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Wisdom and Piety

My child, do not forget my instruction,
    and may your heart guard my commands.
For length of days, years of life,
    and peace they[a] shall add to you.
May loyal love[b] and truth not forsake you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them upon your heart.
And you shall find favor and good sense[c]
    in the eyes of God and humankind.
Trust Yahweh[d] with all your heart;
    do not lean toward your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will straighten your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear Yahweh and retreat from evil.
There shall be healing for your flesh,[e]
    and refreshment for your body.
Honor Yahweh from your substance,[f]
    and from the firstfruits of all that will come to you,
10 and your barns shall be full of plenty,
    and your vats shall burst with new wine.

Happy Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

11 Do not despise the discipline of Yahweh, my child.
    Do not be weary of his reproof
12 because whomever Yahweh will love, he will rebuke,
    as a father delights in his son.
13 Happy is the one[g] who finds wisdom,
    and one who obtains understanding.
14 For her[h] income is better than the income of silver,
    and her revenue than that of gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
    and all your desires shall not compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life for those who seize her;
    those who take hold of her are considered happy.

Role of Wisdom in Creation and Society

19 Yahweh in wisdom founded the earth;
    he established the heavens in understanding.
20 With his knowledge, depths broke open,
    and clouds dropped dew.
21 My child, may they[i] not escape from your sight;[j]
    may you keep sound wisdom and prudence.
22 They shall be life for your soul[k]
    and adornment[l] for your neck.
23 Then you will walk in the confidence of your ways,
    and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you sit down, you will not panic,[m]
    and if you lie down, then your sleep shall be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden panic,[n]
    or the storm of wickedness that will come.
26 Yahweh will be your confidence[o]
    and guard your foot from capture.
27 Do not withhold good from its owner[p]
    when it is in the power of your hand to do.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
    “Go and return and tomorrow I will give it,”
    when it is with you.[q]
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor
    who dwells in confidence beside you.
30 Do not quarrel with anyone without cause,
    when he did not do you harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence,
    and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for he who is perverse is an abomination of Yahweh,
    but those who are upright are his confidence.
33 The curse of Yahweh is on the house of the wicked,
    and the abode of the righteous ones he blesses.
34 With those who scorn, he is scornful,
    but to those who are humble, he gives favor.
35 They will inherit the honor of the wise,
    but stubborn fools, disgrace.


  1. Proverbs 3:2 That is, “my commands” (3:1)
  2. Proverbs 3:3 Or “kindness, mercy”
  3. Proverbs 3:4 Or “understanding, prudence”
  4. Proverbs 3:5 Literally “trust toward Yahweh”
  5. Proverbs 3:8 Literally “navel”
  6. Proverbs 3:9 Or “wealth, property”
  7. Proverbs 3:13 Literally “a man”
  8. Proverbs 3:14 Or “its”; both “wisdom” and “understanding” are feminine nouns and can be read as either “she” or “it”
  9. Proverbs 3:21 Grammatically, “they” most likely refers to clouds (3:20). In context, “they” may refer to wisdom and understanding (3:13).
  10. Proverbs 3:21 Literally “eyes”
  11. Proverbs 3:22 Or “inner self”
  12. Proverbs 3:22 Or “favor”
  13. Proverbs 3:24 Or “fear, dread”
  14. Proverbs 3:25 Or “fear, dread”
  15. Proverbs 3:26 Literally “in your confidence”
  16. Proverbs 3:27 Or “lord”
  17. Proverbs 3:28 Literally “and there is with you”