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.”