The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 2


1 2 My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands,


3 Turning your ear to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding;


Yes, if you call to intelligence, and to understanding raise your voice;


If you seek her like silver, and like hidden treasures search her out:


Then will you understand the fear of the LORD; the knowledge of God you will find;


For the LORD gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;


He has counsel in store for the upright, he is the shield of those who walk honestly,


Guarding the paths of justice, protecting the way of his pious ones.


Then you will understand rectitude and justice, honesty, every good path;


For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will please your soul,


Discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you;


Saving you from the way of evil men, from men of perverse speech,


Who leave the straight paths to walk in the way of darkness,


Who delight in doing evil, rejoice in perversity;


Whose ways are crooked, and devious their paths;


Saving you from the wife of another, from the adulteress with her smooth words,


Who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the pact with her God;


For her path sinks down to death, and her footsteps lead to the shades;


None who enter thereon come back again, or gain the paths of life.


Thus you may walk in the way of good men, and keep to the paths of the just.


For the upright will dwell in the land, the honest will remain in it;


But the wicked will be cut off from the land, the faithless will be rooted out of it.



1 [Chapters 2-7] These chapters form an ordered discourse in seven "columns" of twenty-two verses each. Chapter 2 introduces the four topics about which the sage instructs his pupil: the service of God ( Proverb 3:1-12, 25-34) the search for wisdom ( Proverb 3:13-24, 35; 4:1-9), the avoidance of evil companions among men ( Proverb 4:10-27; 5:21-23), and among women ( 5:1-20; 6:20- 7:27). The last topic is treated at a length equal to the first three because the discourse is meant especially for youths (cf Proverb 1:4).

2 [1-22] The search for wisdom ( Proverb 2:1-4) leads to the protection of God ( Proverb 2:5-8) and of wisdom herself ( Proverb 2:9-11; cf Proverb 1:20-33) and to deliverance from evil men ( Proverb 2:12-15) and evil women ( Proverb 2:16-19), and so to lasting happiness ( Proverb 2:20-22).

3 [2-3] Wisdom, understanding, intelligence: various names or aspects of the same gift.

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