Purpose of Proverbs
1The proverbs of Solomon, King David’s son, from Israel:
2Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline,
to help one understand wise sayings.
3They provide insightful instruction,
which is righteous, just, and full of integrity.
4They make the naive mature,
the young knowledgeable and discreet.
5The wise hear them and grow in wisdom;
those with understanding gain guidance.
6They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings,
the words of the wise, and their puzzles.
7Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Avoid evil associations
8Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction;
don’t neglect your mother’s teaching;
9for they are a graceful wreath on your head,
and beads for your neck.
10My son, don’t let sinners entice you.
11when they say:
"Come with us.
Let’s set up a deadly ambush.
Let’s secretly wait for the innocent just for fun.
12Let’s swallow up the living like the grave#Heb Sheol—
whole, like those who go down into the pit.
13We’ll find all sorts of precious wealth;
we’ll fill our houses with plunder.
14Throw in your lot with us;
we’ll share our money."
15My son, don’t go on the path with them;
keep your feet from their way,
16because their feet run to evil;
they hurry to spill blood.
17It’s useless to cast a net
in the sight of a bird.
18But these sinners set up a deadly ambush;
they lie in wait for their own lives.
19These are the ways of all who seek unjust gain;
it costs them their lives.
Listen to Woman Wisdom
20Wisdom shouts in the street;
in the public square she raises her voice.
21Above the noisy crowd, she calls out.
At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say:
22"How long will you clueless people love your naïveté,
mockers hold their mocking dear,
and fools hate knowledge?
23You should respond when I correct you.
Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you.
I’ll reveal my words to you.
24I invited you, but you rejected me;
I stretched out my hand to you,
but you paid no attention.
25You ignored all my advice,
and you didn’t want me to correct you.
26So I’ll laugh at your disaster;
I’ll make fun of you when dread comes over you,
27when terror hits you like a hurricane,
and your disaster comes in like a tornado,
when distress and oppression overcome you.
28Then they will call me, but I won’t answer;
they will seek me, but won’t find me
29because they hated knowledge
and didn’t choose the fear of the Lord.
30They didn’t want my advice;
they rejected all my corrections.
31They will eat from the fruit of their way,
and they’ll be full of their own schemes.
32The immature will die because they turn away;
smugness will destroy fools.
33Those who obey me will dwell securely,
untroubled by the dread of harm."