The Value of Proverbs

11 Proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: 2 For knowing wisdom and instruction, For understanding sayings of intelligence, 3 For receiving the instruction of wisdom, Righteousness, judgment, and uprightness, 4 For giving to simple ones—prudence, To a youth—knowledge and discretion. 5 (The wise doth hear and increaseth learning, And the intelligent doth obtain counsels.) 6 For understanding a proverb and its sweetness, Words of the wise and their acute sayings.

7 Fear of Jehovah 'is' a beginning of knowledge, Wisdom and instruction fools have despised!

Wisdom's Warning

8 Hear, my son, the instruction of thy father, And leave not the law of thy mother, 9 For a graceful wreath 'are' they to thy head, And chains to thy neck.

10 My son, if sinners entice thee be not willing. 11 If they say, 'Come with us, we lay wait for blood, We watch secretly for the innocent without cause, 12 We swallow them as Sheol—alive, And whole—as those going down 'to' the pit, 13 Every precious substance we find, We fill our houses 'with' spoil, 14 Thy lot thou dost cast among us, One purse is—to all of us.' 15 My son! go not in the way with them, Withhold thy foot from their path, 16 For their feet to evil do run, And they haste to shed blood. 17 Surely in vain is the net spread out before the eyes of any bird. 18 And they for their own blood lay wait, They watch secretly for their own lives. 19 So 'are' the paths of every gainer of dishonest gain, The life of its owners it taketh.

20 Wisdom in an out-place crieth aloud, In broad places she giveth forth her voice, 21 At the head of the multitudes she calleth, In the openings of the gates, In the city her sayings she saith: 22 'Till when, ye simple, do ye love simplicity? And have scorners their scorning desired? And do fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn back at my reproof, lo, I pour forth to you my spirit, I make known my words with you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refuse, I stretched out my hand, and none is attending, 25 And ye slight all my counsel, And my reproof ye have not desired. 26 I also in your calamity do laugh, I deride when your fear cometh, 27 When your fear cometh as destruction, And your calamity as a hurricane doth come, When on you come adversity and distress. 28 Then they call me, and I do not answer, They seek me earnestly, and find me not. 29 Because that they have hated knowledge, And the fear of Jehovah have not chosen. 30 They have not consented to my counsel, They have despised all my reproof, 31 And they eat of the fruit of their way, And from their own counsels they are filled. 32 For the turning of the simple slayeth them, And the security of the foolish destroyeth them. 33 And whoso is hearkening to me dwelleth confidently, And 'is' quiet from fear of evil!'

The Reward of Seeking Wisdom

21 My son, if thou dost accept my sayings, And my commands dost lay up with thee, 2 To cause thine ear to attend to wisdom, Thou inclinest thy heart to understanding, 3 For, if for intelligence thou callest, For understanding givest forth thy voice, 4 If thou dost seek her as silver, And as hid treasures searchest for her, 5 Then understandest thou fear of Jehovah, And knowledge of God thou findest. 6 For Jehovah giveth wisdom, From His mouth knowledge and understanding. 7 Even to lay up for the upright substance, A shield for those walking uprightly. 8 To keep the paths of judgment, And the way of His saints He preserveth. 9 Then understandest thou righteousness, And judgment, and uprightness—every good path.

10 For wisdom cometh into thy heart, And knowledge to thy soul is pleasant, 11 Thoughtfulness doth watch over thee, Understanding doth keep thee, 12 To deliver thee from an evil way, From any speaking froward things, 13 Who are forsaking paths of uprightness, To walk in ways of darkness, 14 Who are rejoicing to do evil, They delight in frowardness of the wicked, 15 Whose paths 'are' crooked, Yea, they are perverted in their ways. 16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, From the stranger who hath made smooth her sayings, 17 Who is forsaking the guide of her youth, And the covenant of her God hath forgotten. 18 For her house hath inclined unto death, And unto Rephaim her paths. 19 None going in unto her turn back, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 That thou dost go in the way of the good, And the paths of the righteous dost keep. 21 For the upright do inhabit the earth, And the perfect are left in it, 22 And the wicked from the earth are cut off, And treacherous dealers plucked out of it!

Exhortations to Obedience

31 My son! my law forget not, And my commands let thy heart keep, 2 For length of days and years, Life and peace they do add to thee. 3 Let not kindness and truth forsake thee, Bind them on thy neck, Write them on the tablet of thy heart, 4 And find grace and good understanding In the eyes of God and man. 5 Trust unto Jehovah with all thy heart, And unto thine own understanding lean not. 6 In all thy ways know thou Him, And He doth make straight thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes, Fear Jehovah, and turn aside from evil. 8 Healing it is to thy navel, And moistening to thy bones. 9 Honour Jehovah from thy substance, And from the beginning of all thine increase; 10 And filled are thy barns 'with' plenty, And 'with' new wine thy presses break forth. 11 Chastisement of Jehovah, my son, despise not, And be not vexed with His reproof, 12 For whom Jehovah loveth He reproveth, Even as a father the son He is pleased with.

13 O the happiness of a man 'who' hath found wisdom, And of a man 'who' bringeth forth understanding. 14 For better 'is' her merchandise Than the merchandise of silver, And than gold—her increase. 15 Precious she 'is' above rubies, And all thy pleasures are not comparable to her. 16 Length of days 'is' in her right hand, In her left 'are' wealth and honour. 17 Her ways 'are' ways of pleasantness, And all her paths 'are' peace. 18 A tree of life she 'is' to those laying hold on her, And whoso is retaining her 'is' happy. 19 Jehovah by wisdom did found the earth, He prepared the heavens by understanding. 20 By His knowledge depths have been rent, And clouds do drop dew.

21 My son! let them not turn from thine eyes, Keep thou wisdom and thoughtfulness, 22 And they are life to thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then thou goest thy way confidently, And thy foot doth not stumble. 24 If thou liest down, thou art not afraid, Yea, thou hast lain down, And sweet hath been thy sleep. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, And of the desolation of the wicked when it cometh. 26 For Jehovah is at thy side, And He hath kept thy foot from capture.

27 Withhold not good from its owners, When thy hand 'is' toward God to do 'it'. 28 Say not thou to thy friend, 'Go, and return, and to-morrow I give,' And substance with thee. 29 Devise not against thy neighbour evil, And he sitting confidently with thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, If he have not done thee evil. 31 Be not envious of a man of violence, Nor fix thou on any of his ways. 32 For an abomination to Jehovah 'is' the perverted, And with the upright 'is' His secret counsel. 33 The curse of Jehovah 'is' in the house of the wicked. And the habitation of the righteous He blesseth. 34 If the scorners He doth scorn, Yet to the humble He doth give grace. 35 Honour do the wise inherit, And fools are bearing away shame!