Guidance for the Young
1My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
3Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4And so find favor and 3:4 Lit. good understandinghigh esteem
In the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall 3:6 Or make smooth or straightdirect your paths.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8It will be health to your 3:8 Body, lit. navelflesh,
And strength3:8 Lit. drink to your bones.
9Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
12For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
13Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who 3:18 hold her fastretain her.
19The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
20By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds 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 to your neck.
23Then you will walk safely in your way,
And your foot will not stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
25Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.
27Do not withhold good from 3:27 Lit. its ownersthose to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
28Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.
29Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
30Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
31Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
33The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
34Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
New King James Version®, Copyright© 1982, Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.