The Value of Proverbs
1 1 The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: 2 to know wisdom and instruction;
to discern the words of understanding; 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young man: 5 that the wise man may hear, and increase in learning;
that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel: 6 to understand a proverb, and parables,
the words and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
10 My son, if sinners entice you, don’t consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let’s lay in wait for blood;
let’s lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 12 let’s swallow them up alive like Sheol,
and whole, like those who go down into the pit. 13 We’ll find all valuable wealth.
We’ll fill our houses with spoil. 14 You shall cast your lot among us.
We’ll all have one purse.” 15 My son, don’t walk in the way with them.
Keep your foot from their path, 16 for their feet run to evil.
They hurry to shed blood. 17 For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird: 18 but these lay wait for their own blood.
They lurk secretly for their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain.
It takes away the life of its owners.
20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street.
She utters her voice in the public squares. 21 She calls at the head of noisy places.
At the entrance of the city gates, she utters her words: 22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery,
and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn at my reproof.
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you.
I will make known my words to you. 24 Because I have called, and you have refused;
I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention; 25 but you have ignored all my counsel,
and wanted none of my reproof; 26 I also will laugh at your disaster.
I will mock when calamity overtakes you; 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind;
when distress and anguish come on you. 28 Then will they call on me, but I will not answer.
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me; 29 because they hated knowledge,
and didn’t choose the fear of Yahweh. 30 They wanted none of my counsel.
They despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way,
and be filled with their own schemes. 32 For the backsliding of the simple will kill them.
The careless ease of fools will destroy them. 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell securely,
and will be at ease, without fear of harm.”
The Reward of Seeking Wisdom
2 1 My son, if you will receive my words,
and store up my commandments within you; 2 So as to turn your ear to wisdom,
and apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you call out for discernment,
and lift up your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver,
and search for her as for hidden treasures: 5 then you will understand the fear of Yahweh,
and find the knowledge of God. 6 For Yahweh gives wisdom.
Out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. 7 He lays up sound wisdom for the upright.
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity; 8 that he may guard the paths of justice,
and preserve the way of his saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
equity and every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter into your heart.
Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you, 12 to deliver you from the way of evil,
from the men who speak perverse things; 13 who forsake the paths of uprightness,
to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 who rejoice to do evil,
and delight in the perverseness of evil; 15 who are crooked in their ways,
and wayward in their paths: 16 To deliver you from the strange woman,
even from the foreigner who flatters with her words; 17 who forsakes the friend of her youth,
and forgets the covenant of her God: 18 for her house leads down to death,
her paths to the dead. 19 None who go to her return again,
neither do they attain to the paths of life: 20 that you may walk in the way of good men,
and keep the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will dwell in the land.
The perfect will remain in it. 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land.
The treacherous will be rooted out of it.
Exhortations to Obedience
3 1 My son, don’t forget my teaching;
but let your heart keep my commandments: 2 for length of days, and years of life,
and peace, will they add to you. 3 Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you.
Bind them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor,
and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart,
and don’t lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes.
Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your body,
and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor Yahweh with your substance,
with the first fruits of all your increase: 10 so your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, don’t despise Yahweh’s discipline,
neither be weary of his reproof: 12 for whom Yahweh loves, he reproves;
even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gets understanding. 14 For her good profit is better than getting silver,
and her return is better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies.
None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand.
In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness.
All her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
Happy is everyone who retains her. 19 By wisdom Yahweh founded the earth.
By understanding, he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge, the depths were broken up,
and the skies drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes.
Keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 so they will be life to your soul,
and grace for your neck. 23 Then you shall walk in your way securely.
Your foot won’t stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid.
Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet. 25 Don’t be afraid of sudden fear,
neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes: 26 for Yahweh will be your confidence,
and will keep your foot from being taken.
27 Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in the power of your hand to do it. 28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again;
tomorrow I will give it to you,”
when you have it by you. 29 Don’t devise evil against your neighbor,
seeing he dwells securely by you. 30 Don’t strive with a man without cause,
if he has done you no harm. 31 Don’t envy the man of violence.
Choose none of his ways. 32 For the perverse is an abomination to Yahweh,
but his friendship is with the upright. 33 Yahweh’s curse is in the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the habitation of the righteous. 34 Surely he mocks the mockers,
but he gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise will inherit glory,
but shame will be the promotion of fools.