The Usefulness of Proverbs
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of
David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
3 To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
4 To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
5 A wise man will hear and increase in
And a man of understanding will acquire
6 To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Enticement of Sinners
8 Hear, my son, your father's instruction
And do not forsake your mother's teaching;
9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to
And ornaments about your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, "Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
14 Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,"
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains
It takes away the life of its possessors.
20 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she
At the entrance of the gates in the city
she utters her sayings:
22 "How long, O naive ones, will you love
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
23 "Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 "Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one
25 And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
26 I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 "Then they will call on me, but I will
They will seek me diligently but they will
not find me,
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
30 "They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
31 "So they shall eat of the fruit of their
And be satiated with their own devices.
32 "For the waywardness of the naive
will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy
33 "But he who listens to me shall live
And will be at ease from the dread of evil."
The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security
1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
9 Then you will discern righteousness and
And equity and every good course.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;
13 From those who leave the paths of
To walk in the ways of darkness;
14 Who delight in doing evil
And rejoice in the perversity of evil;
15 Whose paths are crooked,
And who are devious in their ways;
16 To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the adulteress who flatters with
17 That leaves the companion of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God;
18 For her house sinks down to death
And her tracks lead to the dead;
19 None who go to her return again,
Nor do they reach the paths of life.
20 So you will walk in the way of good men
And keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the
And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.