Letters to My Sons
from the Book of PROVERBS
Arranged by Don Stanton
MARANATHA REVIVAL CRUSADE, APPLECROSS, W. AUSTRALIA
The Book of Proverbs,
written mostly by King Solomon,
is an inspired collection of wise sayings
which form a “library of instruction”
for moral and spiritual behaviour –
on how to live a righteous life here on earth.
of the proverbs present a comparison or contrast –
between wisdom and foolishness, between good and evil,
honesty and deceit, the righteous and the wicked, the
hard worker and the lazy; the desirable wife and the
detestable woman; the drinker without a future and the
wise with security and a blessed future; and between the
reward and retribution (punishment).
is the theme running throughout the book, and the
proverbs bring instruction on every type of human
relationship and activity – on foolishness, goodness,
wealth, poverty, the tongue, pride, humility, justice,
vengeance, strife, gluttony, love, lust, laziness,
friends, the family, life, and death.
presented as a “woman who cannot be compared with
jewels” or anything else. She is a “tree of life” who
will protect us from mistakes, falls, foolishness and
evils. She is precious; and blessed are all who find her
and embrace her.
detestable, loose, immoral woman
who leads men to ruin and to
hell, with the
wife of one’s youth
sensible, careful and faithful.
The immoral woman
should be totally avoided and rejected. The faithful
wife is to be greatly desired for she is a crown to her
The husband who
rejoices in his wife obtains blessing from the LORD.
THE MESSAGE IS FOR DAUGHTERS ALSO!
proverbs are addressed to sons, the principles apply to
daughters also. A daughter should aspire to be the
excellent wife of a God-fearing man – a man of honesty
and principles. And daughters should be very wary of
unprincipled men – senseless, immoral, drinking men who
can bring them misery.
also be very wary of temptations placed in front of them
by people who do not reverence YAHWEH. A wise daughter
will bring joy to her father and mother, and to her
FIRST, WE MUST REALISE AND REMEMBER
we cannot become
wise, as the Scriptures encourages to us to be, simply
by our own effort and determination. The New Testament
teaches us that God’s Son, Y’shua, Jesus the Messiah, is
the wisdom of God. Paul wrote:
preach Messiah (Christ) crucified ... Christ the
of God and the
of God.” (1
says: “If any of you lacks
wisdom, let him
ask of God who gives generously, without finding fault,
to everyone; and it will be given to him. But let him
ask in faith without any doubting.” (James 1:5-6)
Y’shua said: “Ask, and it
will be given to you;
seek, and you will
find; knock, and the door will be opened
to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
writes: “But by God’s doing, you are implanted
in the Messiah, Y’shua, who
has become to us wisdom
from God, and righteousness,
sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians
the believer can say … “I
can do all things through the Messiah who
SEEK WISDOM AND
REVERENCE OF YAHWEH
To my sons ...
PROVERBS 1:2-4, 7-8
These proverbs are
written so that you may …
know wisdom and
* discern the
words of understanding, and
* receive the
instruction of wise behaviour,
and in doing
what is right, just and honest.
* They are to give
insight to the simple, and
knowledge and discretion to the young man.
My son, hear your
father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s
wisdom and instruction.
and to stand in awe of YAHWEH is the beginning of
BE ATTENTIVE TO WISDOM
My son, if you
receive my words,
and treasure my
commands within you,
and give your
attention to wisdom,
apply your heart to understanding;
and if you call
out for discernment,
cry out for understanding;
and seek wisdom
and search for her
as for hidden treasures;
then you will
understand how awesome YAHWEH is, and you will
discover the knowledge of God.
For YAHWEH gives
wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and
He stores up
solid, reliable wisdom for the upright,
for YAHWEH is
a shield to those who walk uprightly and honestly.
He guards the
paths of justice, and protects the way of His devout,
So then you will
understand righteousness, justice, honesty and
every good path.
For wisdom will
enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your
WISDOM IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN JEWELS
15, 18, 21-24
How blessed is the
man who finds wisdom and the man who gains
She (wisdom) is
more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can
compare with her.
She is a tree of
life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all
who embrace her.
My son, maintain
wisdom, discretion and discernment; do not let
them out of your sight.
They will be
an adornment for your neck; and you will walk safely in
your way, and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down,
you will not be afraid.
When you lie down,
your sleep will be sweet.
GET WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING
Sons! Listen to
the instruction of a father, and concentrate on gaining
understanding; for I have given you sound teaching.
Do not forsake my
When I was a son
in my father’s house, still tender and the
only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me
and said to me:
“Take hold of my
words with all your heart.
Keep my commands
Get wisdom! Get
Do not forget the
words of my mouth or turn away from them!
Do not forsake
wisdom, and she will protect you.
Love her, and she
will watch over you.”
ACKNOWLEDGE AND HONOUR YAHWEH
My son, do not
forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will add length of days, years of life, and
peace to you.
Do not let
leave you; bind them around your neck.
Write them on
‘the memory board’ of your heart, and you will find
favour and good repute in the sight of God and man.
in YAHWEH with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in
your own eyes; fear YAHWEH and turn away from evil.
It will be healing
to your body, and nourishment to your bones.
Honour YAHWEH with
your possessions, and from the first of all your produce
or income; then your barns will be filled with
plenty, and your storage containers will overflow with
My son, do not
despise the discipline of YAHWEH, and do not loathe
or resent His reproof, for whoever YAHWEH loves, He
corrects, just as a father corrects the son in
whom he delights.
BEWARE OF TEMPTATIONS FROM PEOPLE
13-16; 29:24-25; 18:24
My son, if sinners
entice or tempt you, do not consent or
If they say, “Come
with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us
ambush the innocent without cause.
“We will find all
kinds of precious wealth, we will fill our houses
with spoil. Throw in your lot with us; we will all share
walk in the way with them;
and do not set foot on their paths; for their feet run
to evil, and they are swift to shed blood.
He who is a
partner with a thief hates his own life.
The fear of man
brings a snare, but he who trusts in YAHWEH will be set
on high - protected.
A man of
may come to
ruin, but there is a
stays closer than a brother.
23:29-35; 21:17; 23:15-21
Wine is a mocker;
strong drink is a riotous braw-ler; whoever is
intoxicated by them is not wise.
Who has woe? Who
has sorrows? Who has contentions? Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
— those who linger long over wine; those who go in
search of strong drink - alcohol.
Do not look on the
wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, and
when it goes down smoothly.
At the end it
bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.
Under its influence
eyes will see weird things, and your mind will say crazy
You will be like
one lying down in the midst of the sea, and like one
lying at the top of a mast, crying, ‘They struck
me, but I was not hurt. They beat me, but
I did not feel it. When shall I wake up so I can
get another drink?’
He who loves
pleasure will become a poor man. He who loves
wine and oil will not become rich.
My son, if your
heart is wise, then my heart also will be glad; and my
soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.
Do not let your
heart envy sinners, but always live in reverence
and awe of YAHWEH.
Surely there is a
future – an end result. And your hope will not be cut
Listen, my son,
and be wise, and keep your heart in the right
Do not join with
boozers and alcoholics, or with gluttonous eaters
of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come
to poverty; and drowsiness will clothe them with
WAY OF THE WICKED
4:10-11, 14-19, 23-27; 22:24-25; 27:20
My son, listen and
accept my sayings, and the years of your life will be
I have taught you
in the way of wisdom; I have led you along right and
Do not enter the
path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil
Keep away from it!
Do not travel on it!
Turn from it and
pass on to the righteous way!
For they (the
wicked) cannot sleep unless they do evil; they are
robbed of their sleep unless they make someone
stumble or fall.
For they eat the
bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
The way of the
wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes
them stumble, but the path of the righteous is like the
light of dawn, that shines ever brighter until the full
light of day.
your heart, for out of it flow the springs of
Let your eyes look
directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in
front of you.
the path your feet tread, and let all your ways be firm
and ordered aright.
Do not turn to the
right or to the left. Turn your foot away from evil.
Do not make
friendship with an angry man; and do not go with a
hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways and find
destruction are never satisfied; neither are the eyes of
man ever satisfied.
SEVEN ABOMINABLE THINGS
There are six
things that YAHWEH hates; yes, seven which are
an abomination – they are detestable to Him:
1 proud haughty
2 a lying
3 hands that
shed innocent blood
4 a heart that
devises wicked plans
5 feet that are
quick to rush into evil
6 a false
witness who speaks lies
7 and a person
who causes strife among brothers.
19:13;-14; 21:9, 19; 27:15
quarrelling is like a constant dripping – an
irritation; but a wise, sensible and careful
wife is from YAHWEH.
It is better to
live in a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with
a contentious, quarrelsome woman.
It is better to
live in a desert land, than with a contentious and angry
contentious woman is alike a constant dripping on a
BEWARE OF THE LOOSE, IMMORAL WOMAN 5:1-14
My son, be
attentive to my wisdom. Listen well to my insight, my
understanding, so that you may maintain discretion –
discernment and wise carefulness, and that your
lips preserve knowledge.
For the lips of an
immoral woman drip honey and her speech is smoother than
in the end
she is as bitter as wormwood
very bitter plant, and as sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down
to death. Her steps lead straight to Sheol – the grave.
She gives no
thought to the way of life; her ways are unstable,
but she does not know it.
Now then, my
sons, listen to me and do not turn away from the words I
a path far from her
and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give
vigour to others and your years to one who is cruel; and
then strangers feast on your wealth, and your
hard-earned goods enrich the house of a stranger.
Then, at the end
of your life you groan, when your flesh and your body
are consumed, you say:
“How I have hated
instruction! Oh how my heart despised correction!
“I did not listen
to the voice of my teachers, or pay attention to my
“I was on the
verge of total ruin in the midst of the congregation and
DON’T BE A VICTIM OF THE LOOSE WOMAN
7:24-27; 2:16, 20
my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the
words I speak.
Do not let your
heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her
the victims she has cast down,
numerous and strong were those she has slain.
Her house is the
way to Sheol – the grave - going down to the dungeons of
deliver you from the loose woman; and from the
adulteress who flatters with her words.
And you will walk
in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the
DON’T GET BURNED!
My son, keep your
father’s commands, and do not forsake the wise
teaching of your mother.
For these commands
are a lamp; the teaching is a light; and the reproofs of
discipline are the way of life, keeping you from the
evil woman, and from the smooth tongue of a loose
Do not lust after
her ‘beauty’ in your heart, and do not let her captivate
you with her eyelids; for the prostitute reduces
you to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress preys on
your very life.
Can a man take
fire into his arms without his clothes being burned?
Or can a man walk
on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING WILL PROTECT YOU
carefulness) will protect you.
watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil;
from the man who
speaks perverse and improper things;
from those who
leave the paths of uprightness and walk in the ways of
who delight in doing wrong and who rejoice in the
perverseness of evil;
and from those
whose paths are crooked and who are devious
and tricky in their ways.
My son, keep my
words, and treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands
and live, and regard my teaching as the apple of
your eye - that which you desire the most.
Bind them on your
fingers; write them on the ‘memory board’ of your heart.
“You are my sister,” and call
closest relation and friend.
BLESSED WIFE OF YOUR YOUTH
finds a wife finds what is good; and he obtains
favour from YAHWEH.
excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but a disgraceful wife
like rottenness in his bones.
Let your fountain
of life be blessed.
Rejoice in the
wife of your youth - like a loving deer and a graceful
Let her breasts
satisfy you always. Be enraptured always with her love,
for why should you, my son, be exhilarated with another
woman, and be embraced by the arms of an immoral woman?
The ways of a man
are before the eyes of YAHWEH, and He examines
all his paths.
EXCELLENT – SENSIBLE, CAREFUL,
Who can find an
excellent, capable, intelligent, virtuous wife?
worth far more than rubies.
The heart of her
husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything
She brings him
good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
She looks for wool
and flax, and with delight she works with her hands.
She is like a
merchant ship; she brings her food from afar.
Yes, she gets up
while it is still night, and provides food to her
household, and a portion to her maidservants.
She considers a
field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a
She puts on
strength, and makes her arms strong.
She sees that her
merchandise is good and profitable. Her lamp does
not go out at night.
She stretches out
her hands to the distaff (the wool-holder), and her
hands grasp the spindle.
She extends her
hand to the poor; yes, she stretches out her hands to
She is not afraid
for her household because of snow, for all her
household are clothed in scarlet.
tapestries and coverings for herself; her
clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is
known in the gates of the city, when he sits
among the elders of the land.
She makes linen
garments and sells them, and supplies belts to
dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at
the future, and will rejoice in time to come.
She opens her
mouth and speaks with wisdom, and the teaching of
kindness is on her tongue.
She watches over
the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of
Her children rise
up and call her blessed; her husband also; and he
praises her, saying:
daughters have done excellently, but you surpass them
deceitful and beauty is vain and fleeting,
but a woman who fears YAHWEH is to be
Give her the
reward of her hands, and let her works praise her in the
17:6; 23:13-14; 22:6,15; 29:17, 15
are the crown of old men; and fathers are the pride
of their sons.
Do not hold back
discipline from a child; although you beat him
with the rod, he will not die.
Beat him with the
rod, and deliver his soul from Sheol.
child in the way he should go, and when he is old he
will not turn away from it.
bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of
discipline will drive it far from him.
Correct your son,
and he will give you rest. And he will bring
delight to your soul.
The rod and
reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way
brings shame to his mother.
ETERNAL WISDOM CALLS OUT TO EVERYONE
4-7, 10-11, 17, 22-23, 27-36; 9:10
call out, and understanding raise her voice?
“To you, O people,
I call out, and my voice is to the sons of men –
to all mankind.
“O you simple
ones, learn to be sensible and careful; and you foolish
ones, have an understanding heart.
“Listen, for I
will speak trust-worthy things; and I will open my lips
to reveal what is right.
“My mouth will
speak truth; for wickedness is detestable to my lips.
instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than
wisdom is better than jewels; and no desirable thing can
compare with her.
love those who love Me; and those who seek Me diligently
will find Me.
me (wisdom) at the beginning of His way, before
His works of old.
I was established
from eternity, from the beginning, before there was ever
“When He prepared
the heavens, I was there.
“When He ordained
a circle on the face of the deep; when He established
the clouds above; when He fixed securely the fountains
of the deep; when He set boundaries for the sea so that
the water would not overstep His command; and when He
marked out the foundations of the earth, I was the
master craftsman at His side. I was daily His
delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His
inhabited world, and My delight was in the sons
of men – mankind.
“Now therefore, O
sons, listen to me, for blessed are those who keep my
ways. Listen to instruction and be wise, and do not
“Blessed is the
man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates,
and waiting at my doors.
who finds me (wisdom), finds life, and obtains
favour from YAHWEH.
“But he who misses
me or sins against me, injures himself. All
those who hate me, love death.”
and stand in awe of YAHWEH is the beginning of
wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy One is
CONTRAST BETWEEN WISE & FOOLISH SONS
10:1-3, 5; 12:15; 13:20; 13:14; 14:16, 26; 19:13;
A wise son brings
joy to his father, but a foolish son gives grief
to his mother.
He who gathers
crops in summer is a wise son; but he
who sleeps during harvest is a son who causes
The way of a fool
is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who
listens to advice.
He who walks with
wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will
The teaching of
the wise is a fountain of life, turning one away
from the snares of death.
A wise man stands
in awe of YAHWEH and turns away from evil; but a
fool is brash and careless.
A foolish man
despises his mother, and is the ruin of his father, but
a wise son brings joy to his father.
The father of the
righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who produces a
wise son delights in him.
Let your father
and mother be glad, and let her who gave you birth,
LAZINESS BRINGS POVERTY
6:6-11; 20:4, 13; 21:25; 28:19
Lazy one, go to
the ant; observe its ways and be wise. It has no
commander, overseer or ruler, yet it stores its
provisions in the summer and gathers its food at the
How long will you
slumber, lazy one? When will you get up from your
a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”
your poverty will come
on you like a robber, and your scarcity
will attack you
like an armed man.
The lazy person
does not plough after the autumn, therefore he begs
during the harvest and has nothing.
Do not love sleep,
or you will become poor.
Open your eyes –
stay awake, and you will be satisfied with food.
The desire of the
lazy man will be the death of him, for his hands refuse
He who works his
land will have plenty of food, but he who pursues empty
dreams will have a lot of poverty.
WEALTH, DISHONESTY & SECURITY
10:2, 19, 12:22; 11:1, 4; 20:10, 15, 17; 11:16, 18, 25;
27; 16:8, 16; 21:4, 6-7; 30: 8; 23:4-5
name is to be chosen, and is more desirable than
to be respected, is better than
silver and gold.
by wickedness do not profit; but righteousness delivers
Where there are
many words, sin and transgression will not be
lacking; but he who restrains his lips is wise.
Lying lips are
detestable to YAHWEH, but those who act faithfully are
an abomination to YAHWEH, but an accurate weight is
and differing measures, YAHWEH detests both of them –
they are an abomination.
There is gold and
an abundance of jewels, but the lips of knowledge are
a more precious thing.
Food obtained by
deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will
be filled with gravel.
Wealth does not
profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers
A gracious woman
gains respect and honour; but ruthless men gain only
The wicked earns
but he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.
The generous man
will be prosperous, and he who gives water will himself
Better is a little
with reverence of YAHWEH, than great wealth with
One who is greedy
troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes
Better is a little
with righteousness than great income with injustice.
How much better it
is to get wisdom than gold; and to choose understanding
rather than silver.
Haughty eyes and a
proud heart are the lamp of the wicked; and it’s sin!
getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting
vapour, and the pursuit of death.
The violence of
the wicked will drag them away because they refuse to do
what is just.
Keep deception and
lies far from me.
Give me neither
poverty nor riches; feed me with only my daily
portion of bread.
wear yourself out to gain riches;
cease from your own understanding!
Don’t set your
eyes on that which disappears ?
certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle it flies
toward the heavens.
YAHWEH IS A STRONG REFUGE
14:26; 10:3; 10:22, 25; 7, 27
The Name of YAHWEH
is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
In standing in awe
and reverence of YAHWEH there is strong
confidence; and His children will have a place of
will not allow the righteous to hunger,
but He repels the craving of the wicked.
It is the blessing
of YAHWEH that makes one rich, and He adds no
sorrow to it.
When the tornado
passes, the wicked are no more, but the
righteous have an everlasting foundation.
man who walks in his integrity – upright - his children
are blessed after him.
The spirit of a
man is the lamp of YAHWEH, searching all the depths of
man’s innermost being.
Don’t get into debt!
The rich rule over
the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
Better is the poor
who walks in his integrity – in an upright way, than he
who is crooked in his ways though he be
RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED BEHAVIOUR
14:12; 12:10; 15:1, 3; 15:29, 19:23; 22:1; 21:13,
16; 24:16; 29:7
There is a way
that seems right to a man, but at the end it is the
way of death.
A righteous man
is concerned for the life of his beast, but even
the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The eyes of YAHWEH
are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the
YAHWEH is far from
the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
and to stand in awe of YAHWEH will lead to life;
then one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
He who closes his
ear to the cry of the poor, will cry out himself and not
A man who wanders
away from the way of wisdom and understanding,
will rest in the company of the dead.
Even though a
righteous man falls seven times, he will
rise again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
The righteous are
concerned for the rights of the poor; but the
wicked have no such concern.
ATTENTION TO THE WORD
15:33; 20:22; 21:31; 28:10, 13; 29:1; 29:23; 11:30
He who gives
attention to the Word will find good. Blessed is he who
trusts in YAHWEH.
and stand in awe of YAHWEH is the way to
instruction in wisdom; and humility comes before honour.
Do not say, “I
will repay evil”! Wait for YAHWEH, and He will save
The horse is
prepared for the day of battle, but
deliverance and victory is of YAHWEH.
He who leads the
upright into an evil way, will himself fall into his own
pit; but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
He who covers his
sins does not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes
them finds compassion.
A man who remains
still-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be broken
A man’s pride will
bring him low; but the humble in spirit will gain
The fruit of the
righteous is a tree of life, and
wins souls is wise.
WISDOM IS LIKE HONEY
My son, eat honey,
for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to
Know also that
wisdom is like honey for your soul. If you find
be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
AGAIN I SAY, REMEMBER …
We cannot become
wise, as the Scriptures encourages to us to be, by our
own effort and determination. The New Testament says:
preach Messiah (Christ) crucified ... Christ the
of God and the
any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God who gives generously, without finding fault, to
everyone; and it will be given to him. But let him ask
in faith without any doubting.” (James 1:5-6)
“Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find; knock, and the
will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
by His doing, you are implanted in the Messiah,
Y’shua, who has become to
sanctification, and redemption.”(1 Corinthians 1:30)
Therefore … “I can do all
things through the Messiah who empowers me.”
My Sons …
May YAHWEH bless you, and keep you.
May YAHWEH make His face to shine on you, and be
gracious to you.
May YAHWEH lift up His countenance on you, and give you