Old Testament

Proverbs 3
Third Address to a Son:
Wisdom Leads to the Lord's Blessing
31My son, do not forget my teaching.
Let your heart keep my commands,
2because they will add long days and many years to your life,
and peace and prosperity[] will come to you.
3Do not allow mercy and truth to leave you.
Fasten them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will find favor and approval[]
in the eyes of God and man.
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7Do not consider yourself wise.
Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8Then your body[] will be healed,
and your bones will be refreshed.
9Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits from your entire harvest.
10Then your barns will be filled to capacity,
and your wine vats will overflow with fresh wine.
11Do not reject the Lord's discipline, my son,
and do not despise his warning,
12because the Lord warns[] the one he loves
as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased.
13How blessed is the person who finds wisdom,[]
the person who acquires understanding,
14because the profit it gives is better than the profit from silver,
and its yield is better than gold!
15It is more valuable than gems,[]
and nothing you desire can equal it.
16In its right hand are the days of a long life.
In its left hand are riches and honor.
17Its ways are pleasant ways,
and all its paths are peace.
18It is a tree of life for those who hold on to it.
Those who cling to it are blessed.
19The Lord founded the earth by wisdom.
He established the heavens by understanding.
20By his knowledge the deep waters were divided,
and the clouds drip dew.
21My son, do not take your eyes off these things.
Guard sound judgment and insight.
22They will be life for your soul
and grace to adorn your neck.
23Then you will walk safely on your way,
and your foot will not stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid.
When you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.
25Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
nor of the destruction of the wicked when it comes,
26because the Lord will be your confidence.
He will keep your foot from being caught.
Fourth Address to a Son:
Practice Wisdom Toward Your Neighbor
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due
when it is within your power to give it.
28Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go away! Come back some other time.
I will give something to you tomorrow,”
when in fact it is already with you right now.
29Do not plan harm against your neighbor
when he is living with you peacefully.
30Do not quarrel with a person for no good reason
when he has done nothing to harm you.
31Do not envy a violent person.
Do not choose any of his ways,
32because a crooked person is an abomination[] to the Lord,
but God's friendly guidance leads[] the upright.
33The Lord's curse rests on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34Although he scorns the scornful,
he gives grace to the humble.
35Wise people inherit honor,
but proud fools receive disgrace.


  • 3:2 The Hebrew word shalom here contains both meanings.
  • 3:4 Literally good understanding
  • 3:8 Literally navel
  • 3:12 Or disciplines
  • 3:13 Or Wisdom. An issue throughout Proverbs 1–9 is when wisdom should be capitalized as the personal name of Lady Wisdom and when it is the common noun. Most translations do not capitalize wisdom in verses like verse 13 because of the parallelism with understanding. This decision also determines whether the English pronouns should be she or it. In Hebrew the noun for wisdom is feminine, so the pronouns in Hebrew are always feminine.
  • 3:15 The meaning of this word is uncertain. It may refer to a specific gemstone, such as rubies or red coral.
  • 3:32 Or is disgusting or is repulsive
  • 3:32 Or intimate counsel guides