The Purpose of Proverbs
1These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
5Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom
8My child, listen when your father corrects you.
Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
9What you learn from them will crown you with grace
and be a chain of honor around your neck.
10My child, if sinners entice you,
turn your back on them!
11They may say, “Come and join us.
Let’s hide and kill someone!
Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave;
let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13Think of the great things we’ll get!
We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14Come, throw in your lot with us;
we’ll all share the loot.”
15My child, don’t go along with them!
Stay far away from their paths.
16They rush to commit evil deeds.
They hurry to commit murder.
17If a bird sees a trap being set,
it knows to stay away.
18But these people set an ambush for themselves;
they are trying to get themselves killed.
19Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
it robs them of life.
Wisdom Shouts in the Streets
20Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
21She calls to the crowds along the main street,
to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22“How long, you simpletons,
will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise.
24“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25You ignored my advice
and rejected the correction I offered.
26So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28“When they cry for help, I will not answer.
Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29For they hated knowledge
and chose not to fear the Lord.
30They rejected my advice
and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.
32For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.”