3 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success[a] in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh[b] and refreshment[c] to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life 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 to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; 20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. 23 Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. 24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin[d] of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,[e] when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. 29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, 32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence. 33 The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.[f] 35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get[g] disgrace.
A Father's Wise Instruction
4 Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain[h] insight, 2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. 11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their[i] flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder[j] the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Warning Against Adultery
5 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, 2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. 3 For the lips of a forbidden[k] woman drip honey, and her speech[l] is smoother than oil, 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to[m] Sheol; 6 she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, 11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12 and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated[n] always in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?[o] 21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders[p] all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
6 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, 2 if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, 3 then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten,[q] and plead urgently with your neighbor. 4 Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; 5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,[r] like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, 13 winks with his eyes, signals[s] with his feet, points with his finger, 14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; 15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Warnings Against Adultery
20 My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they[t] will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, 24 to preserve you from the evil woman,[u] from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.[v] 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; 26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,[w] but a married woman[x]hunts down a precious life. 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, 31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. 32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
Warning Against the Adulteress
7 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; 2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, 5 to keep you from the forbidden[y] woman, from the adulteress[z] with her smooth words.
6 For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, 7 and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, 8 passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house 9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
10 And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.[aa] 11 She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; 12 now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. 13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, 14 “I had to offer sacrifices,[ab] and today I have paid my vows; 15 so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. 16 I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20 he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.”
21 With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. 22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast[ac] 23 till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, 26 for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
The Blessings of Wisdom
8 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: 4 “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. 5 O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. 6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, 7 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. 9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. 10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, 11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. 14 I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; 16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.[ad] 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. 18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, 21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
22 “The Lordpossessed[ae] me at the beginning of his work,[af] the first of his acts of old. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established[ag] the fountains of the deep, 29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his[ah]delight, rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”
The Way of Wisdom
9 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. 2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways,[ai] and live, and walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. 8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction[aj] to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
The Way of Folly
13 The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive[ak] and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, 15 calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead[al] are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
The Proverbs of Solomon
10 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. 2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. 3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. 4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. 5 He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. 6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.[am] 7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. 8 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin. 9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. 10 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will come to ruin. 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. 13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense. 14 The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near. 15 A rich man's wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin. 16 The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin. 17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. 18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. 19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. 20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense. 22 The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.[an] 23 Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. 24 What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. 25 When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever. 26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him. 27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. 28 The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. 29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers. 30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land. 31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. 32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
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