1These are the proverbs of Solomon. He was the son of David and the king of Israel.
2 Proverbs teach you wisdom and instruct you.
They help you understand wise sayings.
3 They provide you with instruction and help you live wisely.
They lead to what is right and honest and fair.
4 They give understanding to childish people.
They give knowledge and good sense to those who are young.
5 Let wise people listen and add to what they have learned.
Let those who understand what is right get guidance.
6 What I’m teaching also helps you understand proverbs and stories.
It helps you understand the sayings and riddles of those who are wise.
7 If you really want to gain knowledge, you must begin by having respect for the Lord.
But foolish people hate wisdom and instruction.
Think and Live Wisely
A Warning Against Sinful Men
8 My son, listen to your father’s advice.
Don’t turn away from your mother’s teaching.
9 What they teach you will be like a beautiful crown on your head.
It will be like a chain to decorate your neck.
10 My son, if sinful men tempt you,
don’t give in to them.
11 They might say, “Come along with us.
Let’s hide and wait to kill someone who hasn’t done anything wrong.
Let’s catch some harmless person in our trap.
12 Let’s swallow them alive, as the grave does.
Let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down into the pit.
13 We’ll get all kinds of valuable things.
We’ll fill our houses with what we steal.
14 Cast lots with us for what they own.
We’ll share everything we take from them.”
15 My son, don’t go along with them.
Don’t even set your feet on their paths.
16 They are always in a hurry to sin.
They are quick to spill someone’s blood.
17 How useless it is to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18 Those who hide and wait will spill their own blood.
They will be caught in their own trap.
19 That’s what happens to everyone
who goes after money in the wrong way.
That kind of money takes away
the life of those who get it.
20 Out in the open wisdom calls out.
She raises her voice in a public place.
21 On top of the city wall she cries out.
Here is what she says near the gate of the city.
22 “How long will you childish people love your childish ways?
How long will you rude people enjoy making fun of God and others?
How long will you foolish people hate knowledge?
23 Pay attention to my warning!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you.
I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But you refuse to listen when I call out to you.
No one pays attention when I reach out my hand.
25 You turn away from all my advice.
And you do not accept my warning.
26 So I will laugh at you when you are in danger.
I will make fun of you when hard times come.
27 I will laugh when hard times hit you like a storm.
I will laugh when danger comes your way like a windstorm.
I will make fun of you when suffering and trouble come.
28 “Then you will call to me. But I won’t answer.
You will look for me. But you won’t find me.
29 You hated knowledge.
You didn’t choose to have respect for the Lord.
30 You wouldn’t accept my advice.
You turned your backs on my warnings.
31 So you will eat the fruit of the way you have lived.
You will choke on the fruit of what you have planned.
32 “The wrong path that childish people take will kill them.
Foolish people will be destroyed by being satisfied with the way they live.
33 But those who listen to me will live in safety.
They will be at ease and have no fear of being harmed.”
The Usefulness of Proverbs
1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
3 To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
4 To give prudence to the [a]naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
6 To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Enticement of Sinners
8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And [b]ornaments about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
14 Throw in your lot [c]with us,
We shall all have one purse,”
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is [d]useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any [e]bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.
20 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She [f]lifts her voice in the square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
22 “How long, O [g]naive ones, will you love [h]being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 “Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
25 And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
26 I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
30 “They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
32 “For the waywardness of the [i]naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 “But he who listens to me shall [j]live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”