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Exhortations to Seek Wisdom and Walk with the Lord[a]

My child,[b] do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep[c] my commandments,
for they will provide[d] a long and full life,[e]
and well-being[f] for you.

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  1. Proverbs 3:1 sn The chapter begins with an introductory exhortation (1-4), followed by an admonition to be faithful to the Lord (5-12). Wisdom is commended as the most valuable possession (13-18), essential to creation (19-20), and the way to a long and safe life (21-26). There then follows a warning to avoid unneighborliness (27-30) and emulating the wicked (31-35).
  2. Proverbs 3:1 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in vv. 11, 21).
  3. Proverbs 3:1 tn The verb יִצֹּר (yitsor) is a Qal jussive and the noun לִבֶּךָ (libbekha, “your heart”) functions as the subject: “let your heart keep my commandments.”
  4. Proverbs 3:2 tn Heb “They will add to you.” The verb appears in the second half of the Hebrew line but has been moved to the beginning in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
  5. Proverbs 3:2 tn Heb “length of days and years of life” (so NASB, NRSV). The idiom “length of days” refers to a prolonged life and “years of life” signifies a long time full of life, a life worth living (T. T. Perowne, Proverbs, 51). The term “life” refers to “earthly felicity combined with spiritual blessedness” (BDB 313 s.v. חַיִּים).
  6. Proverbs 3:2 tn The noun שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) here means “welfare, health, prosperity” (BDB 1022 s.v. 3). It can be used of physical health and personal well-being. It is the experience of positive blessing and freedom from negative harm and catastrophe.

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