Proverbs 1:1–31:31

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

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

3 My son,x do not forget my teaching,y

but keep my commands in your heart,

for they will prolong your life many yearsz

and bring you peace and prosperity.a

Let love and faithfulnessb never leave you;

bind them around your neck,

write them on the tablet of your heart.c

Then you will win favor and a good name

in the sight of God and man.d

Trust in the Lorde with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your pathsf straight.a g

Do not be wise in your own eyes;h

fear the Lordi and shun evil.j

This will bring health to your bodyk

and nourishment to your bones.l

Honor the Lord with your wealth,

with the firstfruitsm of all your crops;

10 then your barns will be filledn to overflowing,

and your vats will brim over with new wine.o

11 My son,p do not despise the Lord’s discipline,q

and do not resent his rebuke,

12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,r

as a father the son he delights in.b s

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,

those who gain understanding,

14 for she is more profitable than silver

and yields better returns than gold.t

15 She is more precious than rubies;u

nothing you desire can compare with her.v

16 Long life is in her right hand;w

in her left hand are riches and honor.x

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,

and all her paths are peace.y

18 She is a tree of lifez to those who take hold of her;

those who hold her fast will be blessed.a

19 By wisdomb the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,c

by understanding he set the heavensd in place;

20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,

and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son,e do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,f

preserve sound judgment and discretion;

22 they will be life for you,g

an ornament to grace your neck.h

23 Then you will go on your way in safety,i

and your foot will not stumble.j

24 When you lie down,k you will not be afraid;l

when you lie down, your sleepm will be sweet.

25 Have no fear of sudden disaster

or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26 for the Lord will be at your siden

and will keep your footo from being snared.p

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

when it is in your power to act.

28 Do not say to your neighbor,

“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—

when you already have it with you.q

29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,

who lives trustfully near you.r

30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—

when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envys the violent

or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverset

but takes the upright into his confidence.u

33 The Lord’s cursev is on the house of the wicked,w

but he blesses the home of the righteous.x

34 He mocksy proud mockersz

but shows favor to the humblea and oppressed.

35 The wise inherit honor,

but fools get only shame.

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

4 Listen, my sons,b to a father’s instruction;c

pay attention and gain understanding.d

I give you sound learning,

so do not forsake my teaching.

For I too was a son to my father,

still tender, and cherished by my mother.

Then he taught me, and he said to me,

“Take holde of my words with all your heart;

keep my commands, and you will live.f

Get wisdom,g get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn away from them.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;h

love her, and she will watch over you.i

The beginning of wisdom is this: Geta wisdom.

Though it cost allj you have,b get understanding.k

Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.l

She will give you a garland to grace your head

and present you with a glorious crown.m

10 Listen, my son,n accept what I say,

and the years of your life will be many.o

11 I instructp you in the way of wisdom

and lead you along straight paths.q

12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;

when you run, you will not stumble.r

13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;

guard it well, for it is your life.s

14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked

or walk in the way of evildoers.t

15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;

turn from it and go on your way.

16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;u

they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.

17 They eat the bread of wickedness

and drink the wine of violence.v

18 The path of the righteousw is like the morning sun,x

shining ever brighter till the full light of day.y

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;z

they do not know what makes them stumble.a

20 My son,b pay attention to what I say;

turn your ear to my words.c

21 Do not let them out of your sight,d

keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them

and health to one’s whole body.e

23 Above all else, guardf your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.g

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;

keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyesh look straight ahead;

fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to thec paths for your feeti

and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;j

keep your foot from evil.

Warning Against Adultery

5 My son,k pay attention to my wisdom,

turn your ear to my wordsl of insight,

that you may maintain discretion

and your lips may preserve

Read more Explain verse

A service of Logos Bible Software