Using Wisdom

My son,

do not forget my teachings,

and keep my commands in mind,

because they will bring you

long life, good years, and peace.

Do not let mercy and truth leave you.

Fasten them around your neck.

Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will find favor and much success

in the sight of God and humanity.

Trust the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths smooth.[a]

Do not consider yourself wise.

Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

⌞Then⌟ your body will be healed,

and your bones will have nourishment.

Honor the Lord with your wealth

and with the first and best part of all your income.[b]

10 Then your barns will be full,

and your vats will overflow with fresh wine.

11 Do not reject the discipline of the Lord, my son,

and do not resent his warning,

12 because the Lord warns the one he loves,

even as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased.

13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom

and the one who obtains understanding.

14 The profit ⌞gained⌟ from ⌞wisdom⌟ is greater than

the profit ⌞gained⌟ from silver.

Its yield is better than fine gold.

15 ⌞Wisdom⌟ is more precious than jewels,

and all your desires cannot equal it.

16 Long life is in ⌞wisdom’s⌟ right hand.

In ⌞wisdom’s⌟ left hand are riches and honor.

17 ⌞Wisdom’s⌟ ways are pleasant ways,

and all its paths lead to peace.

18 ⌞Wisdom⌟ is a tree of life

for those who take firm hold of it.

Those who cling to it are blessed.

19 By Wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth.

By understanding he established the heavens.

20 By his knowledge the deep waters were divided,

and the skies dropped dew.

21 My son,

do not lose sight of these things.

Use priceless wisdom and foresight.

22 Then they will mean life for you,

and they will grace your neck.

23 Then you will go safely on your way,

and you will not hurt your foot.

24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid.

As you lie there, your sleep will be sweet.

25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror

or of the destruction of wicked people when it comes.

26 The Lord will be your confidence.

He will keep your foot from getting caught.

27 Do not hold back anything good

from those who are entitled to it

when you have the power to do so.

28 When you have the good thing with you, do not tell your neighbor,

“Go away!

Come back tomorrow.

I’ll give you something then.”

29 Do not plan to do something wrong to your neighbor

while he is sitting there with you and suspecting nothing.

30 Do not quarrel with a person for no reason

if he has not harmed you.

31 Do not envy a violent person.

Do not choose any of his ways.

32 The devious person is disgusting to the Lord.

The Lord’s intimate advice is with decent people.

33 The Lord curses the house of wicked people,

but he blesses the home of righteous people.

34 When he mocks the mockers,

he is gracious to humble people.

35 Wise people will inherit honor,

but fools will bear disgrace.


  1. 3:6 Or “straight.”
  2. 3:9 Or “harvest.”