Chapter 2

1My son, if you accept my words, and treasure my commandments,   אבְּנִי אִם־תִּקַּ֣ח אֲמָרָ֑י וּ֜מִצְו‍ֹתַ֗י תִּצְפֹּ֥ן אִתָּֽךְ:
My son, if you accept my words: You will be my son if you accept my words.  
2to make your ear attentive to wisdom, [if] you incline your heart to discernment;   בלְהַקְשִׁ֣יב לַֽחָכְמָ֣ה אָזְנֶ֑ךָ תַּטֶּ֥ה לִ֜בְּךָ֗ לַתְּבוּנָֽה:
to make… attentive to wisdom: to toil in [learning] Torah.  
3for, if you call for understanding [and] raise your voice for discernment,   גכִּ֤י אִ֣ם לַבִּינָ֣ה תִקְרָ֑א לַ֜תְּבוּנָ֗ה תִּתֵּ֥ן קוֹלֶֽךָ:
4if you seek it like silver, and hunt for it like treasures,   דאִם־תְּבַקְשֶׁ֥נָּה כַכָּ֑סֶף וְֽכַמַּטְמוֹנִ֥ים תַּחְפְּשֶֹֽנָּה:
5then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and you will find the knowledge of God.   האָ֗ז תָּ֖בִין יִרְאַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה וְדַ֖עַת אֱלֹהִ֣ים תִּמְצָֽא:
then you will understand the fear of the Lord: This refers back to the topic above, in which he said, “For if you call for understanding.”  
6For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth [come] knowledge and discernment.   וכִּֽי־יְ֖הוָה יִתֵּ֣ן חָכְמָ֑ה מִ֜פִּ֗יו דַּ֣עַת וּתְבוּנָֽה:
For the Lord gives wisdom: Here you have learned that it [wisdom] is great, for it was given from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He. Therefore, you must acquire it.  
7He lays up sound wisdom for the upright, a shield for those who walk in integrity;   זוִצְפֹּ֣ן יִצְפֹּ֣ן לַ֖יְשָׁרִים תּוּשִׁיָּ֑ה מָ֜גֵ֗ן לְהֹ֣לְכֵי תֹֽם:
He lays up sound wisdom for the upright: The Holy One, blessed be He, hid it [wisdom] with Him for twenty-six generations until He gave it to the generation of the desert.  
a shield for those who walk in integrity: (He lays up a shield for those who walk with integrity); i.e., it will be a shield for you.  
8to keep the paths of justice, and watch the way of His pious.   חלִנְצֹר אָרְח֣וֹת מִשְׁפָּ֑ט וְדֶ֖רֶךְ חֲסִידָ֣ו חֲסִידָ֣יו יִשְׁמֹֽר:
to keep the paths of justice: For through it, they will keep the paths of justice, and He will guard the way of His pious so that they do not stumble.  
9Then you shall understand righteousness, justice, and equity, every good path.   טאָ֗ז תָּ֖בִין צֶ֣דֶק וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט וּ֜מֵישָׁרִ֗ים כָּל־מַעְגַּל־טֽוֹב:
10When wisdom comes into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to your soul,   יכִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא חָכְמָ֣ה בְלִבֶּ֑ךָ וְ֜דַ֗עַת לְֽנַפְשְׁךָ֥ יִנְעָֽם:
11thought shall watch over you; discretion shall guard you,   יאמְזִמָּה תִּשְׁמֹ֥ר עָלֶ֗יךָ תְּבוּנָ֥ה תִנְצְרֶֽכָּה:
thought: Heb. מזמה. The Torah shall watch over you.  
12to save you from an evil way. From a man who speaks perversity;   יבלְהַצִּ֣ילְךָ מִדֶּ֣רֶךְ רָ֑ע מֵ֜אִ֗ישׁ מְדַבֵּ֥ר תַּהְפֻּכֽוֹת:
who speaks perversity: Those are the people who distort the thing. [Rashi as it appears in Lublin and Waxman ed.] Malbim ed. reads: who distorts the words of the Torah after his erroneous view. Vilna and Warsaw editions read: They are the apostates who distort the words of the Torah to evil.  
13[from] those who forsake the ways of uprightness, to go on ways of darkness;   יגהַעֹ֣זְבִים אָרְח֣וֹת י֑שֶׁר לָ֜לֶ֗כֶת בְּדַרְכֵי־חֽשֶׁךְ:
14[from] those who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perversity of evil,   ידהַשְּׂמֵחִים לַעֲשֹ֥וֹת רָ֑ע יָ֜גִ֗ילוּ בְּֽתַהְפֻּכ֥וֹת רָֽע:
15who are crooked in their ways and perverse in their paths.   טואֲשֶׁ֣ר אָרְחֹתֵיהֶ֣ם עִקְּשִׁ֑ים וּ֜נְלוֹזִ֗ים בְּמַעְגְּלוֹתָֽם:
and perverse in their paths: Heb. ונלוזים. Every expression of נלוז is an expression of crookedness, as it is always next to עקש, and עקש is an expression of crookedness, as it is stated (Isa. 42:16): “and crooked paths (ומעקשים) into straight ones.”  
and perverse in their paths: They are crooked in their corrupt ways.  
16To save you from a strange woman, from a foreign one who makes her words smooth,   טזלְהַצִּ֣ילְךָ מֵאִשָּׁ֣ה זָרָ֑ה מִ֜נָּכְרִיָּ֗ה אֲמָרֶ֥יהָ הֶחֱלִֽיקָה:
To save you from a strange woman: From the assembly of idolatry [apostasy], which is sectarianism. It cannot be said that he spoke only of the actual adulteress, for what is the praise of the Torah, that he says here, “to save you from a strange woman,” and not from any other sin. Rather, this is the casting off of the yoke of all the commandments.  
17who deserts the lord of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God   יזהַעֹזֶבֶת אַלּ֣וּף נְעוּרֶ֑יהָ וְאֶת־בְּרִ֖ית אֱלֹהֶ֣יהָ שָׁכֵֽחָה:
18for her house sinks to death, and her paths [lead] to the dead;   יחכִּ֤י שָׁ֣חָה אֶל־מָ֣וֶת בֵּיתָ֑הּ וְאֶל־רְ֜פָאִ֗ים מַעְגְּלֹתֶֽיהָ:
for her house sinks to death: This refers back to “to save you, etc.” for whoever comes to her house will sink and slip as if down an incline that leads to death, and the Torah will guard you from this fall. Hence, it is a great thing for you.  
the dead: Heb. רפאים, those who neglect (נרפים) the way of goodness and are forsaken without support until they fall into Gehinnom.  
19none who go to her return, neither do they achieve the ways of life   יטכָּל־בָּ֖אֶיהָ לֹ֣א יְשׁוּב֑וּן וְלֹֽא־יַ֜שִּׂ֗יגוּ אָרְח֥וֹת חַיִּֽים:
none… return: It is hard for them to part with it and to repent.  
20in order that you go in the way of the good, and you keep the ways of the righteous.   כלְמַ֗עַן תֵּ֖לֵךְ בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ טוֹבִ֑ים וְאָרְח֖וֹת צַדִּיקִ֣ים תִּשְׁמֹֽר:
in order that you go: This refers back to the above verse (verse 12): “To save you from an evil way,” in order to lead you in the way of the good.  
21For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain therein.   כאכִּֽי־יְשָׁרִ֥ים יִשְׁכְּנוּ־אָ֑רֶץ וּ֜תְמִימִ֗ים יִוָּ֥תְרוּ בָֽהּ:
For the upright shall dwell in the land: In the world to come.  
shall remain therein: when the wicked descend to Gehinnom.  
22But the wicked shall be cut off from the land, and the treacherous shall be uprooted therefrom.   כבוּרְשָׁעִים מֵאֶ֣רֶץ יִכָּרֵ֑תוּ וּ֜בוֹגְדִ֗ים יִסְּח֥וּ מִמֶּֽנָּה: