Exhortations to Obedience
3 1 My son, forget not my teaching, and let thy heart observe my commandments; 2 for length of days, and years of life, and peace shall they add to thee. 3 Let not loving-kindness and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck, write them upon the tablet of thy heart: 4 and thou shalt find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Confide in Jehovah with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own intelligence; 6 in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will make plain thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear Jehovah, and depart from evil: 8 it shall be health for thy navel, and moisture for thy bones. 9 Honour Jehovah with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase; 10 so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy vats shall overflow with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the instruction of Jehovah, neither be weary of his chastisement; 12 for whom Jehovah loveth he chasteneth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13 Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the gain thereof is better than the gain of silver, and her revenue than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not equal unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is he that retaineth her. 19 Jehovah by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from thine eyes; keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace unto thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way securely, and thy foot shall not stumble; 24 when thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid, but thou shalt lie down and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the destruction of the wicked, when it cometh; 26 for Jehovah shall be thy confidence, and he will keep thy foot from being taken.
27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thy hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to-morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. 31 Envy not the man of violence, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the perverse is an abomination to Jehovah; but his secret is with the upright. 33 The curse of Jehovah is in the house of the wicked; but he blesseth the habitation of the righteous. 34 He indeed scorneth the scorners; but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of the foolish.
The Beneficence of Wisdom
4 1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know intelligence; 2 for I give you good doctrine: forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was a son unto my father, tender and an only one in the sight of my mother. 4 And he taught me, and said unto me, Let thy heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live. 5 Get wisdom, get intelligence: forget [it] not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall keep thee; love her, and she shall preserve thee. 7 The beginning of wisdom [is], Get wisdom; and with all thy getting get intelligence. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thy head a garland of grace; a crown of glory will she bestow upon thee. 10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of thy life shall be multiplied. 11 I will teach thee in the way of wisdom, I will lead thee in paths of uprightness. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction, let [her] not go: keep her, for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil [men]: 15 avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not except they have done mischief, and their sleep is taken away unless they have caused [some] to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is as the shining light, going on and brightening until the day be fully come. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thy heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee perverseness of mouth, and corrupt lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be well-ordered. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil.
Warning against Unchastity
5 1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, incline thine ear to my understanding; 2 that thou mayest keep reflection, and that thy lips may preserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of the strange woman drop honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on Sheol. 6 Lest she should ponder the path of life, her ways wander, she knoweth not [whither]. 7 And now, children, hearken unto me, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel; 10 lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and the fruits of thy toil [come] into the house of a stranger; 11 and thou mourn in thine end, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed; 12 and thou say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof! 13 and I have not hearkened unto the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to those that instructed me; 14 I was well nigh in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Thy fountains shall be poured forth, as water-brooks in the broadways. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed; and have joy of the wife of thy youth. 19 As a lovely hind and a graceful roe, let her breasts satisfy thee at all times: be thou ravished continually with her love. 20 And why shouldest thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah, and he pondereth all his paths. 22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sin. 23 He shall die for want of discipline; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
1 1 Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by God's will, and the brother Timotheus, to the assembly of God which is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia. 2 Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions, and God of all encouragement; 4 who encourages us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to encourage those who are in any tribulation whatever, through the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged of God. 5 Because, even as the sufferings of the Christ abound towards us, so through the Christ does our encouragement also abound. 6 But whether we are in tribulation, [it is] for your encouragement and salvation, wrought in the endurance of the same sufferings which we also suffer,
7 (and our hope for you [is] sure;) or whether we are encouraged, [it is] for your encouragement and salvation: knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so also of the encouragement. 8 For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, as to our tribulation which happened [to us] in Asia, that we were excessively pressed beyond [our] power, so as to despair even of living. 9 But we ourselves had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not have our trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who has delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver; in whom we confide that he will also yet deliver; 11 ye also labouring together by supplication for us that the gift towards us, through means of many persons, may be the subject of the thanksgiving of many for us.
The Postponement of Paul's Visit
12 For our boasting is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and sincerity before God, (not in fleshly wisdom but in God's grace,) we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly towards you. 13 For we do not write other things to you but what ye well know and recognise; and I hope that ye will recognise to the end, 14 even as also ye have recognised us in part, that we are your boast, even as ye [are] ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15 And with this confidence I purposed to come to you previously, that ye might have a second favour; 16 and to pass through to Macedonia by you, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and to be set forward by you to Judaea. 17 Having therefore this purpose, did I then use lightness? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to flesh, that there should be with me yea yea, and nay nay? 18 Now God [is] faithful, that our word to you is not yea and nay. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, he who has been preached by us among you (by me and Silvanus and Timotheus), did not become yea and nay, but yea is in him. 20 For whatever promises of God [there are], in him is the yea, and in him the amen, for glory to God by us. 21 Now he that establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, [is] God, 22 who also has sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 23 But I call God to witness upon my soul that to spare you I have not yet come to Corinth. 24 Not that we rule over your faith, but are fellow-workmen of your joy: for by faith ye stand.