My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
30 Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
33 The Lord‘s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.
35 The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Questions to Consider:
1. Who wrote Proverbs, and to whom is this chapter addressed? (1) What is the key word for this chapter (and the theme of the book of Proverbs)? (13, 19, 21)
2. Examine verses 1-2. Do you notice that the first verse is an imperative (command to do or not do something) and the subsequent verse gives a result of obeying the command? Can you identify this pattern throughout the rest of the chapter? List some of the specific commands and their results. Are these results guaranteed in all situations for all people? Is Proverbs a book of God’s promises? Can you think of any exceptions, in the Bible or in your life, to the results when people obey the commands? For example, compare verse 35 to Isaiah 53:3 (speaking of Jesus).
3. Read through the chapter from the perspective of Solomon – a loving parent instructing his child in wisdom and godliness. List two things you can glean from this passage to help you be a more godly mother or a more godly daughter.
Read through the chapter again from the perspective of God instructing you, His child. List two things you can learn and apply about obeying God’s word.
4. Most of this chapter centers on Solomon imparting his wisdom to his son, but in verses 19-20, Solomon speaks specifically about God’s wisdom. How does man’s desire for wisdom reflect that we are created in the image of God? What are some differences between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom? Differences between knowledge and wisdom?
5. Why is godly wisdom important for Christians?