Proverbs 1
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The Beginning of Knowledge
(Ezra 4:6-16; Esther 1:1-9; Proverbs 9:1-12)

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2To know wisdom and discipline,

to comprehend the words of insight,

3to receive instruction in wise living,

in righteousness, justice, and equity,

4to impart prudence to the simple,a

knowledge and discretion to the young—

5let the wise listen and gain instruction,

and the discerning acquire wise counsel—

6to understand the proverbs and parables,

the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,

but foolsb despise wisdom and discipline.

The Enticement of Sin

8Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,

and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.

9For they are a garland of grace on your head,

and a pendant around your neck.

10My son, if sinners entice you,

do not yield to them.

11If they say, “Come along, let us lie in wait for blood,

let us ambush the innocent without cause,

12let us swallow them alive like Sheol,

and whole like those descending into the Pit.

13We will find all manner of precious goods;

we will fill our houses with plunder.

14Throw in your lot with us,

let us all have one purse”—

15my son, do not walk the road with them

or set foot upon their path.

16For their feet run to evil,

and they are swift to shed blood.

17How futile to spread the net

where any bird can see it.

18But they lie in wait for their own blood;

they ambush their own lives.

19Such is the fate of all who are greedy,

whose unjust gain takes the lives of its possessors.

Wisdom Calls Aloud

20Wisdom calls out in the street,

she lifts her voice in the square,

21in the main concoursec she cries aloud,

at the city gates she makes her speech:

22“How long, O simple ones, will you love simplicity?

How long will scoffers delight in their scorn

and fools hate knowledge?

23If you had repented at my rebuke,

then surely I would have poured out my spirit on you;

I would have made my words known to you.

24Because you refused my call,

and no one took my outstretched hand,

25because you neglected all my counsel,

and wanted none of my correction,

26in turn I will mock your calamity;

I will sneer when terror strikes you,

27when your dread comes like a storm,

and your destruction like a whirlwind,

when distress and anguish overwhelm you.

28Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;

they will earnestly seek me, but will not find me.

29For they hated knowledge

and chose not to fear the LORD.

30They accepted none of my counsel;

they despised all my reproof.

31So they will eat the fruit of their own way,

and be filled with their own devices.

32For the waywardness of the simple will slay them,

and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

33But whoever listens to me will dwell in safety,

secure from the fear of evil.”

Footnotes:

4 a The Hebrew word rendered simple in Proverbs refers to ono who is naive, without moral direction, or inclined to evil
7 b The Hebrew words rendered fool in Proverbs denote one who is morally deficient
21 c Or from the top of the wall

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