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New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

Proverbs 1:1–31:31

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The Usefulness of Proverbs

1 The aproverbs of Solomon bthe son of David, king of Israel:

2 To know awisdom and instruction,

To discern the sayings of bunderstanding,

3 To areceive instruction in wise behavior,

bRighteousness, justice and equity;

4 To give aprudence to the 1naive,

To the youth bknowledge and discretion,

5 A wise man will hear and aincrease in learning,

And a bman of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

6 To understand a proverb and a figure,

The words of the wise and their ariddles.

7 aThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

8 aHear, my son, your father’s instruction

And bdo not forsake your mother’s teaching;

9 Indeed, they are a agraceful wreath to your head

And 1bornaments about your neck.

10 My son, if sinners aentice you,

bDo not consent.

11 If they say, “Come with us,

Let us alie in wait for blood,

Let us bambush the innocent without cause;

12 Let us aswallow them alive like Sheol,

Even whole, as those who bgo 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 1with us,

We shall all have one purse,”

15 My son, ado not walk in the way with them.

bKeep your feet from their path,

16 For atheir feet run to evil

And they hasten to shed blood.

17 Indeed, it is 1useless to spread the baited net

In the sight of any 2bird;

18 But they alie in wait for their own blood;

They ambush their own lives.

19 So are the ways of everyone who agains by violence;

It takes away the life of its possessors.

Wisdom Warns

20 aWisdom shouts in the street,

She 1lifts 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 1anaive ones, will you love 2being simple-minded?

And bscoffers delight themselves in scoffing

And fools chate knowledge?

23 “Turn to my reproof,

Behold, I will apour out my spirit on you;

I will make my words known to you.

24 “Because aI called and you brefused,

I cstretched out my hand and no one paid attention;

25 And you aneglected all my counsel

And did not bwant my reproof;

26 I will also alaugh at your bcalamity;

I will mock when your cdread comes,

27 When your dread comes like a storm

And your calamity comes like a awhirlwind,

When distress and anguish come upon you.

28 “Then they will acall on me, but I will not answer;

They will bseek me diligently but they will not find me,

29 Because they ahated knowledge

And did not choose the fear of the Lord.

30 “They awould not accept my counsel,

They spurned all my reproof.

31 “So they shall aeat of the fruit of their own way

And be bsatiated with their own devices.

32 “For the awaywardness of the 1naive will kill them,

And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

33 “But ahe who listens to me shall 1live securely

And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

Chapter 2

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

1 My son, if you will areceive my words

And btreasure my commandments within you,

2 aMake your ear attentive to wisdom,

Incline your heart to understanding;

3 For if you cry for discernment,

1Lift your voice for understanding;

4 If you seek her as asilver

And search for her as for bhidden treasures;

5 Then you will discern the afear of the Lord

And discover the knowledge of God.

6 For athe Lord gives wisdom;

From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

He is a ashield to those who walk in integrity,

8 Guarding the paths of justice,

And He apreserves the way of His godly ones.

9 Then you will discern arighteousness and justice

And equity and every bgood course.

10 For awisdom will enter your heart

And bknowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

11 Discretion will aguard you,

Understanding will watch over you,

12 To adeliver you from the way of evil,

From the man who speaks bperverse things;

13 From those who aleave the paths of uprightness

To walk in the bways of darkness;

14 Who adelight in doing evil

And rejoice in the perversity of evil;

15 Whose paths are acrooked,

And who are devious in their ways;

16 To adeliver you from the strange woman,

From the 1badulteress who flatters with her words;

17 That leaves the acompanion of her youth

And forgets the bcovenant of her God;

18 For aher house 1sinks down to death

And her tracks lead to the 2dead;

19 None awho go to her return again,

Nor do they reach the bpaths of life.

20 So you will awalk in the way of good men

And keep to the bpaths of the righteous.

21 For athe upright will 1live in the land

And bthe blameless will remain in it;

22 But athe wicked will be cut off from the land

And bthe treacherous will be cuprooted from it.

Chapter 3

The Rewards of Wisdom

1 My son, ado not forget my 1teaching,

But let your heart bkeep my commandments;

2 For alength of days and years of life

And peace they will add to you.

3 Do not let akindness and truth leave you;

bBind them around your neck,

cWrite them on the tablet of your heart.

4 So you will afind favor and bgood 1repute

In the sight of God and man.

5 aTrust in the Lord with all your heart

And bdo not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways aacknowledge Him,

And He will bmake your paths straight.

7 aDo not be wise in your own eyes;

bFear the Lord and turn away from evil.

8 It will be ahealing to your 1body

And brefreshment to your bones.

9 aHonor the Lord from your wealth

And from the bfirst of all your produce;

10 So your abarns will be filled with plenty

And your bvats will overflow with new wine.

11 aMy son, do not reject the 1discipline of the Lord

Or loathe His reproof,

12 For awhom the Lord loves He reproves,

Even bas a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13 aHow blessed is the man who finds wisdom

And the man who gains understanding.

14 For her aprofit is better than the profit of silver

And her gain better than fine gold.

15 She is amore precious than 1jewels;

And nothing you desire compares with her.

16 1aLong life is in her right hand;

In her left hand are briches and honor.

17 Her aways are pleasant ways

And all her paths are bpeace.

18 She is a atree of life to those who take hold of her,

And happy are all who hold her fast.

19 The Lord aby wisdom founded the earth,

By understanding He bestablished the heavens.

20 By His knowledge the adeeps were broken up

And the bskies drip with dew.

21 My son, alet them not 1vanish from your sight;

Keep sound wisdom and discretion,

22 So they will be alife to your soul

And badornment to your neck.

23 Then you will awalk in your way securely

And your foot will not bstumble.

24 When you alie down, you will not be afraid;

When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

25 aDo not be afraid of sudden fear

Nor of the 1bonslaught of the wicked when it comes;

26 For the Lord will be 1your confidence

And will akeep your foot from being caught.

27 aDo not withhold good from 1those to whom it is due,

When it is in your power to do it.

28 aDo not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,

And tomorrow I will give it,

When you have it with you.

29 aDo not devise harm against your neighbor,

While he lives securely beside you.

30 aDo not contend with a man without cause,

If he has done you no harm.

31 aDo not envy a man of violence

And do not choose any of his ways.

32 For the adevious are an abomination to the Lord;

But 1He is bintimate with the upright.

33 The acurse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,

But He bblesses the dwelling of the righteous.

34 Though aHe scoffs at the scoffers,

Yet bHe gives grace to the afflicted.

35 aThe wise will inherit honor,

But fools 1display dishonor.

Chapter 4

A Father’s Instruction

1 Hear, O sons, the ainstruction of a father,

And bgive attention that you may 1gain understanding,

2 For I give you 1sound ateaching;

bDo not abandon my 2instruction.

3 When I was a son to my father,

aTender and bthe only son in the sight of my mother,

4 Then he ataught me and said to me,

“Let your heart bhold fast my words;

cKeep my commandments and live;

5 aAcquire wisdom! bAcquire understanding!

Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

6 “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;

aLove her, and she will watch over you.

7 “aThe 1beginning of wisdom is: bAcquire wisdom;

And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

8 “aPrize her, and she will exalt you;

She will honor you if you embrace her.

9 “She will place aon your head a garland of grace;

She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Hear, my son, and aaccept my sayings

And the byears of your life will be many.

11 I have adirected you in the way of wisdom;

I have led you in upright paths.

12 When you walk, your asteps will not be impeded;

And if you run, you bwill not stumble.

13 aTake hold of instruction; do not let go.

Guard her, for she is your blife.

14 aDo not enter the path of the wicked

And do not proceed in the way of evil men.

15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;

Turn away from it and pass on.

16 For they acannot sleep unless they do evil;

And 1they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.

17 For they aeat the bread of wickedness

And drink the wine of violence.

18 But the apath of the righteous is like the blight of dawn,

That cshines brighter and brighter until the dfull day.

19 The away of the wicked is like darkness;

They do not know over what they 1bstumble.

20 My son, agive attention to my words;

bIncline your ear to my sayings.

21 aDo not let them depart from your sight;

bKeep them in the midst of your heart.

22 For they are alife to those who find them

And bhealth to all 1their body.

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,

For afrom it flow the springs of life.

24 Put away from you a adeceitful mouth

And bput devious 1speech far from you.

25 Let your eyes look directly ahead

And let your 1gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

26 aWatch the path of your feet

And all your bways will be established.

27 aDo not turn to the right nor to the left;

bTurn your foot from evil.

Chapter 5

Pitfalls of Immorality

1 My son, agive attention to my wisdom,

bIncline your ear to my understanding;

2 That you may aobserve discretion

And your blips may reserve knowledge.

3 For the lips of an 1aadulteress bdrip honey

And csmoother than oil is her 2speech;

4 But in the end she is abitter as wormwood,

bSharp as a two-edged sword.

5 Her feet ago down to death,

Her steps take hold …

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