Chapter 3

  1. Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart unto my knowledge, for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; they shall likewise be fitted in your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to you this day, even to you. Have not I written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge? That I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth? That you might answer the words of truth to them that send unto you?
  2. Rob not the poor, because he is poor, neither oppress the afflicted in the gate; for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
  3. Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man you shall not go, lest you learn his ways and get a snare to your soul.
  4. Be not one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
  5. If you have nothing to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?
  6. Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.
  7. Do you see a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men.
  8. When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties, for they are deceitful food.
  9. Labor not to be rich, cease from your own wisdom.
  10. Will you set your eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
  11. Eat not the bread of him that has an evil eye, neither desire his dainty foods; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Eat and drink, says he to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel which you have eaten shall you vomit up, and lose your sweet words. Speak not in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words. Remove not the old landmark, and enter not into the fields of the fatherless; for their redeemer is mighty, he shall plead their cause with you.
  12. Apply your heart unto instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge.
  13. Withhold not correction from the child, for if you beat him with the rod, he shall not die. You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell.
  14. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall rejoice when your lips speak right things. Let not your heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of the Lord all the day long; for surely there is an end, and your expectation shall not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers, among riotous eaters of flesh; for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
  15. Listen unto your father that begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that begets a wise child shall have joy of him. Your father and your mother shall be glad, and she that bore you shall rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a whore is a deep ditch, and a strange woman is a narrow pit; she also lies in wait as for a prey, and increases the transgressors among men.
  16. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has babbling? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? They that linger long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it gives his color in the cup, when it moves itself aright. At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes shall behold strange women, and your heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, you shall be as he that lies down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lies upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shall you say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not. When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
  17. Be not envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them; for their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
  18. Through wisdom is a house built, and by understanding it is established, and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
  19. A wise man is strong, yea, a man of knowledge increases strength. For by wise counsel you shall make your war, and in multitude of counselors there is safety.
  20. Wisdom is too high for a fool; he opens not his mouth in the gate.
  21. He that devises to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
  22. The thought of foolishness is sin, and the scorner is an abomination to men.
  23. If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
  24. If you refuse to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain — if you say, Behold, we knew it not — does not he that ponders the heart consider it? And he that keeps your soul, does not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?
  25. My son, eat honey because it is good, and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto your soul; when you have found it, then there shall be a reward and your expectation shall not be cut off.
  26. Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place. For a just man falls seven times and rises up again, but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
  27. Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. Fret not yourself because of evil men, neither be envious at the wicked, for there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
  28. My son, fear the Lord and the king, and meddle not with them that are given to change; for their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin of them both?
  29. These things also belong to the wise.

  30. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that says unto the wicked, You are righteous — him shall the people curse; nations shall abhor him. But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Every man shall kiss his lips that give a right answer.
  31. Prepare your work outside, and make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house.
  32. Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and deceive not with your lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he has done to me, I will render to the man according to his work.
  33. I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and behold, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well; I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep — so shall your poverty come as one that travels, and your lack as an armed man.