21Learn what I teach you, my child, and never forget what I tell you to do. 2Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. 3Yes, beg for knowledge; plead for insight. 4Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. 5If you do, you will know what it means to fear the LORD and you will succeed in learning about God. 6It is the LORD who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding. 7He provides help and protection for those who are righteous and honest. 8He protects those who treat others fairly, and guards those who are devoted to him.
9If you listen to me, you will know what is right, just, and fair. You will know what you should do. 10You will become wise, and your knowledge will give you pleasure. 11Your insight and understanding will protect you 12and prevent you from doing the wrong thing. They will keep you away from people who stir up trouble by what they say — 13those who have abandoned a righteous life to live in the darkness of sin, 14those who find pleasure in doing wrong and who enjoy senseless evil, 15unreliable people who cannot be trusted.
16You will be able to resist any immoral woman who tries to seduce you with her smooth talk, 17who is faithless to her own husband and forgets her sacred vows. 18If you go to her house, you are travelling the road to death. To go there is to approach the world of the dead. 19No one who visits her ever comes back. He never returns to the road to life. 20So you must follow the example of good people and live a righteous life. 21Righteous people — people of integrity — will live in this land of ours. 22But God will snatch the wicked from the land and pull sinners out of it like plants from the ground.
31Don't forget what I teach you, my child. Always remember what I tell you to do. 2My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life. 3Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them round your neck; write them on your heart. 4
If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6Remember the LORD in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. 7
Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the LORD and refuse to do wrong. 8If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains. 9Honour the LORD by making him an offering from the best of all that your land produces. 10If you do, your barns will be filled with grain, and you will have too much wine to be able to store it all.
When the LORD corrects you, my child, pay close attention and take it as a warning. 12
The LORD corrects those he loves, as parents correct a child of whom they are proud. 13Happy is anyone who becomes wise — who gains understanding. 14There is more profit in it than there is in silver; it is worth more to you than gold. 15Wisdom is more valuable than jewels; nothing you could want can compare with it. 16Wisdom offers you long life, as well as wealth and honour. 17Wisdom can make your life pleasant and lead you safely through it. 18Those who become wise are happy; wisdom will give them life.
19The LORD created the earth by his wisdom;
by his knowledge he set the sky in place.
20His wisdom caused the rivers to flow
and the clouds to give rain to the earth.
21Hold on to your wisdom and insight, my child. Never let them get away from you. 22They will provide you with life — a pleasant and happy life. 23You can go safely on your way and never even stumble. 24You will not be afraid when you go to bed, and you will sleep soundly through the night. 25You will not have to worry about sudden disasters, such as come on the wicked like a storm. 26The LORD will keep you safe. He will not let you fall into a trap.
27Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. 28Never tell your neighbours to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now. 29Don't plan anything that will hurt your neighbours; they live beside you, trusting you. 30Don't argue with others for no reason when they have never done you any harm. 31Don't be jealous of violent people or decide to act as they do, 32because the LORD hates people who do evil, but he takes righteous people into his confidence. 33The LORD puts a curse on the homes of the wicked, but blesses the homes of the righteous. 34
He has no use for conceited people, but shows favour to those who are humble. 35Wise people will gain an honourable reputation, but stupid people will only add to their own disgrace.
41Listen to what your father teaches you, my children. Pay attention, and you will have understanding. 2What I am teaching you is good, so remember it all. 3When I was only a little boy, my parents' only son, 4my father would teach me. He would say, “Remember what I say and never forget it. Do as I tell you, and you will live. 5Get wisdom and insight! Do not forget or ignore what I say. 6Do not abandon wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will keep you safe. 7Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight. 8Love wisdom, and she will make you great. Embrace her,4.8 Embrace her; or Prize her highly. and she will bring you honour. 9She will be your crowning glory.”
10Listen to me, my child. Take seriously what I am telling you, and you will live a long life. 11I have taught you wisdom and the right way to live. 12Nothing will stand in your way if you walk wisely, and you will not stumble when you run. 13Always remember what you have learnt. Your education is your life — guard it well. 14Do not go where evil people go. Do not follow the example of the wicked. 15Don't do it! Keep away from evil! Refuse it and go on your way. 16Wicked people cannot sleep unless they have done something wrong. They lie awake unless they have hurt someone. 17Wickedness and violence are like food and drink to them.
18The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come. 19The road of the wicked, however, is dark as night. They fall, but cannot see what they have stumbled over.
20Pay attention to what I say, my child. Listen to my words. 21Never let them get away from you. Remember them and keep them in your heart. 22They will give life and health to anyone who understands them. 23Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. 24Never say anything that isn't true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. 25Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don't hang your head in shame. 26
Plan carefully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right. 27Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don't go one step off the right way.