1
Prologue
1Proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand sayings of understanding,
3to gain insightful instruction,#Literally “the instruction of insight”
righteousness and justice and equity,
4to give shrewdness#Or “cleverness,” or “prudence” to the simple,
knowledge and purpose#Or “plan” to the young,
5may the wise hear and increase learning,
and the one who understands gain direction,#Or “guidance”
6to understand a proverb and an expression,
words of wisdom and their riddles.
7Fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
wisdom and instruction, fools despise.
Lecture Against Gang Behavior
8My child, may you keep#Or “obey,” or “hear” your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teachings,
9for they are a garland of favor for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
10My child, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
11If they say,
“Come with us!
We shall lie in wait for blood;
we shall ambush the innocent without cause.#Or “wantonly,” or “for nothing”
12Like Sheol,#A term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the Underworld we will swallow them alive
and whole, like those who descend to the pit.#Literally “like the descenders of a pit”
13We shall find all precious wealth,
we shall fill our houses with booty,
14you shall throw your lot in our midst,
there will be one purse for all of us.”
15My child, do not walk in their way.#Or “on their road”
Keep your foot from their paths,
16for their feet run to evil,
and they hurry to shed blood,
17for “in vain#Or “without cause,” or “for nothing” is the net scattered,
in the sight of any winged bird.”#Literally “bird of wing”
18They lie in wait for their own blood.
They ambush their own lives.
19Thus are the ways of all who are greedy for gain—
it will take the life of its possessors.
The Call of Lady Wisdom
20Wisdom calls out in the streets,
in the squares she raises her voice.
21On a busy corner#Literally “head of commotion,” or “head of stirring, bustling” she cries out,
at the entrances of the gates in the city, she speaks her sayings:
22“How long,#Literally “Until when” O simple ones, will you love simplicity?
And how long will scoffers delight in their scoffing,
and fools hate knowledge?
23May you turn to my argument!#Or “turn at my reproach”
Behold, I shall pour out my spirit upon you;
I will make my words known to you.
24Because I called out and you refused me,
I stretched out my hand, yet there is none who heeds.
25You have ignored all my counsel,
and my reproof you are not willing to accept.
26I will also laugh at your calamity;#Or “downfall”
I will mock when panic#Or “dread, fear” comes upon you.
27When your panic comes like a storm,
and your calamity arrives like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you,
28then they will call#Or “cry out to” me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but not find me.
29Since they hated knowledge,
and did not choose the fear of Yahweh,
30they were not willing to accept my counsel,
they despised all my reproof.
31They shall eat from the fruit of their way,
and they shall be sated from their own schemes,
32for the waywardness of the simple ones will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33Whoever listens to me will dwell in security
and rest securely#Or “be at ease, peace” from dread and disaster.”
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