Exhortations to Obedience

31 My son, keep my teaching in your memory, and my rules in your heart: 2 For they will give you increase of days, years of life, and peace. 3 Let not mercy and good faith go from you; let them be hanging round your neck, recorded on your heart; 4 So you will have grace and a good name in the eyes of God and men. 5 Put all your hope in God, not looking to your reason for support. 6 In all your ways give ear to him, and he will make straight your footsteps.

7 Put no high value on your wisdom: let the fear of the Lord be before you, and keep yourself from evil: 8 This will give strength to your flesh, and new life to your bones. 9 Give honour to the Lord with your wealth, and with the first-fruits of all your increase: 10 So your store-houses will be full of grain, and your vessels overflowing with new wine. 11 My son, do not make your heart hard against the Lord's teaching; do not be made angry by his training: 12 For to those who are dear to him the Lord says sharp words, and makes the son in whom he has delight undergo pain.

13 Happy is the man who makes discovery of wisdom, and he who gets knowledge. 14 For trading in it is better than trading in silver, and its profit greater than bright gold. 15 She is of more value than jewels, and nothing for which you may have a desire is fair in comparison with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand, and in her left are wealth and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of delight, and all her goings are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to all who take her in their hands, and happy is everyone who keeps her. 19 The Lord by wisdom put in position the bases of the earth; by reason he put the heavens in their place. 20 By his knowledge the deep was parted, and dew came dropping from the skies.

21 My son, keep good sense, and do not let wise purpose go from your eyes. 22 So they will be life for your soul, and grace for your neck. 23 Then you will go safely on your way, and your feet will have no cause for slipping. 24 When you take your rest you will have no fear, and on your bed sleep will be sweet to you. 25 Have no fear of sudden danger, or of the storm which will come on evil-doers: 26 For the Lord will be your hope, and will keep your foot from being taken in the net.

27 Do not keep back good from those who have a right to it, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. 28 Say not to your neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when you have it by you at the time. 29 Do not make evil designs against your neighbour, when he is living with you without fear. 30 Do not take up a cause at law against a man for nothing, if he has done you no wrong. 31 Have no envy of the violent man, or take any of his ways as an example. 32 For the wrong-hearted man is hated by the Lord, but he is a friend to the upright. 33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the evil-doer, but his blessing is on the tent of the upright. 34 He makes sport of the men of pride, but he gives grace to the gentle-hearted. 35 The wise will have glory for their heritage, but shame will be the reward of the foolish.

The Beneficence of Wisdom

41 Give ear, my sons, to the teaching of a father; give attention so that you may have knowledge: 2 For I give you good teaching; do not give up the knowledge you are getting from me. 3 For I was a son to my father, a gentle and an only one to my mother. 4 And he gave me teaching, saying to me, Keep my words in your heart; keep my rules so that you may have life: 5 Get wisdom, get true knowledge; keep it in memory, do not be turned away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not give her up, and she will keep you; give her your love, and she will make you safe. 7 The first sign of wisdom is to get wisdom; go, give all you have to get true knowledge. 8 Put her in a high place, and you will be lifted up by her; she will give you honour, when you give her your love. 9 She will put a crown of grace on your head, giving you a head-dress of glory. 10 Give ear, O my son, and let your heart be open to my sayings; and long life will be yours. 11 I have given you teaching in the way of wisdom, guiding your steps in the straight way. 12 When you go, your way will not be narrow, and in running you will not have a fall. 13 Take learning in your hands, do not let her go: keep her, for she is your life.

14 Do not go in the road of sinners, or be walking in the way of evil men. 15 Keep far from it, do not go near; be turned from it, and go on your way. 16 For they take no rest till they have done evil; their sleep is taken away if they have not been the cause of someone's fall. 17 The bread of evil-doing is their food, the wine of violent acts their drink. 18 But the way of the upright is like the light of early morning, getting brighter and brighter till the full day. 19 The way of sinners is dark; they see not the cause of their fall.

20 My son, give attention to my words; let your ear be turned to my sayings. 21 Let them not go from your eyes; keep them deep in your heart. 22 For they are life to him who gets them, and strength to all his flesh. 23 And keep watch over your heart with all care; so you will have life. 24 Put away from you an evil tongue, and let false lips be far from you. 25 Keep your eyes on what is in front of you, looking straight before you. 26 Keep a watch on your behaviour; let all your ways be rightly ordered. 27 Let there be no turning to the right or to the left, keep your feet from evil.

Warning against Unchastity

51 My son, give attention to my wisdom; let your ear be turned to my teaching: 2 So that you may be ruled by a wise purpose, and your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For honey is dropping from the lips of the strange woman, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword; 5 Her feet go down to death, and her steps to the underworld; 6 She never keeps her mind on the road of life; her ways are uncertain, she has no knowledge. 7 Give ear to me then, my sons, and do not put away my words from you. 8 Go far away from her, do not come near the door of her house; 9 For fear that you may give your honour to others, and your wealth to strange men: 10 And strange men may be full of your wealth, and the fruit of your work go to the house of others; 11 And you will be full of grief at the end of your life, when your flesh and your body are wasted; 12 And you will say, How was teaching hated by me, and my heart put no value on training; 13 I did not give attention to the voice of my teachers, my ear was not turned to those who were guiding me! 14 I was in almost all evil in the company of the people.

15 Let water from your store and not that of others be your drink, and running water from your fountain. 16 Let not your springs be flowing in the streets, or your streams of water in the open places. 17 Let them be for yourself only, not for other men with you. 18 Let blessing be on your fountain; have joy in the wife of your early years. 19 As a loving hind and a gentle doe, let her breasts ever give you rapture; let your passion at all times be moved by her love. 20 Why let yourself, my son, go out of the way with a strange woman, and take another woman in your arms? 21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he puts all his goings in the scales. 22 The evil-doer will be taken in the net of his crimes, and prisoned in the cords of his sin. 23 He will come to his end for need of teaching; he is so foolish that he will go wandering from the right way.


11 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the purpose of God, and Timothy the brother, to the church of God which is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul's Affliction

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; 4 Who gives us comfort in all our troubles, so that we may be able to give comfort to others who are in trouble, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we undergo more of the pain which Christ underwent, so through Christ does our comfort become greater. 6 But if we are troubled, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which takes effect through your quiet undergoing of the same troubles which we undergo:

7 And our hope for you is certain; in the knowledge that as you take part in the troubles, so you will take part in the comfort. 8 For it is our desire that you may not be without knowledge of our trouble which came on us in Asia, that the weight of it was very great, more than our power, so that it seemed that we had no hope even of life: 9 Yes, we ourselves have had the answer of death in ourselves, so that our hope might not be in ourselves, but in God who is able to give life to the dead: 10 Who gave us salvation from so great a death: on whom we have put our hope that he will still go on to give us salvation; 11 You at the same time helping together by your prayer for us; so that for what has been given to us through a number of persons, praise may go up to God for us from all of them.

The Postponement of Paul's Visit

12 For our glory is in this, in the knowledge which we have that our way of life in the world, and most of all in relation to you, has been holy and true in the eyes of God; not in the wisdom of the flesh, but in the grace of God. 13 For in our letters we say no other things to you, but those which you are reading, and to which you give agreement, and, it is my hope, will go on doing so to the end: 14 Even as you have been ready, in part, to say that we are your glory, in the same way that you are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

15 And being certain of this, it was my purpose to come to you before, so that you might have a second grace; 16 And by way of Corinth to go into Macedonia, and from there to come back again to you, so that you might send me on my way to Judaea. 17 If then I had such a purpose, did I seem to be changing suddenly? or am I guided in my purposes by the flesh, saying, Yes, today, and, No, tomorrow? 18 As God is true, our word to you is not Yes and No. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we were preaching among you, even I and Silvanus and Timothy, was not Yes and No, but in him is Yes. 20 For he is the Yes to all the undertakings of God: and by him all the words of God are made certain and put into effect, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now he who makes our faith strong together with you, in Christ, and has given us of his grace, is God; 22 And it is he who has put his stamp on us, even the Spirit, as the sign in our hearts of the coming glory. 23 But God is my witness that it was in pity for you that I did not come to Corinth at that time. 24 Not that we have authority over your faith, but we are helpers of your joy: for it is faith which is your support.