The Wisdom Of Solomon
By Tom Brown
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me thou shalt say, I was not sick; they have beaten me, I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. Before honour is humility. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
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Selected from the King James Bible, Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.