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The Beginning of Knowledge
(Ezra 4:6-16; Esther 1:1-9; Proverbs 9:1-12)
1The parables of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel.
2To know wisdom, and instruction: To understand the words of prudence:
3and to receive the instruction of doctrine, justice, and judgment, and equity:
4To give subtilty to little ones, to the young man knowledge and understanding.
5A wise man shall hear and shall be wiser: and he that understandeth, shall possess governments.
6He shall understand a parable, and the interpretation, the words of the wise, and their mysterious sayings.
7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Enticement of Sin
8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother :
9That grace may be added to thy head, and a chain of gold to thy neck.
10My son, if sinners shall entice thee, consent not to them.
11If they shall say: Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us hide snares for the innocent without cause:
12Let us swallow him up alive like hell, and whole as one that goeth down into the pit.
13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoils.
14Cast in thy lot with us, let us all have one purse.
15My son, walk not thou with them, restrain thy foot from their paths.
16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17But a net is spread in vain before the eyes of them that have wings.
18And they themselves lie in wait for their own blood, and practise deceits against their own souls.
19So the wage of every covetous man destroy the souls of the possessors.
Wisdom Calls Aloud
20Wisdom preacheth abroad, she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21At the head of multitudes she crieth out, in the entrance of the gates of the city she uttereth her words, saying:
22O children, how long will you love childishness, and fools covet those things which are hurtful to themselves, and the unwise hate knowledge?
23Turn ye at my reproof: behold I will utter my spirit to you, and will shew you my words.
24Because I called, and you refused: I stretched out my hand, and there was none that regarded.
25You have despised all my counsel, and have neglected my reprehensions.
26I also will laugh in your destruction, and will mock when that shall come to you which you feared.
27When sudden calamity shall fall on you, and destruction, as a tempest, shall be at hand: when tribulation and distress shall come upon you:
28Then shall they call upon me, and I will not hear: they shall rise in the morning and shall not find me:
29Because they have hated instruction and received not the fear of the Lord,
30Nor consented to my counsel, but despised all my reproof.
31Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and shall be filled with their own devices.
32The turning away of little ones shall kill them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33But he that shall hear me, shall rest without terror, and shall enjoy abundance, without fear of evils.