The Rewards of Wisdom
1 My son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you. 3 Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart. 4 So shall you find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight [or judgment] of God and man. 5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. 8 It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income; 10 So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening of the Lord [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof, 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
13 Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [drawing it forth from God's Word and life's experiences], 14 For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, and the profit of it better than fine gold. 15 Skillful and godly Wisdom is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for is to be compared to her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are highways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast. 19 The Lord by skillful and godly Wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding He has established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies distill the dew. 21 My son, let them not escape from your sight, but keep sound and godly Wisdom and discretion, 22 And they will be life to your inner self, and a gracious ornament to your neck (your outer self). 23 Then you will walk in your way securely and in confident trust, and you shall not dash your foot or stumble. 24 When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes [for you will be guiltless], 26 For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger].
27 Withhold not good from those to whom it is due [its rightful owners], when it is in the power of your hand to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come again; and tomorrow I will give it -- "when you have it with you. 29 Do not contrive or dig up or cultivate evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly and confidently beside you. 30 Contend not with a man for no reason -- "when he has done you no wrong. 31 Do not resentfully envy and be jealous of an unscrupulous, grasping man, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the perverse are an abomination [extremely disgusting and detestable] to the Lord; but His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him). 33 The curse of the Lord is in and on the house of the wicked, but He declares blessed (joyful and favored with blessings) the home of the just and consistently righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers and scorns the scorners, yet He gives His undeserved favor to the low [in rank], the humble, and the afflicted. 35 The wise shall inherit glory (all honor and good) but shame is the highest rank conferred on [self-confident] fools.