December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 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.
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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  Corals: some precious stone may be intended.
4  A tree of life: cf Proverb 11:30; 13:12; Genesis 2:9.
5  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  The ruin of the wicked: i.e., the ruin that comes upon the wicked.
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