"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man
of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
-- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
10Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
15Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
16Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19A loving doe, a graceful deer--
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20Why, my son, be intoxicated with another manʼs wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
21For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.
22The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly.
Wisdom Bestows Well-Being
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the Lordwith all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lordand shun evil.
8This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9Honor the Lordwith your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11My son, do not despise the Lordʼs discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12because the Lorddisciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
Sayings of Agur
1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.
This manʼs utterance to Ithiel:
“I am weary, God,
but I can prevail.
2Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
I do not have human understanding.
3I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
1Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4“To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
6Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13To fear the Lordis to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.
22“The Lordbrought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
23I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.