The Value of Wise Sayings
1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2to acquire wisdom and discipline, to understand the words of insight,
3to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and fairness,
4to give discernment to the naïve, knowledge and discretion to the youth
5(let the wise listen and increase learning and the discerning obtain wise counsel)
6to understand a proverb and a puzzle, the sayings of the wise and their riddles.
The Wisdom of Parents
7The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
9For they are a garland of grace for your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
Avoid a Bloodthirsty Gang
10My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in.
11Suppose they say: “Come with us! Let’s lie in wait for blood! Let’s ambush the innocent— for no reason!
12Let’s swallow them alive like Sheol— still healthy, as they go down to the Pit!
13We’ll find all sorts of valuable things, we’ll fill our homes with loot!
14Throw your lot in with us— we’ll all have one wallet.”
15My son, do not go along with them, keep your foot from their path—
16for their feet run to evil and they are swift to shed blood.
17Surely it is useless to spread a net in the eyes of all winged creatures!
18But they lie in wait for their own blood. They ambush their own lives.
19Such is the fate of all gaining by violence. It takes the life of its possessor.
Wisdom Calls, But Who Listens?
20Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in public squares.
21She cries out above the commotion. At the entrances of the city gates, she utters her speech:
22“How long will you naïve ones love simplicity, you scoffers delight in scoffing, and you fools hate knowledge?
23You are repulsed at my rebuke. Behold, I pour out my heart to you. I will make my words known to you.
24Because you refused when I called, and did not pay attention when I stretched out my hand,
25since you ignore all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
26I in turn will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when dread comes on you,
27when your terror comes like a storm and your calamity sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when trouble and distress overwhelm you!
28Then they will cry out to me, but I will not answer! They will earnestly seek me, but will not find me.
29Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of Adonai,
30they would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof,
31so they will eat the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own schemes.
32For the backsliding of the naïve will kill them and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33But whoever pays attention to me will live securely, and be free from the fear of evil.”