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 Purpose of Proverbs
1These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom
8 My child,[a] listen when your father corrects you.
Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace
and be a chain of honor around your neck.
10 My child, if sinners entice you,
turn your back on them!
11 They may say, “Come and join us.
Let’s hide and kill someone!
Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave[b];
let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13 Think of the great things we’ll get!
We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14 Come, throw in your lot with us;
we’ll all share the loot.”
15 My child, don’t go along with them!
Stay far away from their paths.
16 They rush to commit evil deeds.
They hurry to commit murder.
17 If a bird sees a trap being set,
it knows to stay away.
18 But these people set an ambush for themselves;
they are trying to get themselves killed.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
it robs them of life.
Wisdom Shouts in the Streets
20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons,
will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise.
24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice
and rejected the correction I offered.
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
and chose not to fear the Lord.
30 They rejected my advice
and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.”