Proverbs – Chapter 3

The Bible – Old Testament


Chapter 3


1 My son, forget not my teaching, keep in mind my commands;


For many days, and years of life, and peace, will they bring you.


Let not kindness and fidelity leave you; bind them around your neck;


Then will you win favor and good esteem before God and man.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not;


In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.


Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil;


This will mean health for your flesh and vigor for your bones.


Honor the LORD with your wealth, with first fruits of all your produce;


Then will your barns be filled with grain, with new wine your vats will overflow.


The discipline of the LORD, my son, disdain not; spurn not his reproof;


For whom the LORD loves he reproves, and he chastises the son he favors.


2 Happy the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding!


For her profit is better than profit in silver, and better than gold is her revenue;


3 She is more precious than corals, and none of your choice possessions can compare with her.


Long life is in her right hand, in her left are riches and honor;


Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace;


4 She is a tree of life to those who grasp her, and he is happy who holds her fast.


The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, established the heavens by understanding;


5 By his knowledge the depths break open, and the clouds drop down dew.


My son, let not these slip out of your sight: keep advice and counsel in view;


So will they be life to your soul, and an adornment for your neck.


Then you may securely go your way; your foot will never stumble;


When you lie down, you need not be afraid, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.


Honor is the possession of wise men, but fools inherit shame.


6 7 Be not afraid of sudden terror, of the ruin of the wicked when it comes;


For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from the snare.


Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him.


Say not to your neighbor, «Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give,» when you can give at once.


Plot no evil against your neighbor, against him who lives at peace with you.


Quarrel not with a man without cause, with one who has done you no harm.


Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways:


To the LORD the perverse man is an abomination, but with the upright is his friendship.


The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but the dwelling of the just he blesses;


When he is dealing with the arrogant, he is stern, but to the humble he shows kindness.

1 [1-12] Many are the rewards for fidelity and trust in God, and for diffidence of self (⇒ Proverb 3:1-8). Cf ⇒ Deut 30:20; ⇒ Isaiah 38:19. The offering of material things for divine worship is blessed by an increase of such goods (⇒ Proverb 3:9-10). Even correction and chastisement are a mark of God’s love and favor (⇒ Proverb 3:11-12).
2 [13-24] Wisdom, or understanding, is more valuable than silver and gold. Its fruit is long life, riches, honor and happiness (⇒ Proverb 3:13-18). Even the creation of the universe and its adornment (Genesis 1) were not done without wisdom (⇒ Proverb 3:19-20). It is the life of the soul and gives security in work and in repose (⇒ Proverb 3:21-24).
3 [15] Corals: some precious stone may be intended.
4 [18] A tree of life: cf ⇒ Proverb 11:30; ⇒ 13:12; ⇒ Genesis 2:9.
5 [20] For the Hebrews, the depths enclosed the great subterranean ocean; the rain and dew descended from the celestial ocean above the firmament; cf ⇒ Genesis 1:6-10; ⇒ Job 26:8, ⇒ 12; ⇒ Psalm 18:15; ⇒ 24:2.
6 [25-34] Serving God with confidence in him (⇒ Proverb 3:25-26) requires serving one’s neighbor through kindness (⇒ Proverb 3:27- 28), peace with the good (⇒ Proverb 3:29-31), no envy of the wicked (⇒ Proverb 3:31), because the Lord’s friendship and kindness are with the just; his curse is with the wicked.
7 [25] The ruin of the wicked: i.e., the ruin that comes upon the wicked.