Exhortations to Seek Wisdom and Walk with the Lord 1
3 My child, 2 do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep 3 my commandments,
2 for they will provide 4 a long and full life, 5
and they will add well-being 6 to you.
3 Do not let truth and mercy 7 leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart. 8
4 Then you will find 9 favor and good understanding, 10
in the sight of God and people. 11
5 Trust 12 in the Lord with all your heart, 13
and do not rely 14 on your own understanding. 15
6 Acknowledge 16 him in all your ways, 17
and he will make your paths straight. 18
7 Do not be wise in your own estimation; 19
fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 20
8 This will bring 21 healing to your body, 22
and refreshment 23 to your inner self. 24
9 Honor 25 the Lord from your wealth
and from the first fruits of all your crops; 26
10 then your barns will be filled completely, 27
and your vats 28 will overflow 29 with new wine.
11 My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord, 30
and do not loathe 31 his rebuke.
12 For the Lord disciplines 32 those he loves,
just as a father 33 disciplines 34 the son in whom he delights.
Blessings of Obtaining Wisdom
13 Blessed 35 is the one 36 who finds 37 wisdom,
and the one who obtains 38 understanding.
14 For her 39 benefit 40 is more profitable 41 than silver,
and her 42 gain 43 is better 44 than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things 45 you desire 46 can compare 47 with her. 48
16 Long life 49 is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are very pleasant, 50
and all her paths are peaceful.
18 She is like 51 a tree of life 52 to those who obtain her, 53
and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed. 54
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth; 55
he established the heavens by understanding. 56
20 By his knowledge the primordial sea 57 was broken open, 58
and the clouds drip down dew. 59
21 My child, do not let them 60 escape from your sight;
safeguard sound wisdom and discretion. 61
22 So 62 they will give 63 life to you, 64
and grace to adorn 65 your neck. 66
23 Then you will walk on your way 67 with security,
and you 68 will not stumble. 69
24 When 70 you lie down you will not be filled with fear; 71
when 72 you lie down your sleep will be pleasant. 73
25 You will not be afraid 74 of sudden 75 disaster, 76
or when destruction overtakes 77 the wicked; 78
26 for the Lord will be 79 the source of your confidence, 80
and he will guard your foot 81 from being caught in a trap. 82
Wisdom Demonstrated in Relationships with People
27 Do not withhold good from those who need it, 83
when 84 you 85 have the ability 86 to help. 87
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when 88 you have it with you at the time. 89
29 Do not plot 90 evil against your neighbor
when 91 he dwells by you unsuspectingly.
30 Do not accuse 92 anyone 93 without legitimate cause, 94
if he has not treated you wrongly.
31 Do not envy a violent man, 95
and do not choose to imitate 96 any of his ways;
32 for one who goes astray 97 is an abomination 98 to the Lord,
but he reveals 99 his intimate counsel 100 to the upright.
33 The Lord’s curse 101 is on the household 102 of the wicked, 103
but he blesses 104 the home 105 of the righteous. 106
34 Although 107 he is scornful to arrogant scoffers, 108
yet 109 he shows favor to the humble. 110
35 The wise inherit honor,
but he holds fools up 111 to public contempt. 112
Admonition to Follow Righteousness and Avoid Wickedness 1
4 Listen, children, 2 to a father’s instruction, 3
and pay attention so that 4 you may gain 5 discernment.
2 Because I give 6 you good instruction, 7
do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son to my father, 8
a tender only child 9 before my mother,
4 he taught me, and he said to me:
“Let your heart lay hold of my words;
keep my commands so that 10 you will live.
5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak. 11
6 Do not forsake wisdom, 12 and she will protect you;
love her, and she will guard you.
7 Wisdom is supreme 13 – so 14 acquire wisdom,
and whatever you acquire, 15 acquire understanding! 16
8 Esteem her highly 17 and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9 She will place a fair 18 garland on your head;
she will bestow 19 a beautiful crown 20 on you.”
10 Listen, my child, 21 and accept my words,
so that 22 the years of your life will be many. 23
11 I will guide you 24 in the way of wisdom
and I will lead you in upright paths. 25
12 When you walk, your steps 26 will not be hampered, 27
and when you run, 28 you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, 29 do not let it go;
protect it, 30 because it is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
or walk 31 in the way of those who are evil.
15 Avoid it, do not go on it;
turn away from it, and go on. 32
16 For they cannot sleep unless they cause harm; 33
they are robbed of sleep 34 until they make someone stumble. 35
17 For they eat bread 36 gained from wickedness 37
and drink wine obtained from violence. 38
18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, 39
growing brighter and brighter 40 until full day. 41
19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness; 42
they do not know what causes them to stumble. 43
20 My child, pay attention to my words;
listen attentively 44 to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart 45 from your sight,
guard 46 them within your heart; 47
22 for they are life to those who find them
and healing to one’s entire body. 48
23 Guard your heart with all vigilance, 49
for from it are the sources 50 of life.
24 Remove perverse speech 51 from your mouth; 52
keep devious talk far from your lips. 53
25 Let your eyes look directly 54 in front of you
and let your gaze 55 look straight before you.
26 Make the path for your feet 56 level, 57
so that 58 all your ways may be established. 59
27 Do not turn 60 to the right or to the left;
turn yourself 61 away from evil. 62
Admonition to Avoid Seduction to Evil 1
5 My child, 2 be attentive to my wisdom,
pay close attention 3 to my understanding,
2 in order to safeguard 4 discretion, 5
and that your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips 6 of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her seductive words 7 are smoother than olive oil,
4 but in the end 8 she is bitter 9 as wormwood, 10
sharp as a two-edged 11 sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave. 12
6 Lest 13 she should make level the path leading to life, 14
her paths are unstable 15 but she does not know it. 16
7 So now, children, 17 listen to me;
do not turn aside from the words I speak. 18
8 Keep yourself 19 far 20 from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your vigor 21 to others
and your years to a cruel person,
10 lest strangers devour 22 your strength, 23
and your labor 24 benefit 25 another man’s house.
11 And at the end of your life 26 you will groan 27
when your flesh and your body are wasted away. 28
12 And you will say, “How I hated discipline!
My heart spurned reproof!
13 For 29 I did not obey my teachers 30
and I did not heed 31 my instructors. 32
14 I almost 33 came to complete ruin 34
in the midst of the whole congregation!” 35
15 Drink water from your own cistern
and running water from your own well. 36
16 Should your springs be dispersed 37 outside,
your streams of water in the wide plazas?
17 Let them be for yourself 38 alone,
and not for strangers with you. 39
18 May your fountain be blessed, 40
and may you rejoice 41 in your young wife 42 –
19 a loving doe, 43 a graceful deer;
may her breasts satisfy you at all times,
may you be captivated 44 by her love always.
20 But why should you be captivated, 45 my son, by an adulteress,
and embrace the bosom of a different woman? 46
21 For the ways of a person 47 are in front of the Lord’s eyes,
and the Lord 48 weighs 49 all that person’s 50 paths.
22 The wicked 51 will be captured by his 52 own iniquities, 53
and he will be held 54 by the cords of his own sin. 55
23 He will die because 56 there was no discipline;
because of the greatness of his folly 57 he will reel. 58