1 My son, forget not my law;
But let your heart watch (keep guard) My commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life,
And peace, shall they add to you. (Not the "law" and "commandment", but the "days".)
3 Let not loving-kindness (or grace) and truth forsake you:
Bind them about your neck (see Ex. 13:16);
Write them upon the table of your heart:
4 So shall you find favor and good insight
In the sight of God and man.
5 Confide in the LORD with all your heart (illustrations: Abraham [Gen. 24:1-8; cp. Prov. 19:14]; Eleazar [Gen. 24:12-27]; Jephthah [Judg. 11:11]; David [1 Sam. 30:6-8]; Asa [2 Chron. 14:9-15]; Hezekiah [2 Kings 18:4-7; 19:14-37]; Nehemiah [1:4-11; 2:4-8]);
And lean not to your own discernment.
6 In all your ways recognize Him,
And He shall rightly divide Your paths. (I.e. dividing and thus showing what is right or pleasing to God.)
7 Be not wise in your own eyes: (Illustrations: Ahab [1 Kings 22:30,3435]; Ben-hadad [1 Kings 20:10,11]. Quoted in Rom. 11:25; 12:16.)
Revere the LORD Himself, and shun (or avoid) from evil.
8 It shall be healing to your navel (put for whole body),
And moistening to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your substance,
And with the first-fruits of all your increase: (This proverb had led to a universal custom. Illustrations: Abraham [Gen. 14:20. Heb. 7:2]; Jacob [Gen. 28:22]; David [1 Chron. 29:1-5,28]; Widow [Mark 12:41-44]; Woman [Mark 14:3-9]; Cornelius [Acts 10:2,4]; Philippians [4:15-19].)
10 So shall your barns be filled with plenty,
And your wine-vats shall overflow with new wine.
11 My son, shrink not from the chastening of the LORD;
neither be weary of His correction: (Illustrations: David [2 Sam. 15:25,26; 16:10-12; 23:5]; Hezekiah [Isa. 39:5-8, contrast Ahaz, 2 Chron. 28:22, and Jehram, 2 Kings 6:31-33]; Jerusalem [Zeph. 3:2. Cp. Isa. 1:5].)
12 For whom the LORD loves he corrects;
Even as a father the son in whom he delights. (Quoted from Job 1:20-22, and in Heb. 12:5,6. Jas. 5:17.) (Illustrations: Joseph [Gen. 37:23-36; 39:20; 40:23. Cp. Ps. 105:18]; Israel [Deut. 8:3-5.15,16]; Jehoshaphat [2 Chron. 20:35-37]; Paul [2 Cor. 12:7].)
13 Oh, the blessedness of the man that finds wisdom,
Even the man that gets understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it (lit. her merchandise) is better than the merchandise of silver,
And the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She in herself is more precious than pearls:
And all the things you can desire are not to be compared to her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; (= in her power; "hand" put for use as a grand agency for good of all kinds. Not necessarily a long life conferred)
And in her left hand to be used aright.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are well-being (or prosperity). (Illustration: Hezekiah [2 Chron. 29:36; 30:26. Contrast 2 Cron. 28]. Cp. Acts 2:46; 8:6; 13:52. 2 Cor. 8:2.)
18 She is a tree of life (see Gen. 2:9; 3:22,24, and cp. Prov. 11:30; 13:12; 15:4. Rev. 2:7; 22:2,14) to them that lay hold upon her:
And happy is every one that retains her.
19 The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth;
By understanding has hHe established the heavens.
20 By His knowledge the depths are broken up,
And the skies drop down the night mist.
21 My son, let not them (perhaps grace and truth, v.3) depart from your eyes:
Keep what is stable and discretion:
22 So shall they be life to your soul,
And grace to your neck. (Sept. adds "Yes, it shall be healing to your flesh; and refreshing to your bones")
23 Then shall you walk in your way safely,
And your foot shall not 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 fear,
Neither of the desolation of the lawless one, when it comes. (Illustrations: Moses [Ex. 14:13,14]; Rahab [Josh. 6;24,25. Heb. 11:31]; Elisha [2 Kings 6:16,17]; Ebed-melech [Jer. 39:15-18].)
26 For the LORD shall be your confidence,
And shall keep safe your foot from being taken.
27 Withhold not good from them the owners thereof,
When it is in the power of your hand to do it. (Illustrations: Ammonites, &c. [Deut. 23:3,4]; Nabal [1 Sam. 28:10,11; cp. v.15]; Widow [1 Kings 17:12. 2 Kings 4:7]; Parable [Luke 10:30-35]; Corinthians [2 Cor. 8:1-11; 9:1-7].)
28 Say not to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,
And tomorrow I will give;"
When you have it by you.
29 Devise not evil against your neighbor,
Seeing he dwells confidently (or without suspicion) by you.
30 Strive not with a man without cause,
He has already done you enough harm.
31 Do not become excited against the man of violence,
And choose none of his ways. (Illustrations: Moses [Heb. 11:25,26]; Jezebel [1 Kings 21:7-13. Cp. 2 Kings 9:30-37]; Ps. 34:21.)
32 For those who turn aside are an abomination to the LORD:
But His secret counsel (what is sealed up from all save those to whom He reveals it) is with the righteous.
33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of a lawless one: (Illustrations: Baasha [1 Kings 16:1-4,12,13]; Jehoiakim [Jer. 22:13-19]; Coniah [Jer. 22:24-28]; Jehu [2 Kings 19:8-12. Hos. 1:4]; Hazael [Amos 1:4]; Jeroboam II [Amos 7:9]; Esau [Obad. 18].)
But He blesses the habitation of the just ones. (Illustrations: Abraham [Heb. 11:12. Contrast Ahab, 2 Kings 10:1-11]; Jacob [Gen. 30:27]; Joseph [Gen. 39:2,21]; Obed-edom [2 Sam. 6:11]; the widow [2 Kings 4:2,7].)
34 Surely He scorns the scorners:
But He gives grace to the lowly. (Quoted in Jas. 4:6. 1 Pet. 5:5.)
35 The wise shall inherit glory: (Illustrations: Asaph [Ps. 73:24]; Paul 2 Tim. 4:8] others [Jas. 1:12. Dan. 12:3. John 12:26)
But a fool (= fat, and then dense, or stupid, which comes of it, showing itself in impiety) is piling up disgrace. (Illustrations: Jeroboam [1 Kings 21:22. 2 Kings 13:2,11; 14:24; 15:9,18,24,28]. Cp. Prov. 24:8.)