That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
There are only two kinds of men in the world - good, righteous men and bad, wicked men. These two groups of men live very differently: their lifestyles and principles are very different. Good and righteous men live a noble life of virtue and integrity. Bad and wicked men live a profane life of vanity and deceit. Only wise men can see the difference; only wise men understand the choices that lead to a noble and successful life.
This chapter has two purposes - to teach you how to get wisdom and understanding (Pr 2:1-9) and the great reward of getting them (Pr 2:10-22). When a man obtains wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding (Pr 2:10-11), he will be saved from dangerous men and women, who walk in the ways and paths of wickedness (Pr 2:12-19). It is from this evil lifestyle of worldly men and women that Solomon sought to save his son.
He first explained the negative reason for getting wisdom - to be saved from the destructive choices and habits of the wicked (Pr 2:12-19). He then began at this proverb to explain the positive reason for getting wisdom - to follow the choices and habits of great men (Pr 2:20). For God's protective and prospering blessings are only upon them (Pr 2:21-22).
The definition of good and bad is not by culture, interpretation, or preference. Our glorious Creator settled such simple things in the Bible. It plainly defines what is good and acceptable, and what is bad and despicable. There is no neutral lifestyle. You are living either a good or bad life, and you will either be rewarded or punished for it.
The Bible not only defines good and bad; it also gives examples of good and bad men. It compares wise men and fools, virtuous women and odious women, saints and sinners. The contrast is clearly seen between Abel and Cain, Abraham and Lot, David and Saul, Abigail and Michael, Peter and Judas, Paul and Demas. See the comments on 12:26.
Good men sin, but they don't wallow in their sin. They may fall seven times, but they will get up; the wicked fall and stay there (Pr 24:16). David and Peter sinned grievously, but they repented and showed an overall character far exceeding other men. Saul and Judas sinned grievously, and kept right on sinning. Their path was final and total destruction.
Wisdom is the key opening the door to the way of good men and the path of righteous men. It is offered freely in the Scriptures, and especially this book of Proverbs. If it enters your heart and is pleasant to your soul, you will be able to see and follow the lives of the great men and women before us, the Lord Jesus Christ being the greatest example of all.