1The parables of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel; (The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, the king of Israel;)
2to know wisdom and knowing (to know wisdom and knowledge); to understand the words of prudence;
3and to take the learning of teaching; to take rightfulness, and doom, and equity; (and to receive learning from teaching, or from instruction; to gain righteousness, and judgement, or justice, and fairness;)
4that fellness, or wariness, be given to little children, and knowing and understanding to a young waxing man. (so that cleverness, and caution, be given to people of little wit, or of low intelligence, and knowledge and understanding to a young growing man.)
5A wise man hearing shall be the wiser; and a man (of) understanding shall hold governance. (A wise person listening shall become wiser; and a person understanding shall gain skills, or abilities.)
6He shall perceive a parable, and the expounding; the words of wise men, and the dark figurative speeches of them. (He shall understand a proverb, and its expounding, or its explanation; yea, the words of the wise, and their riddles.)
7The dread of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; fools despise wisdom and teaching. (The fear of the Lord/Reverence for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; but fools despise wisdom and teaching.)
8My son, hear thou the teaching of thy father, and forsake thou not the law of thy mother; (My son, listen thou to thy father’s teaching; and do not thou abandon thy mother’s principles;)
9(so) that grace be added, either increased, to thine head, and a band to thy neck. (so that favour be added unto thee, and a band of honour be put about thy neck.)
10My son, if sinners flatter thee, assent thou not to them.
11If they say, Come thou with us, set we ambush to shed (out) blood, hide we snares of deceits against an innocent (person) without cause;
12swallow we him, as hell swalloweth a man living; and all-whole, as (those) going down into a pit; (we shall swallow him up, like Sheol swalloweth up the living; yea, all-whole, like those going down into the pit;)
13we shall find all precious chattel, (or possessions,) we shall fill our houses with spoils;
14put thou lot with us, one purse be there of us all; (put thou thy lot with us, and let there be one purse for us all;)
15my son, go thou not with them; forbid thy foot from the paths of them (do not let thy foot go onto their paths).
16For the feet of them run to evil; and they hasten to shed out blood.
17But a net is laid in vain before the eyes of birds, that have wings.
18Also they set ambush against their own blood; and make ready frauds, or guiles, against their (own) souls.
19So the paths of each avaricious man ravish, or take away, the souls of them that wield (them).
20Wisdom preacheth withoutforth; in streets it giveth his voice. (Wisdom preacheth outside; yea, it raiseth up its voice in the streets.)
21It crieth oft in the head of companies; in the leaves of [the] gates of the city it bringeth forth his words, and saith, (It crieth often at the tops of the streets; and at the leaves of the gates of the city, it bringeth forth its words, and saith,)
22How long, little men in wit, love young childhood, and fools shall covet those things, that be harmful to themselves, and unprudent men shall hate knowing? (How long, ye of little wit, or of low intelligence, shall ye love foolishness, and shall fools desire those things that be harmful to themselves, and shall the imprudent hate knowledge, or understanding?)
23Be ye converted at my reproving (Be ye changed by my rebukes); lo, I shall bring forth to you my spirit, and I shall show (you) my words.
24For I called, and ye forsook; I held forth mine hand, and none there was that beheld. (For I called, but you would not listen to me; I held forth my hand, but no one paid any attention to it.)
25Ye have despised all my counsel; and charged not my blamings (and would not listen to my rebukes).
26And I shall laugh in your perishing; and I shall scorn you, when that, that ye dread, cometh to you. (And so I shall laugh at your misfortune, or at your tribulation; and I shall scorn you, when what ye fear, cometh to you.)
27When sudden wretchedness falleth in, and perishing befalleth as (a) tempest; when tribulation and anguish cometh [up]on you.
28Then they shall call me, and I shall not hear (but I shall not answer them); they shall rise early, and they shall not find me.
29For they hated teaching, and they took not the dread of the Lord, (For they hated instruction, and they chose not to fear the Lord/and they chose not to have reverence for the Lord,)
30neither they assented to my counsel, and they depraved all mine amending. (nor would they assent to my advice, and they have spurned all of my correction.)
31Therefore they shall eat the fruits of their (own) way; and they shall be filled with their (own) counsels.
32The turning away of little men in wit shall slay them; and the prosperity of fools shall lose them. (This turning away by those with little wit, or with low intelligence, shall lead to their own slaughter, yea, the prosperity of fools shall bring about their own destruction.)
33But he that heareth me, shall rest without dread; and he shall use abundance, when the dread of evils is taken away. (But he who listeneth to me, shall rest without fear; and he shall enjoy his abundance, when the fear of evil is taken away.)
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission