(K) what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,(L)
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you.(M)

12 Wisdom will save(N) you from the ways of wicked men,
    from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
    to walk in dark ways,(O)
14 who delight in doing wrong
    and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,(P)
15 whose paths are crooked(Q)
    and who are devious in their ways.(R)

16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,(S)
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.[a](T)
18 Surely her house leads down to death
    and her paths to the spirits of the dead.(U)
19 None who go to her return
    or attain the paths of life.(V)

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,(W)
    and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked(X) will be cut off from the land,(Y)
    and the unfaithful will be torn from it.(Z)

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

My son,(AA) do not forget my teaching,(AB)
    but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years(AC)
    and bring you peace and prosperity.(AD)

Let love and faithfulness(AE) never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.(AF)
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.(AG)

Trust in the Lord(AH) with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths(AI) straight.[b](AJ)

Do not be wise in your own eyes;(AK)
    fear the Lord(AL) and shun evil.(AM)
This will bring health to your body(AN)
    and nourishment to your bones.(AO)

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits(AP) of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled(AQ) to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.(AR)

11 My son,(AS) do not despise the Lord’s discipline,(AT)
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,(AU)
    as a father the son he delights in.[c](AV)

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.(AW)
15 She is more precious than rubies;(AX)
    nothing you desire can compare with her.(AY)
16 Long life is in her right hand;(AZ)
    in her left hand are riches and honor.(BA)
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.(BB)
18 She is a tree of life(BC) to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.(BD)

19 By wisdom(BE) the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,(BF)
    by understanding he set the heavens(BG) in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
    and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son,(BH) do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,(BI)
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,(BJ)
    an ornament to grace your neck.(BK)
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,(BL)
    and your foot will not stumble.(BM)
24 When you lie down,(BN) you will not be afraid;(BO)
    when you lie down, your sleep(BP) will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side(BQ)
    and will keep your foot(BR) from being snared.(BS)

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
    “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
    when you already have it with you.(BT)
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
    who lives trustfully near you.(BU)
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
    when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envy(BV) the violent
    or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverse(BW)
    but takes the upright into his confidence.(BX)
33 The Lord’s curse(BY) is on the house of the wicked,(BZ)
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.(CA)
34 He mocks(CB) proud mockers(CC)
    but shows favor to the humble(CD) and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools get only shame.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 2:17 Or covenant of her God
  2. Proverbs 3:6 Or will direct your paths
  3. Proverbs 3:12 Hebrew; Septuagint loves, / and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child