Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 134

Bible text(s)

The Benefits of Wisdom

1Listen to what your father teaches you, my children. Pay attention, and you will have understanding. 2What I am teaching you is good, so remember it all. 3When I was only a little boy, my parents' only son, 4my father would teach me. He would say, “Remember what I say and never forget it. Do as I tell you, and you will live. 5Get wisdom and insight! Do not forget or ignore what I say. 6Do not abandon wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will keep you safe. 7Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight. 8Love wisdom, and she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will bring you honour. 9She will be your crowning glory.”

10Listen to me, my child. Take seriously what I am telling you, and you will live a long life. 11I have taught you wisdom and the right way to live. 12Nothing will stand in your way if you walk wisely, and you will not stumble when you run. 13Always remember what you have learnt. Your education is your life — guard it well. 14Do not go where evil people go. Do not follow the example of the wicked. 15Don't do it! Keep away from evil! Refuse it and go on your way. 16Wicked people cannot sleep unless they have done something wrong. They lie awake unless they have hurt someone. 17Wickedness and violence are like food and drink to them.

18The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come. 19The road of the wicked, however, is dark as night. They fall, but cannot see what they have stumbled over.

20Pay attention to what I say, my child. Listen to my words. 21Never let them get away from you. Remember them and keep them in your heart. 22They will give life and health to anyone who understands them. 23Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. 24Never say anything that isn't true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. 25Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don't hang your head in shame. 26Plan carefully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right. 27Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don't go one step off the right way.

Warning against Adultery

1Pay attention, my child, and listen to my wisdom and insight. 2Then you will know how to behave properly, and your words will show that you have knowledge. 3The lips of another man's wife may be as sweet as honey and her kisses as smooth as olive oil, 4but when it is all over, she leaves you nothing but bitterness and pain. 5She will take you down to the world of the dead; the road she walks is the road to death. 6She does not stay on the road to life; but wanders off, and does not realize what is happening.

7Now listen to me, my children, and never forget what I am saying. 8Keep away from such a woman! Don't even go near her door! 9If you do, others will gain the respect that you once had, and you will die young at the hands of merciless people. 10Yes, strangers will take all your wealth, and what you have worked for will belong to someone else. 11You will lie groaning on your deathbed, your flesh and muscles being eaten away, 12and you will say, “Why would I never learn? Why would I never let anyone correct me? 13I wouldn't listen to my teachers. I paid no attention to them. 14And suddenly I found myself publicly disgraced.”

15Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone. 16Children that you have by other women will do you no good. 17Your children should grow up to help you, not strangers. 18So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married — 19pretty and graceful as a deer. Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love. 20Why should you give your love to another woman, my son? Why should you prefer the charms of another man's wife? 21The LORD sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching. 22The sins of the wicked are a trap. They get caught in the net of their own sin. 23They die because they have no self-control. Their utter stupidity will send them to their graves.

More Warnings

1Have you promised to be responsible for someone else's debts, my child? 2Have you been caught by your own words, trapped by your own promises? 3Well then, my child, you are in that person's power, but this is how to get out of it: hurry to him, and beg him to release you. 4Don't let yourself go to sleep or even stop to rest. 5Get out of the trap like a bird or a deer escaping from a hunter.

6Lazy people should learn a lesson from the way ants live. 7They have no leader, chief, or ruler, 8but they store up their food during the summer, getting ready for winter. 9How long is the lazy man going to lie in bed? When is he ever going to get up? 10“I'll just take a short nap,” he says; “I'll fold my hands and rest a while.” 11But while he sleeps, poverty will attack him like an armed robber.

12Worthless, wicked people go around telling lies. 13They wink and make gestures to deceive you, 14all the while planning evil in their perverted minds, stirring up trouble everywhere. 15Because of this, disaster will strike them without warning, and they will be fatally wounded.

16-19There are seven things that the LORD hates and cannot tolerate:

    a proud look,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill innocent people,
    a mind that thinks up wicked plans,
    feet that hurry off to do evil,
    a witness who tells one lie after another,
    and someone who stirs up trouble among friends.

Warning against Adultery

20Do what your father tells you, my son, and never forget what your mother taught you. 21Keep their words with you always, locked in your heart. 22Their teaching will lead you when you travel, protect you at night, and advise you during the day. 23Their instructions are a shining light; their correction can teach you how to live. 24It can keep you away from bad women, from the seductive words of other men's wives. 25Don't be tempted by their beauty; don't be trapped by their flirting eyes. 26A man can hire a prostitute for the price of a loaf of bread, but adultery will cost him all he has.

27Can you carry fire against your chest without burning your clothes? 28Can you walk on hot coals without burning your feet? 29It is just as dangerous to sleep with another man's wife. Whoever does it will suffer. 30People don't despise a thief if he steals food when he is hungry; 31yet if he is caught, he must pay back seven times more — he must give up everything he has. 32But a man who commits adultery hasn't any sense. He is just destroying himself. 33He will be dishonoured and beaten up; he will be permanently disgraced. 34A husband is never angrier than when he is jealous; his revenge knows no limits. 35He will not accept any payment; no amount of gifts will satisfy his anger.

1Remember what I say, my child, and never forget what I tell you to do. 2Do what I say, and you will live. Be as careful to follow my teaching as you are to protect your eyes. 3Keep my teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart. 4Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend. 5They will keep you away from other men's wives, from women with seductive words.

The Immoral Woman

6Once I was looking out of the window of my house, 7and I saw many inexperienced young men, but noticed one foolish fellow in particular. 8He was walking along the street near the corner where a certain woman lived. He was passing near her house 9in the evening after it was dark. 10And then she met him; she was dressed like a prostitute and was making plans. 11She was a bold and shameless woman who always walked the streets 12or stood waiting at a corner, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the market place. 13She threw her arms round the young man, kissed him, looked him straight in the eye, and said, 14“I made my offerings today and have the meat from the sacrifices. 15So I came out looking for you. I wanted to find you, and here you are! 16I've covered my bed with sheets of coloured linen from Egypt. 17I've perfumed it with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come on! Let's make love all night long. We'll be happy in each other's arms. 19My husband isn't at home. He's gone away on a long journey. 20He took plenty of money with him and won't be back for two weeks.” 21So she tempted him with her charms, and he gave in to her smooth talk. 22Suddenly he was going with her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, like a deer prancing into a trap 23where an arrow would pierce its heart. He was like a bird going into a net — he did not know that his life was in danger.

24Now then, my sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. 25Do not let such a woman win your heart; don't go wandering after her. 26She has been the ruin of many men and caused the death of too many to count. 27If you go to her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It is a short cut to death.

Proverbs 4:1-7:27GNBOpen in Bible reader
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