Proverbs, CHAPTER 1
PURPOSE OF THE PROVERBS OF SOLOMON
The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David,
king of Israel:
That people may know wisdom and discipline,
may understand intelligent sayings;
May receive instruction in wise conduct,
in what is right, just and fair;
That resourcefulness may be imparted to the naive,
knowledge and discretion to the young.
The wise by hearing them will advance in learning,
the intelligent will gain sound guidance,
To comprehend proverb and byword,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.
THE PATH OF THE WICKED: GREED AND VIOLENCE
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
A graceful diadem will they be for your head;
a pendant for your neck.
My son, should sinners entice you,
do not go if they say, “Come along with us!
Let us lie in wait for blood,
unprovoked, let us trap the innocent;
Let us swallow them alive, like Sheol,
whole, like those who go down to the pit!
All kinds of precious wealth shall we gain,
we shall fill our houses with booty;
Cast in your lot with us,
we shall all have one purse!”
My son, do not walk in the way with them,
hold back your foot from their path!
[For their feet run to evil,
they hasten to shed blood.]
In vain a net is spread
right under the eyes of any bird―
They lie in wait for their own blood,
they set a trap for their own lives.
This is the way of everyone greedy for loot:
it takes away their lives.
WISDOM IN PERSON GIVES A WARNING
Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the open squares she raises her voice;
Down the crowded ways she calls out,
at the city gates she utters her words:
“How long, you naive ones, will you love naivete,
How long will you turn away at my reproof?
[The arrogant delight in their arrogance,
and fools hate knowledge.]
Lo! I will pour out to you my spirit,
I will acquaint you with my words:
‘Because I called and you refused,
extended my hand and no one took notice;
Because you disdained all my counsel,
and my reproof you ignored―
I, in my turn, will laugh at your doom;
will mock when terror overtakes you;
When terror comes upon you like a storm,
and your doom approaches like a whirlwind;
when distress and anguish befall you.’
Then they will call me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me, but will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge,
and the fear of the LORD they did not choose.
They ignored my counsel,
they spurned all my reproof;
Well, then, they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
and with their own devices be glutted.
For the straying of the naive kills them,
the smugness of fools destroys them.
But whoever obeys me dwells in security,
in peace, without fear of harm.”