More advice on living.

1My son, don’t forget my teaching;
but let your heart keep my commandments:
2for they will add to you length of days,
years of life, and peace.
3Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you.
Bind them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4So you will find favour,
and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and don’t lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7Don’t be wise in your own eyes.
Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8It will be health to your body,
and nourishment to your bones.
9Honour the LORD with your substance,
with the first fruits of all your increase:
10so your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11My son, don’t despise the LORD’s discipline,
neither be weary of his correction;
12for whom the LORD loves, he corrects,
even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
13Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gets understanding.
14For her good profit is better than getting silver,
and her return is better than fine gold.
15She is more precious than rubies.
None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
16Length of days is in her right hand.
In her left hand are riches and honour.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness.
All her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
Happy is everyone who retains her.
19By wisdom the LORD founded the earth.
By understanding, he established the heavens.
20By his knowledge, the depths were broken up,
and the skies drop down the dew.
21My son, let them not depart from your eyes.
Keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22so they will be life to your soul,
and grace for your neck.
23Then you shall walk in your way securely.
Your foot won’t stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid.
Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet.
25Don’t be afraid of sudden fear,
neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes;
26for the LORD will be your confidence,
and will keep your foot from being taken.
27Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
28Don’t say to your neighbour, “Go, and come again;
tomorrow I will give it to you,”
when you have it by you.
29Don’t devise evil against your neighbour,
since he dwells securely by you.
30Don’t strive with a man without cause,
if he has done you no harm.
31Don’t envy the man of violence.
Choose none of his ways.
32For the perverse is an abomination to the LORD,
but his friendship is with the upright.
33The LORD’s curse is in the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the habitation of the righteous.
34Surely he mocks the mockers,
but he gives grace to the humble.
35The wise will inherit glory,
but shame will be the promotion of fools.


1. What should we do rather than leaning on our own understanding?

v 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and don’t lean on your own understanding.

2. What should we do with our substance?

v 9 Honour the LORD with your substance,

3. What should we not do if our neighbour needs something?

v 28 Don’t say to your neighbour, “Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it to you,” when you have it by you.

Summary Points

  • v 1 to 10 Obeying God brings great benefits
  • v 11 and 12 God's correction demonstrates his love
  • v 13 to 26 Those who seek wisdom will find happiness. The LORD made the earth and will look after those who follow his wisdom
  • v 27 to 35 The LORD will bless those who do good to people and who avoid bad company

 Timeline 970 BC

The audio version uses Yahweh instead of LORD. This reflects the original Hebrew language.