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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 3

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 3

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. My son, forget not My instruction, and may your heart keep My commandments;   א. בְּנִי תּוֹרָתִי אַל תִּשְׁכָּח וּמִצְו‍ֹתַי יִצֹּר לִבֶּךָ:
2. for they shall add length of days and years of life and peace to you.   ב. כִּי אֹרֶךְ יָמִים וּשְׁנוֹת חַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם יוֹסִיפוּ לָךְ:
they shall add length of days… and peace: The Torah and the commandments.  
3. Kindness and truth shall not leave you; bind them upon your neck, inscribe them upon the tablet of your heart;   ג. חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת אַל יַעַזְבֻךָ קָשְׁרֵם עַל גַּרְגְּרוֹתֶיךָ כָּתְבֵם עַל לוּחַ לִבֶּךָ:
4. and find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.   ד. וּמְצָא חֵן וְשֵֹכֶל טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי אֱלֹהִים וְאָדָם:
5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely upon your understanding.   ה. בְּטַח אֶל יְהוָה בְּכָל לִבֶּךָ וְאֶל בִּינָתְךָ אַל תִּשָּׁעֵן:
Trust in the Lord: and squander your money to seek for yourself a teacher from whom to learn, and do not rely on your understanding.  
6. Know Him in all your ways, and He will direct your paths.   ו. בְּכָל דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ וְהוּא יְיַשֵּׁר אֹרְחֹתֶיךָ:
7. Do not be wise in your own sight; fear the Lord and turn away from evil   ז. אַל תְּהִי חָכָם בְּעֵינֶיךָ יְרָא אֶת יְהוָה וְסוּר מֵרָע:
Do not be wise in your own sight: to despise the word of the one who reproves you.  
8. it shall be healing for your navel and marrow for your bones.   ח. רִפְאוּת תְּהִי לְשָׁרֶךָ וְשִׁקּוּי לְעַצְמוֹתֶיךָ:
It shall be healing for your navel: Heb. לשרך. The wisdom shall be healing. שרך is like (Song 7:4): שררך, which means, your navel.  
and marrow for your bones: Heb. ושקוי, lit. moisture. That is the marrow, as the matter is stated (Job 21:24): “and the marrow of his bones is moistened.”  
9. Honor the Lord from your substance and from the first of all your grain,   ט. כַּבֵּד אֶת יְהוָה מֵהוֹנֶךָ וּמֵרֵאשִׁית כָּל תְּבוּאָתֶךָ:
from your substance: From whatever He favored you [with], even from a pleasant voice. (Do not read: from your substance מהונך but: from your throat מגרונך.)  
and from the first: (These are the terumoth and the tithes.)  
10. and your barns shall be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.   י. וְיִמָּלְאוּ אֲסָמֶיךָ שָׂבָע וְתִירוֹשׁ יְקָבֶיךָ יִפְרֹצוּ:
11. My son, despise not the discipline of the Lord, and do not abhor His chastening,   יא. מוּסַר יְהוָה בְּנִי אַל תִּמְאָס וְאַל תָּקֹץ בְּתוֹכַחְתּוֹ:
My son, despise not the discipline of the Lord: Should pains come upon you, they should be dear to you.  
and do not abhor: Heb. תקץ, from the expression of (Gen. 27:46) “I abhor (קצתי) my life.”  
12. for the Lord chastens the one He loves, as a father placates a son.   יב. כִּי אֶת אֲשֶׁר יֶאֱהַב יְהוָה יוֹכִיחַ וּכְאָב אֶת בֵּן יִרְצֶה:
as a father placates his son: He desires to benefit his son and he placates him after striking him with the staff. So will the benefit be pleasant to you after the smiting.  
13. Fortunate is the man who has found wisdom and a man who gives forth discernment,   יג. אַשְׁרֵי אָדָם מָצָא חָכְמָה וְאָדָם יָפִיק תְּבוּנָה:
Fortunate is the man who has found wisdom and a man who gives forth discernment: One who learned wisdom until he is so accustomed to it that he can express it with his mouth.  
14. for its commerce is better than the commerce of silver, and its gain [is better] than fine gold;   יד. כִּי טוֹב סַחְרָהּ מִסְּחַר כָּסֶף וּמֵחָרוּץ תְּבוּאָתָהּ:
for its commerce is better than the commerce of silver: In any exchange, when a person exchanges [something] for merchandise, this one takes this, and that one takes that; but if one says to his friend, “Teach me your chapter, and I will teach you my chapter,” [then] both chapters are found in the hand of each of them.  
than fine gold: Heb. מחרוץ. That is a type of gold.  
15. it is more precious than pearls, and all your desirable things cannot be compared to it.   טו. יְקָרָה הִיא מִפְּנִיִים מִפְּנִינִים וְכָל חֲפָצֶיךָ לֹא יִשְׁווּ בָהּ:
and all your desirable things: Heb. חפציך all that you desire.  
cannot be compared to it: They are not equal to its worth, nor their price to its price.  
16. Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand are riches and honor.   טז. אֹרֶךְ יָמִים בִּימִינָהּ בִּשְׂמֹאולָהּ עשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד:
in its right hand: Those who make the right use of it and engage in it for its own sake will have length of days and surely riches and honor, but those who make the wrong [lit. left] use of it, who engage in it not for its own sake, will still have riches and honor.  
17. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.   יז. דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נֹעַם וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם:
18. It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and those who draw near it are fortunate.   יח. עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ וְתֹמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר:
for those who grasp it: Heb. למחזיקים for those who hold onto it, as in (Ex. 4:4): “and he extended his hand and grasped (ויחזק) it.”  
and those who draw near it are fortunate: Heb. ותמכיה, those who draw near it. Likewise, every expression of תמיכה in this Book means that he holds onto it.  
19. The Lord founded the earth with wisdom, established the heavens with discernment.   יט. יְהוָה בְּחָכְמָה יָסַד אָרֶץ כּוֹנֵן שָׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה:
The Lord founded the earth with wisdom: According to the Torah. This is the Torah, which is discernment and which is knowledge.  
20. With His knowledge the depths were split, and the heavens drip dew.   כ. בְּדַעְתּוֹ תְּהוֹמוֹת נִבְקָעוּ וּשְׁחָקִים יִרְעֲפוּ טָל:
drip: Heb. ירעפו, like יטיפו. Now, since the entire world was created with them, therefore…  
21. My son, let them not depart from your eyes; guard sound wisdom and thought,   כא. בְּנִי אַל יָלֻזוּ מֵעֵינֶיךָ נְצֹר תֻּשִׁיָּה וּמְזִמָּה:
let them not depart from your eyes: Let them not be curved away from before your eyes, to remove them from before you.  
22. and they shall be life for your soul, and grace for your neck.   כב. וְיִהְיוּ חַיִּים לְנַפְשֶׁךָ וְחֵן לְגַרְגְּרֹתֶיךָ:
and they shall be life for your soul: for it is a tree of life.  
and grace for your neck: For this is its praise that is mentioned above (1:9): “and a necklace for your neck.”  
23. Then you shall go securely on your way, and your foot shall not stumble.   כג. אָז תֵּלֵךְ לָבֶטַח דַּרְכֶּךָ וְרַגְלְךָ לֹא תִגּוֹף:
shall not stumble: Heb. לא תגוף. This is an expression of stumbling, (achopper in French, straucheln in German. And so in Jeremiah 13:16 Psalms 91.12.) And so (Ps. 91: 12).“Lest your foot stumble (תגף) on a stone” ; and so (Jer. 13: 16): “And before your feet stumble (יתנגפו) ” and so (Ex. 21: 22): “and they dash (ונגפו) a pregnant woman.”  
24. If you lie down, you shall not fear, and when you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet.   כד. אִם תִּשְׁכַּב לֹא תִפְחָד וְשָׁכַבְתָּ וְעָרְבָה שְׁנָתֶךָ:
and when you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet: Your sleep shall be sweet when you sleep, that you will not fear sudden terror.  
25. Be not afraid of sudden terror, or of the darkness of the wicked when it will come.   כה. אַל תִּירָא מִפַּחַד פִּתְאֹם וּמִשֹּׁאַת רְשָׁעִים כִּי תָבֹא:
or of the darkness: when it comes upon the wicked.  
26. For the Lord shall be your trust, and He shall keep your foot from being caught.   כו. כִּי יְהוָה יִהְיֶה בְכִסְלֶךָ וְשָׁמַר רַגְלְךָ מִלָּכֶד:
For the Lord shall be your trust: Heb. בכסלך, in your trust. Another explanation: in the things concerning which you are a fool (כסיל). This I found in Yerushalmi.  
27. Do not withhold good from the one who needs it when you have power in your hand to do it.   כז. אַל תִּמְנַע טוֹב מִבְּעָלָיו בִּהְיוֹת לְאֵל יָדְיךָ יָדְךָ לַעֲשֹוֹת:
Do not withhold good from the one who needs it: If you see that your friend wishes to benefit the poor, do not prevent him from doing so.  
when you have power in your hand: to stop him. Another explanation:  
Do not withhold good from the one who needs it: Do not withhold charity from the poor man.  
when you have the power in your hand: to do charity; perhaps a day will come when you will not have the power in your hand, and similarly…  
28. Do not say to your fellow, "Go and return, and tomorrow I will give," though you have it with you.   כח. אַל תֹּאמַר לְרֵעֲיךָ לְרֵעֲךָ לֵךְ וָשׁוּב וּמָחָר אֶתֵּן וְיֵשׁ אִתָּךְ:
Do not say to your fellow: To the poor man.  
though you have it with you: what to give to him. But our Sages explained: “Go and return” regarding the wages of a hireling.  
29. Devise no harm against your fellow, when he dwells securely with you.   כט. אַל תַּחֲרשׁ עַל רֵעֲךָ רָעָה וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב לָבֶטַח אִתָּךְ:
Devise no harm against your fellow: Heb. אל תחרש, do not think-but it does not deviate from the meaning of plowing (חרישה) ; just as it is customary for the plower to prepare a place for the time of sowing, so does one who devises harm prepare a place for devices in his heart, how he will get up and execute it.  
30. Do not quarrel with anyone without cause, if he did you no harm.   ל. אַל תָּרִוב תָּרִיב עִם אָדָם חִנָּם אִם לֹא גְמָלְךָ רָעָה:
Do not quarrel with anyone: to complain about him.  
if he did you no harm: i.e., unless he transgressed a commandment written in the Torah. The Torah states (Lev. 19:18): “And you shall love your fellow as yourself,” but one who is wicked, you may hate.  
31. Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways;   לא. אַל תְּקַנֵּא בְּאִישׁ חָמָס וְאַל תִּבְחַר בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו:
Do not envy a man of violence: to do as his deeds if you see him prospering.  
32. for the perverse is an abomination to the Lord, but His counsel is with the upright.   לב. כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה נָלוֹז וְאֶת יְשָׁרִים סוֹדוֹ:
for the perverse is an abomination to the Lord: One who is crooked in his ways.  
but His counsel is with the upright: Heb. ואת, and with, etc.  
33. The curse of the Lord is in the wicked man's house, but He shall bless the dwelling of the righteous.   לג. מְאֵרַת יְהוָה בְּבֵית רָשָׁע וְנְוֵה צַדִּיקִים יְבָרֵךְ:
34. If [one goes] to the scoffers, he will scoff; but [if he goes] to the humble, he evokes grace.   לד. אִם לַלֵּצִים הוּא יָלִיץ וְלַעֲנָיִים וְלַעֲנָוִים יִתֶּן חֵן:
If [one goes] to the scoffers: If a person is attracted to them, he too will scoff with them.  
but [if he goes] to the humble, he evokes grace: If he joins the humble, eventually his deeds will evoke grace in people’s eyes.  
35. The wise shall inherit honor, but the fools take disgrace as their portion.   לה. כָּבוֹד חֲכָמִים יִנְחָלוּ וּכְסִילִים מֵרִים קָלוֹן:
The wise shall inherit honor, but the fools take disgrace as their portion: For himself, he takes disgrace for his portion.  
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