The Usefulness of Proverbs
1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
3To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
4To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
5A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
6To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Enticement of Sinners
8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
9Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.
10My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
14Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”
15My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;
18But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.
20Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
21At 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 naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
23Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
25And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
26I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
27When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
29Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
30They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
31So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
32For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”