The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. -- 1:7

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. -- 3:5-6

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens.  By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. -- 3:19-20

The beginning of wisdom is:  Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. -- 4:7

Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold.  For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her. -- 8:10-11

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you. -- 9:8

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. -- 9:10-11

A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother. -- 10:1

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. -- 10:12

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. -- 10:19

Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. -- 11:14

As a ring of gold in a swine's snout so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. -- 11:22

The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered. -- 11:25

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. -- 11:30

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. -- 12:4

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. -- 12:18

A wise son accepts his father's discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. -- 13:1

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. -- 13:12

He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently. -- 13:24

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. -- 14:12

In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. -- 14:26-27

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. -- 14:29

The wicked is thrust down by his wrongdoing, but the righteous has a refuge when he dies. -- 14:32

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. -- 14:34

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -- 15:1

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. -- 15:13

Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and turmoil with it.  Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a  fattened ox served with hatred. -- 15:16-17

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. -- 15:22

The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility. -- 15:33

All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives. -- 16:2

Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice. -- 16:8

The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. -- 16:9

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. -- 16:18

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -- 16:24

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. -- 16:25

A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness. -- 16:31

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. -- 16:32

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. -- 16:33

Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife. -- 17:1

Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly. -- 17:12

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. -- 17:17

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. -- 17:22

Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent. -- 17:28

The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. -- 18:4

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. -- 18:10

He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. -- 18:13

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. -- 18:21

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. -- 18:22

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. -- 18:24

A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. -- 19:11

House and wealth are an  inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. -- 19:14

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. -- 20:1

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man? -- 20:6

Who can say, "I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin"? -- 20:9

Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. -- 20:17

The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the innermost parts of his being. -- 20:27

The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair. -- 20:29

Every man's way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts. -- 21:2

To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice. -- 21:3

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered. -- 21:13

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. -- 21:23

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the LORD. -- 21:31

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold. The rich and the poor have a common bond, the LORD is the maker of them all. -- 22:1-2

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. -- 22:6

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him. -- 22:15

Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.  You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol. -- 23:13-14

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. -- 24:3-4

My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the  honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;  know that wisdom is thus for your soul; if you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. -- 24:13-14

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles. -- 24:17

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest," then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man. -- 24:33-34

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken inright circumstances. -- 25:11

Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, is he who sings songs to a troubled heart. -- 25:20

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. -- 25:21-22

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. -- 26:4

Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. -- 26:11

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for him. -- 26:12

Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him. -- 26:17

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. --27:1

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. -- 27:2

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. -- 27:17

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. -- 28:13

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. -- 29:15

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law. -- 29:18

Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know! -- 30:4

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?"  Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God. -- 30:8-9

Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to him whose life is bitter.  Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more. -- 31:6-7

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. -- 31:10

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. -- 31:30


The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. -- 2:6-8

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.  Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your  vats will overflow with new wine.  My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD or loathe His reproof, for  whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. -- 3:7-12

Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well.  Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?  Let them be yours alone and not for strangers with you.  Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. -- 5:15-18

Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise,  which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.  How long will you lie down, O sluggard?  When will you arise from your sleep? "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest."  Your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man. -- 6:6-11

There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:  Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans,feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. -- 6:16-19

My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you.  Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.  Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.  Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your intimate friend. -- 7:1-4

The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old.  From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.  Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought forth; while He had not yet made the earth and the fields, nor the first dust of the world.  When He established the heavens, I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed, when He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth; then I was beside Him, as a master workman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world, His earth, and having my delight in the sons of men. -- 8:22-31

When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man of great appetite.  Do not desire his delicacies, for it is deceptive food.  Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.  When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. -- 23:1-5

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?  Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine.  Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper.  Your eyes will see strange things and your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.  "They struck me, but I did not become ill; they beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." -- 23:29-35

I passed by the field of the sluggard and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.  When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction.  "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest," then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man. -- 24:30-34

The leech has two daughters, "Give, give."  There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say, "Enough":  Sheol, and the barren womb, earth that is never satisfied with water, and fire that never says, "Enough."  The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.  There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand:  The way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid. -- 30:15-19

Under three things the earth quakes, and under four, it cannot bear up:  Under a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is satisfied with food, under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.  Four things are small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer; the shephanim are not mighty people, yet they make their houses in the rocks; the locusts have no king, yet all of them go out in ranks; the lizard you may grasp with the hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.  There are three things which are stately in their march, even four which are stately when they walk:  The lion which is mighty among beasts and does not retreat before any, the strutting rooster, the male goat also, and a king when his army is with him. -- 30:21-31

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.  She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying:  "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all."  Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.  Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. -- 31:25-31


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"May," from the 2001 Jewish Art Calendar by Mickie Caspie, copyright © 2000
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