Proverbs 1:1–2:22

Purpose and Theme

1 The proverbsa of Solomonb son of David, king of Israel:c

for gaining wisdom and instruction;

for understanding words of insight;

for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,

doing what is right and just and fair;

for giving prudence to those who are simple,a d

knowledge and discretione to the young—

let the wise listen and add to their learning,f

and let the discerning get guidance—

for understanding proverbs and parables,g

the sayings and riddlesh of the wise.b i

The fear of the Lordj is the beginning of knowledge,

but foolsc despise wisdomk and instruction.l

Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom

Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men

Listen, my son,m to your father’sn instruction

and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.o

They are a garland to grace your head

and a chain to adorn your neck.p

10 My son, if sinful men enticeq you,

do not give inr to them.s

11 If they say, “Come along with us;

let’s lie in waitt for innocent blood,

let’s ambush some harmless soul;

12 let’s swallowu them alive, like the grave,

and whole, like those who go down to the pit;v

13 we will get all sorts of valuable things

and fill our houses with plunder;

14 cast lots with us;

we will all share the lootw”—

15 my son, do not go along with them,

do not set footx on their paths;y

16 for their feet rush into evil,z

they are swift to shed blood.a

17 How useless to spread a net

where every bird can see it!

18 These men lie in waitb for their own blood;

they ambush only themselves!c

19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;

it takes away the life of those who get it.d

Wisdom’s Rebuke

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,e

she raises her voice in the public square;

21 on top of the walld she cries out,

at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simplef love your simple ways?

How long will mockers delight in mockery

and fools hateg knowledge?

23 Repent at my rebuke!

Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,

I will make known to you my teachings.

24 But since you refuseh to listen when I calli

and no one pays attentionj when I stretch out my hand,

25 since you disregard all my advice

and do not accept my rebuke,

26 I in turn will laughk when disasterl strikes you;

I will mockm when calamity overtakes youn

27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,

when disastero sweeps over you like a whirlwind,

when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;p

they will look for me but will not find me,q

29 since they hated knowledge

and did not choose to fear the Lord.r

30 Since they would not accept my advice

and spurned my rebuke,s

31 they will eat the fruit of their ways

and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.t

32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,

and the complacency of fools will destroy them;u

33 but whoever listens to me will live in safetyv

and be at ease, without fear of harm.”w

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

2 My son,x if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understandingy

indeed, if you call out for insightz

and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,a

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God.b

For the Lord gives wisdom;c

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.d

He holds success in store for the upright,

he is a shielde to those whose walk is blameless,f

for he guards the course of the just

and protects the way of his faithful ones.g

Then you will understandh what is right and just

and fair—every good path.

10 For wisdom will enter your heart,i

and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

11 Discretion will protect you,

and understanding will guard you.j

12 Wisdom will savek you from the ways of wicked men,

from men whose words are perverse,

13 who have left the straight paths

to walk in dark ways,l

14 who delight in doing wrong

and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,m

15 whose paths are crookedn

and who are devious in their ways.o

16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,p

from the wayward woman with her seductive words,

17 who has left the partner of her youth

and ignored the covenant she made before God.a q

18 Surely her house leads down to death

and her paths to the spirits of the dead.r

19 None who go to her return

or attain the paths of life.s

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good

and keep to the paths of the righteous.

21 For the upright will live in the land,t

and the blameless will remain in it;

22 but the wickedu will be cut off from the land,v

and the unfaithful will be torn from it.w

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