The Value of Proverbs
11 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 and justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion: 5 That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and a figure, The words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; [But] the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, And forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 For they shall be a chaplet of grace unto thy head, And chains about thy neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice thee, Consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us, Let us lay wait for blood; Let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them up alive as Sheol, And whole, as those that go down into the pit; 13 We shall find all precious substance; We shall fill our houses with spoil; 14 Thou shalt cast thy lot among us; We will all have one purse: 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; Refrain thy foot from their path: 16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood. 17 For in vain is the net spread In the sight of any bird: 18 And these lay wait for their own blood; They lurk privily for their own lives. 19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; It taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
20 Wisdom crieth aloud in the street; She uttereth her voice in the broad places; 21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse; At the entrance of the gates, In the city, she uttereth her words: 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And scoffers delight them in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my spirit upon you; I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man hath regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, And would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh in [the day of] your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as a storm, And your calamity cometh on as a whirlwind; When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 Then will they call upon me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of Jehovah: 30 They would none of my counsel; They despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own devices. 32 For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, And the careless ease of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell securely, And shall be quiet without fear of evil.
The Reward of Seeking Wisdom
21 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, And lay up my commandments with thee; 2 So as to incline thine ear unto wisdom, And apply thy heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou cry after discernment, And lift up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seek her as silver, And search for her as for hid treasures: 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of Jehovah, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For Jehovah giveth wisdom; Out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding: 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the upright; [He is] a shield to them that walk in integrity; 8 That he may guard the paths of justice, And preserve the way of his saints. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness and justice, And equity, [yea], every good path.
10 For wisdom shall enter into thy heart, And knowledge shall be pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall watch over thee; Understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of evil, From the men that 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 thee from the strange woman, Even from the foreigner that flattereth with her words; 17 That forsaketh the friend of her youth, And forgetteth the covenant of her God: 18 For her house inclineth unto death, And her paths unto the dead; 19 None that go unto her return again, Neither do they attain unto the paths of life: 20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, And keep the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, And the perfect shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the land, And the treacherous shall be rooted out of it.
Exhortations to Obedience
31 My son, forget not my law; But let thy heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and years of life, And peace, will they add to thee. 3 Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart: 4 So shalt thou find favor and good understanding In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding: 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes; Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil: 8 It will be health to thy navel, And marrow to thy bones. 9 Honor Jehovah with thy substance, And with the first-fruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy vats shall overflow with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the chastening of Jehovah; Neither be weary of his reproof: 12 For whom Jehovah loveth he reproveth; Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, And the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, And the profit thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: And none of the things thou canst desire are to be compared unto 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, And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: And happy is every one that retaineth her. 19 Jehovah by wisdom 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 thine eyes; Keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, And grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way securely, And thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: Yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, Neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh: 26 For Jehovah will be thy confidence, And will keep thy foot from being taken.
27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, When it is in the power of thy hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, And to-morrow I will give; When thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbor, Seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, If he have done thee no harm. 31 Envy thou not the man of violence, And choose none of his ways. 32 For the perverse is an abomination to Jehovah; But his friendship is with the upright. 33 The curse of Jehovah is in the house of the wicked; But he blesseth the habitation of the righteous. 34 Surely he scoffeth at the scoffers; But he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory; But shame shall be the promotion of fools.