1These are the proverbs of Solomon. He was the son of David and the king of Israel.
2Proverbs teach you wisdom and instruct you.
They help you understand wise sayings.
3They provide you with instruction and help you live wisely.
They lead to what is right and honest and fair.
4They give understanding to childish people.
They give knowledge and good sense to those who are young.
5Let wise people listen and add to what they have learned.
Let those who understand what is right get guidance.
6What I’m teaching also helps you understand proverbs and stories.
It helps you understand the sayings and riddles of those who are wise.
7If you really want to gain knowledge, you must begin by having respect for the Lord.
But foolish people hate wisdom and instruction.
A Warning Against Sinful Men
8My son, listen to your father’s advice.
Don’t turn away from your mother’s teaching.
9What they teach you will be like a beautiful crown on your head.
It will be like a chain to decorate your neck.
10My son, if sinful men tempt you,
don’t give in to them.
11They might say, “Come along with us.
Let’s hide and wait to kill someone who hasn’t done anything wrong.
Let’s catch some harmless person in our trap.
12Let’s swallow them alive, as the grave does.
Let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down into the pit.
13We’ll get all kinds of valuable things.
We’ll fill our houses with what we steal.
14Cast lots with us for what they own.
We’ll share everything we take from them.”
15My son, don’t go along with them.
Don’t even set your feet on their paths.
16They are always in a hurry to sin.
They are quick to spill someone’s blood.
17How useless it is to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18Those who hide and wait will spill their own blood.
They will be caught in their own trap.
19That’s what happens to everyone
who goes after money in the wrong way.
That kind of money takes away
the life of those who get it.
20Out in the open wisdom calls out.
She raises her voice in a public place.
21On top of the city wall she cries out.
Here is what she says near the gate of the city.
22“How long will you childish people love your childish ways?
How long will you rude people enjoy making fun of God and others?
How long will you foolish people hate knowledge?
23Pay attention to my warning!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you.
I will make known to you my teachings.
24But you refuse to listen when I call out to you.
No one pays attention when I reach out my hand.
25You turn away from all my advice.
And you do not accept my warning.
26So I will laugh at you when you are in danger.
I will make fun of you when hard times come.
27I will laugh when hard times hit you like a storm.
I will laugh when danger comes your way like a windstorm.
I will make fun of you when suffering and trouble come.
28“Then you will call to me. But I won’t answer.
You will look for me. But you won’t find me.
29You hated knowledge.
You didn’t choose to have respect for the Lord.
30You wouldn’t accept my advice.
You turned your backs on my warnings.
31So you will eat the fruit of the way you have lived.
You will choke on the fruit of what you have planned.
32“The wrong path that childish people take will kill them.
Foolish people will be destroyed by being satisfied with the way they live.
33But those who listen to me will live in safety.
They will be at ease and have no fear of being harmed.”