Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

My son,(A) do not forget my teaching,(B)
    but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years(C)
    and bring you peace and prosperity.(D)

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

Trust in the Lord(H) with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths(I) straight.[a](J)

Do not be wise in your own eyes;(K)
    fear the Lord(L) and shun evil.(M)
This will bring health to your body(N)
    and nourishment to your bones.(O)

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

11 My son,(S) do not despise the Lord’s discipline,(T)
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,(U)
    as a father the son he delights in.[b](V)

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.(W)
15 She is more precious than rubies;(X)
    nothing you desire can compare with her.(Y)
16 Long life is in her right hand;(Z)
    in her left hand are riches and honor.(AA)
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.(AB)
18 She is a tree of life(AC) to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.(AD)

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

21 My son,(AH) do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,(AI)
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,(AJ)
    an ornament to grace your neck.(AK)
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,(AL)
    and your foot will not stumble.(AM)
24 When you lie down,(AN) you will not be afraid;(AO)
    when you lie down, your sleep(AP) 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(AQ)
    and will keep your foot(AR) from being snared.(AS)

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.(AT)
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
    who lives trustfully near you.(AU)
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
    when they have done you no harm.

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

32 For the Lord detests the perverse(AW)
    but takes the upright into his confidence.(AX)
33 The Lord’s curse(AY) is on the house of the wicked,(AZ)
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.(BA)
34 He mocks(BB) proud mockers(BC)
    but shows favor to the humble(BD) and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools get only shame.

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

Listen, my sons,(BE) to a father’s instruction;(BF)
    pay attention and gain understanding.(BG)
I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold(BH) of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.(BI)
Get wisdom,(BJ) get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;(BK)
    love her, and she will watch over you.(BL)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[c] wisdom.
    Though it cost all(BM) you have,[d] get understanding.(BN)
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.(BO)
She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.(BP)

10 Listen, my son,(BQ) accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.(BR)
11 I instruct(BS) you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.(BT)
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.(BU)
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.(BV)
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.(BW)
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;(BX)
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.(BY)

18 The path of the righteous(BZ) is like the morning sun,(CA)
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.(CB)
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;(CC)
    they do not know what makes them stumble.(CD)

20 My son,(CE) pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.(CF)
21 Do not let them out of your sight,(CG)
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.(CH)
23 Above all else, guard(CI) your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.(CJ)
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes(CK) look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[e] paths for your feet(CL)
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;(CM)
    keep your foot from evil.

Warning Against Adultery

My son,(CN) pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words(CO) of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;(CP)
but in the end she is bitter as gall,(CQ)
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.(CR)
She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.(CS)

Now then, my sons, listen(CT) to me;
    do not turn aside from what I say.
Keep to a path far from her,(CU)
    do not go near the door of her house,
lest you lose your honor to others
    and your dignity[f] to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
    and your toil enrich the house of another.(CV)
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!(CW)
13 I would not obey my teachers
    or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble(CX)
    in the assembly of God’s people.”(CY)

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain(CZ) be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.(DA)
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer(DB)
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21 For your ways are in full view(DC) of the Lord,
    and he examines(DD) all your paths.(DE)
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;(DF)
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.(DG)
23 For lack of discipline they will die,(DH)
    led astray by their own great folly.(DI)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 3:6 Or will direct your paths
  2. Proverbs 3:12 Hebrew; Septuagint loves, / and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child
  3. Proverbs 4:7 Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get
  4. Proverbs 4:7 Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get
  5. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level
  6. Proverbs 5:9 Or years

Bible Gateway Recommends

NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Romans, Comfort Print
NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Romans, Comfort Print
Retail: $6.99
Our Price: $4.88
Save: $2.11 (30%)
NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Luke, Comfort Print
NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Luke, Comfort Print
Retail: $6.99
Our Price: $4.88
Save: $2.11 (30%)
NIV, Holy Bible, Larger Print, Paperback
NIV, Holy Bible, Larger Print, Paperback
Retail: $5.99
Our Price: $4.19
Save: $1.80 (30%)