New Proverbs for New Men


My brother, do not believe what I say because I say it,
but because the god within in you nods assent;
sound out your heart for confirmation,
test your arms and your legs for proof:
if they are in agreement with me,
you will know that I speak the truth, and will follow.
Your heart will reward you for attending to its voice,
and the heart attack that kills will be cast into exile;
length of days and years of life
and abundant welfare will be given you,
and much joy in each day that you live,
and sweetness in each passing moment.

Trust in the god with all your heart;
do not rely on the accepted truths.
In all your ways be open to the speaking of the god
and he will make straight your paths.
Pride yourself not on intelligence;
listen to the god, and let go pretense.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.

Honor the god from the depths of your being,
and with every word you utter;
then your friendships will be filled with light
and your loves will flow over with splendor.

Heeding the god means feeling your pain,
but the god does not inflict your wounds.
The wounds were your patrimony:
they were your father's wounds;
you inherited them from him at birth.
The god's work is to untie the painkiller
so that the killing of pain might not kill you.
For to deaden the hurt is to court the fate of the dead;
to suffer the hurt is to walk on the path of healing.

Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
and the man who gets understanding,
for the gain from it is better than the profit from silver
and its gain is better than gold.
It is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you can desire can compare.
Long life is in its right hand,
in its left hand integrity and love.
Its ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all its ways are peace.
It is a tree of life to those who lay hold of it;
those who hold it fast are called happy.

The god by wisdom engendered all life;
by flashes of insight it studded the sky with stars;
by the depths of its knowledge it scooped out the deeps,
and the clouds of its tears drop down the dew.

My brother, place your trust in the god;
do not drown out the god's speaking with busyness.
Its words will be life for your soul
and integrity for your body.
Then you will walk on your way securely
and your foot will not stumble.
If you sit down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
You will not fear sudden panic
or the disaster that strikes the foolish unawares,
for the god will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.

Do not withhold good from the people around you
or save up your love for a rainy day;
do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it"--when you have it with you.
Give your love and your time and your ear freely,
without hope of recompense,
and without self-protection;
for hope of recompense makes you a banker,
and self-protection armors you against caring.
The plotters and the self-protectors seek their own good
and the downfall of others,
for that is the way of the world,
and there is false security in numbers.
Do not envy them, my brother,
though they appear to go from success to success;
and beware lest you walk in their paths,
though their paths lead out of our fathers' loins.
For their success is built upon quicksand,
and their paths are cut by the worm of fear;
they seek the security of numbers by setting themselves apart,
and their loneliness robs them of all joy in their success.

Proverbs index | next chapter


Last Modified: