Chapter 2

1My son, if you accept my words And treasure up my commandments;

אבְּנִי אִם־תִּקַּח אֲמָרָי וּמִצְוׂתַי תִּצְפֹּן אִתָּךְ׃

2If you make your ear attentive to wisdom And your mind open to discernment;

בלְהַקְשִׁיב לַחָכְמָה אָזְנֶךָ תַּטֶּה לִבְּךָ לַתְּבוּנָה׃

3If you call to understanding And cry aloud to discernment,

גכִּי אִם לַבִּינָה תִקְרָא לַתְּבוּנָה תִּתֵּן קוֹלֶךָ׃

4If you seek it as you do silver And search for it as for treasures,

דאִם־תְּבַקְשֶׁנָּה כַכָּסֶף וְכַמַּטְמוֹנִים תַּחְפְּשֶׂנָּה׃

5Then you will understand the fear of Hashem And attain knowledge of Hashem.

האָז תָּבִין יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה וְדַעַת אֱלֹהִים תִּמְצָא׃

6For Hashem grants wisdom; Knowledge and discernment are by His decree.

וכִּי־יְהֹוָה יִתֵּן חָכְמָה מִפִּיו דַּעַת וּתְבוּנָה׃

7He reserves ability for the upright And is a shield for those who live blamelessly,

זוצפן [יִצְפֹּן] לַיְשָׁרִים תּוּשִׁיָּה מָגֵן לְהֹלְכֵי תֹם׃

8Guarding the paths of justice, Protecting the way of those loyal to Him.

חלִנְצֹר אָרְחוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וְדֶרֶךְ חסידו [חֲסִידָיו] יִשְׁמֹר׃

9You will then understand what is right, just, And equitable—every good course.

טאָז תָּבִין צֶדֶק וּמִשְׁפָּט וּמֵישָׁרִים כָּל־מַעְגַּל־טוֹב׃

10For wisdom will enter your mind And knowledge will delight you.

יכִּי־תָבוֹא חָכְמָה בְלִבֶּךָ וְדַעַת לְנַפְשְׁךָ יִנְעָם׃

11Foresight will protect you, And discernment will guard you.

יאמְזִמָּה תִּשְׁמֹר עָלֶיךָ תְּבוּנָה תִנְצְרֶכָּה׃

12It will save you from the way of evil men, From men who speak duplicity,

יבלְהַצִּילְךָ מִדֶּרֶךְ רָע מֵאִישׁ מְדַבֵּר תַּהְפֻּכוֹת׃

13Who leave the paths of rectitude To follow the ways of darkness,

יגהַעֹזְבִים אָרְחוֹת יֹשֶׁר לָלֶכֶת בְּדַרְכֵי־חֹשֶׁךְ׃

14Who rejoice in doing evil And exult in the duplicity of evil men,

ידהַשְּׂמֵחִים לַעֲשׂוֹת רָע יָגִילוּ בְּתַהְפֻּכוֹת רָע׃

15Men whose paths are crooked And who are devious in their course.

טואֲשֶׁר אָרְחֹתֵיהֶם עִקְּשִׁים וּנְלוֹזִים בְּמַעְגְּלוֹתָם׃

16It will save you from the forbidden woman, From the alien woman whose talk is smooth,

טזלְהַצִּילְךָ מֵאִשָּׁה זָרָה מִנָּכְרִיָּה אֲמָרֶיהָ הֶחֱלִיקָה׃

17Who forsakes the companion of her youth And disregards the covenant of her God.

יזהַעֹזֶבֶת אַלּוּף נְעוּרֶיהָ וְאֶת־בְּרִית אֱלֹהֶיהָ שָׁכֵחָה׃

18Her house sinks down to Death, And her course leads to the shades.

יחכִּי שָׁחָה אֶל־מָוֶת בֵּיתָהּ וְאֶל־רְפָאִים מַעְגְּלֹתֶיהָ׃

19All who go to her cannot return And find again the paths of life.

יטכָּל־בָּאֶיהָ לֹא יְשׁוּבוּן וְלֹא־יַשִּׂיגוּ אָרְחוֹת חַיִּים׃

20So follow the way of the good And keep to the paths of the just.

כלְמַעַן תֵּלֵךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ טוֹבִים וְאָרְחוֹת צַדִּיקִים תִּשְׁמֹר׃

21For the upright will inhabit the earth, The blameless will remain in it.

kee y'-sha-REEM yish-k'-nu A-retz ut-mee-MEEM yi-va-t'-RU VAH

כאכִּי־יְשָׁרִים יִשְׁכְּנוּ אָרֶץ וּתְמִימִים יִוָּתְרוּ בָהּ׃

 2:21   For the upright will inhabit the earth

The word eretz, translated here as ‘earth,’ also means ‘land.’ According to Yehuda Keel, author of the Da’at Mikra commentary on Sefer Mishlei, this is a reference to the Land of Israel. In this verse, King Shlomo reminds us of Hashem’s promise to the Israelites in the desert, that if they walk in His ways, they will remain in the land which He has given them (see Deuteronomy 4:1). Eretz Yisrael is promised to those who remain steadfast in their commitment to God’s words, not only in deed, but also in thought.

22While the wicked will vanish from the land And the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

כבוּרְשָׁעִים מֵאֶרֶץ יִכָּרֵתוּ וּבוֹגְדִים יִסְּחוּ מִמֶּנָּה׃