Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Honor the LORD with your money. Accept discipline. Happy is the person who finds wisdom. Act justly toward others.
my teaching. The Hebrew word is תּוֹרָתִ֣י (“torah”).
years of life. One benefit of accepting these instructions is a longer life.
and peace. Another benefit of accepting these instructions is “shalom.” That word is often translated as “peace.”
Though it includes peace and prosperity, “shalom” is broader in meaning. It also suggests wholeness, health, and harmony.
VERSE 3. Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.
kindness. Are you a person of kindness? Is kindness written on your heart?
In our day, Christians are earning the reputation of being the most cruel of all people.
VERSE 4. So you will find favor, and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD. We disciples are to trust the LORD God with all our heart. He offers us the path of true wisdom. Will you trust in him and act upon his leading? Read more »
he will make your paths straight. We disciples are to trust the LORD God with all our heart. He offers us the path of true wisdom. Will you trust in him and act upon his leading? Read more »
VERSE 7. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
VERSE 8. It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.
Honor the LORD with your substance. The LORD calls us to give generously. The Bible tells us that when we generously give, God will return our gift many times over.
How might God be asking you to give generously of your finances?
VERSE 11. My son, don’t despise the LORD’s discipline, neither be weary of his reproof:
VERSE 12. for whom the LORD loves, he reproves; even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
whom the LORD loves, he reproves. If you feels the LORD is “correcting” you, then you can rejoice.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom. Wisdom brings happiness (see verse 18 below).
VERSE 14. For her good profit is better than getting silver, and her return is better than fine gold.
VERSE 15. She is more precious than rubies. None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
She. Wisdom is personified as a woman.
riches and honor. Solomon imagines that righteous living results in material prosperity.
In the Old Testament era, some people said if you are holy, God will make you rich. In our day, this view is growing in popularity among professing Christians. Read more »
VERSE 17. Her ways are ways of pleasantness. All her paths are peace.
tree of life. This notion of the “tree of life” has come up in other passages in the Book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 3:18. She [wisdom] is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her. Happy is everyone who retains her.
Proverbs 11:30. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. He who is wise wins souls.
Proverbs 13:12. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
Proverbs 15:4. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but deceit in it crushes the spirit.
Happy is everyone who retains her. Wisdom gives a rich life to those who seek her, as we saw in verse 13 above.
VERSE 19. By wisdom the LORD founded the earth. By understanding, he established the heavens.
VERSE 20. By his knowledge, the depths were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew.
VERSE 21. My son, let them not depart from your eyes. Keep sound wisdom and discretion:
VERSE 22. so they will be life to your soul, and grace for your neck.
VERSE 23. Then you shall walk in your way securely. Your foot won’t stumble.
VERSE 24. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet.
NIV translation: Have no fear of sudden disaster or the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
NIV translation: For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
the LORD will be your confidence. He watches over the lives of his faithful ones.
VERSE 27. Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due. Literally, “Do not withhold good from its owners.”
Here are two examples of how a believers might withhold good from its owners:
Example 1. Not fulfill their obligation to pay a hired laborer.
Example 2. Not be generous to poor people (see verse 28, below).
Deuteronomy 24:15. In his day you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down on it; for he is poor, and sets his heart on it; lest he cry against you to the LORD, and it be sin to you.
VERSE 28. Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it to you,” when you have it by you.
I will give it to you. We are commanded to give generously to poor people.
VERSE 29. Don’t devise evil against your neighbor, since he dwells securely by you.
VERSE 30. Don’t strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.
VERSE 31. Don’t envy the man of violence. Choose none of his ways.
VERSE 32. For the perverse is an abomination to the LORD, but his friendship is with the upright.
VERSE 33. The LORD’s curse is in the house of the wicked, but he blesses the habitation of the righteous.
VERSE 34. Surely he mocks the mockers, but he gives grace to the humble.
VERSE 35. The wise will inherit glory, but shame will be the promotion of fools.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.