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Advice to young men.  Pr.3.1-35

1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but guard my commands in your heart;
2for long life and years in plenty
will they bring you, and prosperity as well.
3Let your good faith and loyalty never fail,
but bind them about your neck.
4Thus will you win favour and success
in the sight of God and man.

5Put all your trust in the LORD
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6Think of him in all your ways,
and he will smooth your path.
7Do not think how wise you are,
but fear the LORD and turn from evil.
8Let that be the medicine to keep you in health,
the liniment for your limbs.
9Honour the LORD with your wealth
as the first charge on all your earnings;
10then your granaries will be filled with corn with corn: or to overflowing
and your vats bursting with new wine.
11My son, do not spurn the LORD's correction
or take offence at his reproof;
12for those whom he loves the LORD reproves,
and he punishes a favourite son.

13Happy he who has found wisdom,
and the man who has acquired understanding;
14for wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and the gain she brings is better than gold.
15She is more precious than red coral,
and all your jewels are no match for her.
16Long life is in her right hand,
in her left hand are riches and honour.
17Her ways are pleasant ways
and all her paths lead to prosperity.
18She is a staff of life to all who grasp her,
and those who hold her fast are safe.

19In wisdom the LORD founded the earth
and by understanding he set the heavens in their place;
20by his knowledge the depths burst forth
and the clouds dropped dew.

21My son, keep watch over your ability and prudence,
do not let them slip from sight;
22they shall be a charm hung about your neck
and an ornament on your breast.
23Then you will go your way without a care,
and your feet will not stumble.
24When you sit, you need have no fear;
when you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.
25Do not be afraid when fools are frightened
or when ruin comes upon the wicked;
26for the LORD will be at your side,
and he will keep your feet clear of the trap.
27Refuse no man any favour that you owe him
when it lies in your power to pay it.
28Do not say to your friend, 'Come back again;
you shall have it tomorrow'—when you have it already.
29Plot no evil against your friend,
your unsuspecting neighbour.
30Do not pick a quarrel with a man for no reason,
if he has not done you a bad turn.
31Do not emulate a lawless man,
do not choose to follow his footsteps;
32for one who is not straight is detestable to the LORD,
but upright men are in God's confidence.
33The LORD's curse rests on the house of the evildoer,
while he blesses the home of the righteous.
34Though God himself meets the arrogant with arrogance,
yet he bestows his favour on the meek Or wretched.
35Wise men are adorned with are adorned with: prob. rdg, Heb shall inherit honour,
but the coat the coat: prob. rdg, Heb obscure on a fool's back is contempt.

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