Introduction to the Book
1The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2To learn wisdom and moral instruction,
and to discern wise counsel.
3To receive moral instruction in skillful living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity.
4To impart shrewdness to the morally naive,
and a discerning plan to the young person.
5(Let the wise also hear and gain instruction,
and let the discerning acquire guidance!)
6To discern the meaning of a proverb and a parable,
the sayings of the wise and their riddles.
Introduction to the Theme of the Book
7Fearing the Lord is the beginning of moral knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8Listen, my child, to the instruction from your father,
and do not forsake the teaching from your mother.
9For they will be like an elegant garland on your head,
and like pendants around your neck.
Admonition to Avoid Easy but Unjust Riches
10My child, if sinners try to entice you,
do not consent!
11If they say, “Come with us!
We will lie in wait to shed blood;
we will ambush an innocent person capriciously.
12We will swallow them alive like Sheol,
those full of vigor like those going down to the Pit.
13We will seize all kinds of precious wealth;
we will fill our houses with plunder.
14Join with us!
We will all share equally in what we steal.”
15My child, do not go down their way,
withhold yourself from their path;
16for they are eager to inflict harm,
and they hasten to shed blood.
17Surely it is futile to spread a net
in plain sight of any bird,
18but these men lie in wait for their own blood,
they ambush their own lives!
19Such are the ways of all who gain profit unjustly;
it takes away the life of those who obtain it!
Warning Against Disregarding Wisdom
20Wisdom calls out in the street,
she shouts loudly in the plazas;
21at the head of the noisy streets she calls,
in the entrances of the gates in the city she utters her words:
22“How long will you simpletons love naivet�?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23If only you will respond to my rebuke,
then I will pour out my thoughts to you
and I will make my words known to you.
24However, because I called but you refused to listen,
because I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention,
25because you neglected all my advice,
and did not comply with my rebuke,
26so I myself will laugh when disaster strikes you,
I will mock when what you dread comes,
27when what you dread comes like a whirlwind,
and disaster strikes you like a devastating storm,
when distressing trouble comes on you.
28Then they will call to me, but I will not answer;
they will diligently seek me, but they will not find me.
29Because they hated moral knowledge,
and did not choose to fear the Lord,
30they did not comply with my advice,
they spurned all my rebuke.
31Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way,
and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.
32For the waywardness of the
simpletons will kill them,
and the careless ease of fools will destroy them.
33But the one who listens to me will live in security,
and will be at ease from the dread of harm.