Wisdom bestows well-being
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them round your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will win favour and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.#3:6 Or will direct your paths
7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9Honour the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.#3:12 Hebrew; Septuagint loves, / and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child
13Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honour.
17Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
21My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28Do not say to your neighbour,
‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’ –
when you already have it with you.
29Do not plot harm against your neighbour,
who lives trustfully near you.
30Do not accuse anyone for no reason –
when they have done you no harm.
31Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34He mocks proud mockers
but shows favour to the humble and oppressed.
35The wise inherit honour,
but fools get only shame.