3 My son, always remember what I have taught you;
keep my instructions dear to your heart.
2 If you do, they will be your guide to
a long, healthy, prosperous life.
3 Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth;
engrave them on a pendant, and hang it around your neck;
meditate on them so they are written upon your heart.
4 In this way, you will win the favor of God and others,
and they will think well of you.
5 Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely;
never depend upon your own ideas and inventions.
6 Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish,
and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.
7 And don’t think you can decide on your own what is right and what is wrong.
Respect the Eternal; turn and run from evil.
8 If you depend on Him, your body and mind will be free from the strain of a sinful life,
will experience healing and health,
and will be strengthened at their core.
9 Pay tribute to the Eternal in all of your affairs.
Honor Him with the best of what you make.
10 That way you will prosper to the fullest
and have plenty of food to eat and wine to drink.
11 My son, do not ignore the Eternal’s instruction
or lose heart when He steps in to correct you;
12 Because the Eternal proves His love by caring enough to discipline you,
just as a father does his child, his pride and joy.[a]
God knows well what He is doing. He has established rewards for living wisely: A happy, long life. A good reputation. Guidance when you need it most. Health. Success. Even, dare we say, fatherly discipline. These are just a few of the benefits accompanying God’s wisdom.
13 How fortunate are those who discover Lady Wisdom
and those who understand her ways!
14 For her worth is greater than the most expensive prize you could win.
Her profit is greater than the finest thing you could buy.
15 No gem is more precious than she is—
your most extravagant desire doesn’t come close to her.
16 She holds the secret of a long life in one hand
and riches and fame in her other hand.
17 Her ways are pleasant;
all of her pathways are peaceful.
18 She is like a tree that produces a satisfied life for anyone who can wrap their arms around her;
happiness waits for any who hold her tightly.
19 It was by wisdom that the Eternal fashioned the earth
and by understanding that He designed the heavens.
20 Through His knowledge, the deep was divided into seas and sky,
and the clouds understood when to let down the morning dew.
21 My son, never lose sight of God’s wisdom and knowledge:
make decisions out of true wisdom, guard your good sense,
22 And they will be life to your soul
and fine jewelry around your neck.
23 Then each one of your steps will land securely on your life’s journey,
and you will not trip or fall.
24 Your mind will be clear, free from fear;
when you lie down to rest, you will be refreshed by sweet sleep.
25 Stay calm; there is no need to be afraid of a sudden disaster
or to worry when calamity strikes the wicked,
26 For the Eternal is always there to protect you.
He will safeguard your each and every step.
27 Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it;
if it is within your power to give it, do it.
28 Do not send your neighbor away, saying, “Get back with me tomorrow.
I can give it to you then,”
when what he needs is already in your hand.
29 Make no plans that could result in injury to your neighbor;
after all, he should be more secure because he lives near you.
30 Avoid fighting with anyone without good reason,
especially when no one has hurt you;
you have nothing to fight about.
31 Do not envy someone who profits at the expense of others
or copy any of his tyrannical ways,
32 For crooked people are detestable to the Eternal,
but those with integrity receive His counsel.
33 His curse lingers over the wicked and their families,
but He forever favors residence of those who do what is right.
34 God treats the arrogant as they treat others,
mocking the mockers, scorning the scornful,
but He pours out His grace on the humble.[b]
35 In the end, the wise will receive honor,
but fools will face humiliation.