Proverbs 3:1-12 is a masterful example of Hebrew poetry. It is quite permissible to analyse and enjoy the poem for its own sake. However, it should be taken into account that the text was written from a wisdom perspective, implying that it had a didactic function in the social context in which it originated. In this aticle the text is investigated on three levels. It commences with an analysis of the text as a poem, then moves towards an analysis of the type of society where such a text might have originated in order to determine the ideology that served as motivating principle for that society. In the process the role of Israelite wisdom literature in the context of the Ancient Near Eastern wisdom corpus and the influence of wisdom teachers upon society will also be touched upon. This will lead to some conclusions about the relevance of studying this literature for our own society.