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Proverbs 3-4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Trust the Lord

My son, don’t forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commands;
for they will bring you
many days, a full life,[a] and well-being.
Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you.
Tie them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and high regard
with God and people.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Don’t be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will be healing for your body[b]
and strengthening for your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions
and with the first produce of your entire harvest;
10 then your barns will be completely filled,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe his discipline;
12 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

Wisdom Brings Happiness

13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom
and who acquires understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver,
and her revenue is better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels;
nothing you desire can equal her.
16 Long life[c] is in her right hand;
in her left, riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant,
and all her paths, peaceful.
18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her,
and those who hold on to her are happy.

19 The Lord founded the earth by wisdom
and established the heavens by understanding.
20 By his knowledge the watery depths broke open,
and the clouds dripped with dew.

21 Maintain sound wisdom and discretion.
My son, don’t lose sight of them.
22 They will be life for you[d]
and adornment[e] for your neck.
23 Then you will go safely on your way;
your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie[f] down, you will not be afraid;
you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant.
25 Don’t fear sudden danger
or the ruin of the wicked when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence[g]
and will keep your foot from a snare.

Treat Others Fairly

27 When it is in your power,[h]
don’t withhold good from the one to whom it belongs.
28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go away! Come back later.
I’ll give it tomorrow”—when it is there with you.
29 Don’t plan any harm against your neighbor,
for he trusts you and lives near you.
30 Don’t accuse anyone without cause,
when he has done you no harm.
31 Don’t envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways;
32 for the devious are detestable to the Lord,
but he is a friend[i] to the upright.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous;
34 He mocks those who mock,
but gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise will inherit honor,
but he holds up fools to dishonor.[j]

A Father’s Example

Listen, sons, to a father’s discipline,
and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,
for I am giving you good instruction.
Don’t abandon my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender and precious to my mother,
he taught me and said:
“Your heart must hold on to my words.
Keep my commands and live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth.
Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you;
love her, and she will guard you.
Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom.
And whatever else you get, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
if you embrace her, she will honor you.
She will place a garland of favor on your head;
she will give you a crown of beauty.”

Two Ways of Life

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom;
I am guiding you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.
Guard it, for it is your life.
14 Keep off the path of the wicked;
don’t proceed on the way of evil ones.
15 Avoid it; don’t travel on it.
Turn away from it, and pass it by.
16 For they can’t sleep
unless they have done what is evil;
they are robbed of sleep
unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
shining brighter and brighter until midday.
19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom;
they don’t know what makes them stumble.

The Straight Path

20 My son, pay attention to my words;
listen closely to my sayings.
21 Don’t lose sight of them;
keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else,[k]
for it is the source of life.
24 Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly,
and don’t let your lips talk deviously.
25 Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze[l] straight ahead.
26 Carefully consider the path[m] for your feet,
and all your ways will be established.
27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left;
keep your feet away from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:2 Lit days, years of life
  2. 3:8 Lit navel
  3. 3:16 Lit Length of days
  4. 3:22 Or be your throat
  5. 3:22 Or grace
  6. 3:24 LXX reads sit
  7. 3:26 Or be at your side
  8. 3:27 Lit in the power of your hands
  9. 3:32 Or confidential counsel
  10. 3:35 Or but haughty fools dishonor, or but fools exalt dishonor
  11. 4:23 Or heart with all diligence
  12. 4:25 Lit eyelids
  13. 4:26 Or Clear a path
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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