3
Wisdom and Piety
1My child, do not forget my instruction,
and may your heart guard my commands.
2For length of days, years of life,
and peace they#That is, “my commands” (3:1) shall add to you.
3May loyal love#Or “kindness, mercy” and truth not forsake you;
bind them around your neck,
write them upon your heart.
4And you shall find favor and good sense#Or “understanding, prudence”
in the eyes of God and humankind.
5Trust Yahweh#Literally “trust toward Yahweh” with all your heart;
do not lean toward your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will straighten your paths.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear Yahweh and retreat from evil.
8There shall be healing for your flesh,#Literally “navel”
and refreshment for your body.
9Honor Yahweh from your substance,#Or “wealth, property”
and from the firstfruits of all that will come to you,
10and your barns shall be full of plenty,
and your vats shall burst with new wine.
Happy Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
11Do not despise the discipline of Yahweh, my child.
Do not be weary of his reproof
12because whomever Yahweh will love, he will rebuke,
as a father delights in his son.
13Happy is the one#Literally “a man” who finds wisdom,
and one who obtains understanding.
14For her#Or “its”; both “wisdom” and “understanding” are feminine nouns and can be read as either “she” or “it” income is better than the income of silver,
and her revenue than that of gold.
15She is more precious than rubies,
and all your desires shall not compare with her.
16Length of days is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life for those who seize her;
those who take hold of her are considered happy.
Role of Wisdom in Creation and Society
19Yahweh in wisdom founded the earth;
he established the heavens in understanding.
20With his knowledge, depths broke open,
and clouds dropped dew.
21My child, may they#Grammatically, “they” most likely refers to clouds (3:20). In context, “they” may refer to wisdom and understanding (3:13). not escape from your sight;#Literally “eyes”
may you keep sound wisdom and prudence.
22They shall be life for your soul#Or “inner self”
and adornment#Or “favor” for your neck.
23Then you will walk in the confidence of your ways,
and your foot will not stumble.
24If you sit down, you will not panic,#Or “fear, dread”
and if you lie down, then your sleep shall be sweet.
25Do not be afraid of sudden panic,#Or “fear, dread”
or the storm of wickedness that will come.
26Yahweh will be your confidence#Literally “in your confidence”
and guard your foot from capture.
27Do not withhold good from its owner#Or “lord”
when it is in the power of your hand to do.
28Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go and return and tomorrow I will give it,”
when it is with you.#Literally “and there is with you”
29Do not plot harm against your neighbor
who dwells in confidence beside you.
30Do not quarrel with anyone without cause,
when he did not do you harm.
31Do not envy a man of violence,
and do not choose any of his ways,
32for he who is perverse is an abomination of Yahweh,
but those who are upright are his confidence.
33The curse of Yahweh is on the house of the wicked,
and the abode of the righteous ones he blesses.
34With those who scorn, he is scornful,
but to those who are humble, he gives favor.
35They will inherit the honor of the wise,
but stubborn fools, disgrace.
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