Wisdom vs wily men, wicked women
Your bodyguard is Wisdom1 Child, here’s what you need to do. Listen to me, to Lady Wisdom,
Take my advice; accept it like treasure.
2 Keep your ears open for insight,
And your heart open for understanding.
3 Ask for good judgment,
And pray for understanding,
4 Search for Wisdom as though she’s Wealth.
Hunt her down like you’d track a treasure.
5 If you do this, you’ll discover what it means to revere the LORD.
And you’ll find out what it means to know God.
6 Wisdom is God’s product. He gives it.
Knowledge and good judgment come from him.
7 He’s the supplier of wisdom for people who obey.
He’s the shield of protection for people of integrity.
8 He guards all trails that lead to justice.
He protects his devoted people as they travel those paths.
9 Along the way you’ll come to discover goodness and justice,
And fairness and how to make good judgments throughout your life.
10 Wisdom will find its way inside your head.
Knowledge will cheer your soul.
11 Good sense will protect you.
Understanding’s got your back.
12 Wisdom is your bodyguard steering you away from danger,
And from crooks who lie to get what they want.
13 I’m talking about people who peeled off the path to God
So they could walk the dark trails away.
14 They love getting away with doing dirt.
They celebrate their crimes.
15 These are crooked souls who walk a crooked path.
Anything but stupid, they’re masters of their trade.
Watch out for loose women with a script16 Wisdom’s going to save you from that loose lady,
Who flatters men with a polished script.
17 She left the husband she married as a young woman,
And she broke the marriage contract she made before God.
18 Her house sits on the sinkhole of death.
The path she takes is a dead end.
19 No one who goes into her house comes out alive.
There’s no escape, no chance of life.
Stay on course with good people20 Stay on the right path, in good company.
It’s a good path with good people, so follow it.
21 Folks of integrity get to live in this world.
Good and godly get to stay.
22 The good-for-nothing gotta go.
Roots of the treacherous are going to get ripped from the ground.
The more literal phrase is “fear of the LORD.” This phrase shows up in Proverbs more than any other book in the Bible. “Fear,” most scholars say, doesn’t mean terror or fright. In Proverbs, it means reverence for God—devotion expressed in obedient behavior. Someone who fears the LORD is someone who lives in a way they believe pleases God. They know the rules, they value the rules, and they live by the rules. If they do this, sages promise God will give them a long and successful life (10:27; 14:27). Sages didn’t always get it right, not literally. But we should probably recognize their poetic license since they are expressing their ideas in the form of Hebrew poems. In which case, exaggeration is allowed.
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