Introduction to the Book
1 The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 To learn wisdom and moral instruction,
and to discern wise counsel.
3 To receive moral instruction in skilful living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity.
4 To impart shrewdness to the morally naive,
and a discerning plan to the young person.
5 (Let the wise also hear and gain instruction,
and let the discerning acquire guidance!)
6 To discern the meaning of a proverb and a parable,
the sayings of the wise and their riddles.
Introduction to the Theme of the Book
7 Fearing the Lord is the beginning of moral knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 Listen, my child, to the instruction from your father,
and do not forsake the teaching from your mother.
9 For they will be like an elegant garland on your head,
and like pendants around your neck.
Admonition to Avoid Easy but Unjust Riches
10 My child, if sinners try to entice you,
do not consent!
11 If they say, “Come with us!
We will lie in wait to shed blood;
we will ambush an innocent person capriciously.
12 We will swallow them alive like Sheol,
those full of vigour like those going down to the Pit.
13 We will seize all kinds of precious wealth;
we will fill our houses with plunder.
14 Join with us!
We will all share equally in what we steal.”
15 My child, do not go down their way,
withhold yourself from their path;
16 for they are eager to inflict harm,
and they hasten to shed blood.
17 Surely it is futile to spread a net
in plain sight of any bird,
18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood,
they ambush their own lives!
19 Such are the ways of all who gain profit unjustly;
it takes away the life of those who obtain it!
Warning Against Disregarding Wisdom
20 Wisdom calls out in the street,
she shouts loudly in the plazas;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she calls,
in the entrances of the gates in the city she utters her words:
22 “How long will you simpletons love naiveté?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If only you will respond to my rebuke,
then I will pour out my thoughts to you
and I will make my words known to you.
24 However, because I called but you refused to listen,
because I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention,
25 because you neglected all my advice,
and did not comply with my rebuke,
26 so I myself will laugh when disaster strikes you,
I will mock when what you dread comes,
27 when what you dread comes like a whirlwind,
and disaster strikes you like a devastating storm,
when distressing trouble comes on you.
28 Then they will call to me, but I will not answer;
they will diligently seek me, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated moral knowledge,
and did not choose to fear the Lord,
30 they did not comply with my advice,
they spurned all my rebuke.
31 Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way,
and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.
32 For the waywardness of the
simpletons will kill them,
and the careless ease of fools will destroy them.
33 But the one who listens to me will live in security,
and will be at ease from the dread of harm.