Proverbs 1-9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
I. Title and Introduction
Purpose of the Proverbs of Solomon
1 The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David,
king of Israel:
2 That people may know wisdom and discipline,
may understand intelligent sayings;
3 May receive instruction in wise conduct,
in what is right, just and fair;
4 That resourcefulness may be imparted to the naive,
knowledge and discretion to the young.
5 The wise by hearing them will advance in learning,
the intelligent will gain sound guidance,
6 To comprehend proverb and byword,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.
II. Instructions of Parents and of Woman Wisdom
The Path of the Wicked: Greed and Violence
8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
9 A graceful diadem will they be for your head;
a pendant for your neck.
10 My son, should sinners entice you,
11 do not go if they say, “Come along with us!
Let us lie in wait for blood,
unprovoked, let us trap the innocent;
12 Let us swallow them alive, like Sheol,
whole, like those who go down to the pit!
13 All kinds of precious wealth shall we gain,
we shall fill our houses with booty;
14 Cast in your lot with us,
we shall all have one purse!”
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
hold back your foot from their path!
16 [For their feet run to evil,
they hasten to shed blood.]
17 In vain a net is spread
right under the eyes of any bird—
18 They lie in wait for their own blood,
they set a trap for their own lives.
19 This is the way of everyone greedy for loot:
it takes away their lives.
Wisdom in Person Gives a Warning
20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the open squares she raises her voice;
21 Down the crowded ways she calls out,
at the city gates she utters her words:
22 “How long, you naive ones, will you love naivete,
23 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:
24 ‘Because I called and you refused,
extended my hand and no one took notice;
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
and my reproof you ignored—
26 I, in my turn, will laugh at your doom;
will mock when terror overtakes you;
27 When terror comes upon you like a storm,
and your doom approaches like a whirlwind;
when distress and anguish befall you.’
28 Then they will call me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me, but will not find me,
29 Because they hated knowledge,
and the fear of the Lord they did not choose.
30 They ignored my counsel,
they spurned all my reproof;
31 Well, then, they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
and with their own devices be glutted.
32 For the straying of the naive kills them,
the smugness of fools destroys them.
33 But whoever obeys me dwells in security,
in peace, without fear of harm.”
The Blessings of Wisdom
1 My son, if you receive my words
and treasure my commands,
2 Turning your ear to wisdom,
inclining your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you call for intelligence,
and to understanding raise your voice;
4 If you seek her like silver,
and like hidden treasures search her out,
5 Then will you understand the fear of the Lord;
the knowledge of God you will find;
6 For the Lord gives wisdom,
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He has success in store for the upright,
is the shield of those who walk honestly,
8 Guarding the paths of justice,
protecting the way of his faithful ones,
9 Then you will understand what is right and just,
what is fair, every good path;
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
knowledge will be at home in your soul,
11 Discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you;
12 Saving you from the way of the wicked,
from those whose speech is perverse.
13 From those who have left the straight paths
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 Who delight in doing evil
and celebrate perversity;
15 Whose ways are crooked,
whose paths are devious;
16 Saving you from a stranger,
from a foreign woman with her smooth words,
17 One who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
18 For her path sinks down to death,
and her footsteps lead to the shades.
19 None who enter there come back,
or gain the paths of life.
20 Thus you may walk in the way of the good,
and keep to the paths of the just.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land,
people of integrity will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land,
the faithless will be rooted out of it.
Confidence in God Leads to Prosperity
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
take to heart my commands;
2 For many days, and years of life,
and peace, will they bring you.
3 Do not let love and fidelity forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then will you win favor and esteem
before God and human beings.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
6 In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes,
fear the Lord and turn away from evil;
8 This will mean health for your flesh
and vigor for your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with first fruits of all your produce;
10 Then will your barns be filled with plenty,
with new wine your vats will overflow.
11 The discipline of the Lord, my son, do not spurn;
do not disdain his reproof;
12 For whom the Lord loves he reproves,
as a father, the son he favors.
The Benefits of Finding Wisdom
13 Happy the one who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding!
14 Her profit is better than profit in silver,
and better than gold is her revenue;
15 She is more precious than corals,
and no treasure of yours can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand,
in her left are riches and honor;
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace;
18 She is a tree of life to those who grasp her,
and those who hold her fast are happy.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth,
established the heavens by understanding;
20 By his knowledge the depths are split,
and the clouds drop down dew.
Justice Toward One’s Neighbor Brings Blessing
21 My son, do not let these slip from your sight:
hold to deliberation and planning;
22 So will they be life to your soul,
and an adornment for your neck.
23 Then you may go your way securely;
your foot will never stumble;
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid,
when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
of the ruin of the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be your confidence,
and will keep your foot from the snare.
27 Do not withhold any goods from the owner
when it is in your power to act.
28 Say not to your neighbor, “Go, come back tomorrow,
and I will give it to you,” when all the while you have it.
29 Do not plot evil against your neighbors,
when they live at peace with you.
30 Do not contend with someone without cause,
with one who has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the violent
and choose none of their ways:
32 To the Lord the devious are an abomination,
but the upright are close to him.
33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
but the dwelling of the just he blesses;
34 Those who scoff, he scoffs at,
but the lowly he favors.
35 The wise will possess glory,
but fools will bear shame.
The Teacher as Model Disciple
1 Hear, O children, a father’s instruction,
be attentive, that you may gain understanding!
2 Yes, excellent advice I give you;
my teaching do not forsake.
3 When I was my father’s child,
tender, the darling of my mother,
4 He taught me and said to me:
“Let your heart hold fast my words:
keep my commands, and live!
5 Get wisdom, get understanding!
Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
love her, and she will safeguard you;
7 The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
whatever else you get, get understanding.
8 Extol her, and she will exalt you;
she will bring you honors if you embrace her;
9 She will put on your head a graceful diadem;
a glorious crown will she bestow on you.”
The Two Ways
10 Hear, my son, and receive my words,
and the years of your life shall be many.
11 On the way of wisdom I direct you,
I lead you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your step will not be impeded,
and should you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold fast to instruction, never let it go;
keep it, for it is your life.
14 The path of the wicked do not enter,
nor walk in the way of the evil;
15 Shun it, do not cross it,
turn aside from it, pass on.
16 For they cannot rest unless they have done evil;
if they do not trip anyone they lose sleep.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is like shining light,
that grows in brilliance till perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
they do not know on what they stumble.
With Your Whole Being Heed My Words and Live
20 My son, to my words be attentive,
to my sayings incline your ear;
21 Let them not slip from your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
bringing health to one’s whole being.
23 With all vigilance guard your heart,
for in it are the sources of life.
24 Dishonest mouth put away from you,
deceitful lips put far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead
and your gaze be focused forward.
26 Survey the path for your feet,
and all your ways will be sure.
27 Turn neither to right nor to left,
keep your foot far from evil.
Warning Against Adultery
1 My son, to my wisdom be attentive,
to understanding incline your ear,
2 That you may act discreetly,
and your lips guard what you know.
3 Indeed, the lips of the stranger drip honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil;
4 But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood,
as sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
her steps reach Sheol;
6 Her paths ramble, you know not where,
lest you see before you the road to life.
7 So now, children, listen to me,
do not stray from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9 Lest you give your honor to others,
and your years to a merciless one;
10 Lest outsiders take their fill of your wealth,
and your hard-won earnings go to another’s house;
11 And you groan in the end,
when your flesh and your body are consumed;
12 And you say, “Oh, why did I hate instruction,
and my heart spurn reproof!
13 Why did I not listen to the voice of my teachers,
incline my ear to my instructors!
14 I am all but ruined,
in the midst of the public assembly!”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your water sources be dispersed abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be yours alone,
not shared with outsiders;
18 Let your fountain be blessed and have joy of the wife of your youth,
19 your lovely hind, your graceful doe.
Of whose love you will ever have your fill,
and by her ardor always be intoxicated.
20 Why then, my son, should you be intoxicated with a stranger,
and embrace another woman?
21 Indeed, the ways of each person are plain to the Lord’s sight;
all their paths he surveys;
22 By their own iniquities the wicked will be caught,
in the meshes of their own sin they will be held fast;
23 They will die from lack of discipline,
lost because of their great folly.
Against Going Surety for One’s Neighbor
1 My son, if you have become surety to your neighbor,
given your hand in pledge to another,
2 You have been snared by the utterance of your lips,
caught by the words of your mouth;
3 So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s power:
Go, hurry, rouse your neighbor!
4 Give no sleep to your eyes,
nor slumber to your eyelids;
5 Free yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,
or like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
The Ant and the Sluggard at Harvest
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
study her ways and learn wisdom;
7 For though she has no chief,
no commander or ruler,
8 She procures her food in the summer,
stores up her provisions in the harvest.
9 How long, O sluggard, will you lie there?
when will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the arms to rest—
11 Then poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like a brigand.
12 Scoundrels, villains, are they
who deal in crooked talk.
13 Shifty of eye,
feet ever moving,
pointing with fingers,
14 They have perversity in their hearts,
always plotting evil,
15 Therefore their doom comes suddenly;
in an instant they are crushed beyond cure.
What the Lord Rejects
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
yes, seven are an abomination to him;
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to run to evil,
19 The false witness who utters lies,
and the one who sows discord among kindred.
Warning Against Adultery
20 Observe, my son, your father’s command,
and do not reject your mother’s teaching;
21 Keep them fastened over your heart always,
tie them around your neck.
22 When you lie down they will watch over you,
when you wake, they will share your concerns;
wherever you turn, they will guide you.
23 For the command is a lamp, and the teaching a light,
and a way to life are the reproofs that discipline,
24 Keeping you from another’s wife,
from the smooth tongue of the foreign woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty,
do not let her captivate you with her glance!
26 For the price of a harlot
may be scarcely a loaf of bread,
But a married woman
is a trap for your precious life.
27 Can a man take embers into his bosom,
and his garments not be burned?
28 Or can a man walk on live coals,
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So with him who sleeps with another’s wife—
none who touches her shall go unpunished.
30 Thieves are not despised
if out of hunger they steal to satisfy their appetite.
31 Yet if caught they must pay back sevenfold,
yield up all the wealth of their house.
32 But those who commit adultery have no sense;
those who do it destroy themselves.
33 They will be beaten and disgraced,
and their shame will not be wiped away;
34 For passion enrages the husband,
he will have no pity on the day of vengeance;
35 He will not consider any restitution,
nor be satisfied by your many bribes.
1 My son, keep my words,
and treasure my commands.
2 Keep my commands and live,
and my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3 Bind them on your fingers,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to Wisdom, “You are my sister!”
Call Understanding, “Friend!”
5 That they may keep you from a stranger,
from the foreign woman with her smooth words.
6 For at the window of my house,
through my lattice I looked out
7 And I saw among the naive,
I observed among the young men,
a youth with no sense,
8 Crossing the street near the corner,
then walking toward her house,
9 In the twilight, at dusk of day,
in the very dark of night.
10 Then the woman comes to meet him,
dressed like a harlot, with secret designs.
11 She is raucous and unruly,
her feet cannot stay at home;
12 Now she is in the streets, now in the open squares,
lurking in ambush at every corner.
13 Then she grabs him, kisses him,
and with an impudent look says to him:
14 “I owed peace offerings,
and today I have fulfilled my vows;
15 So I came out to meet you,
to look for you, and I have found you!
16 With coverlets I have spread my couch,
with brocaded cloths of Egyptian linen;
17 I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh,
with aloes, and with cinnamon.
18 Come, let us drink our fill of love,
until morning, let us feast on love!
19 For my husband is not at home,
he has gone on a long journey;
20 A bag of money he took with him,
he will not return home till the full moon.”
21 She wins him over by repeated urging,
with her smooth lips she leads him astray.
22 He follows her impulsively,
like an ox that goes to slaughter;
Like a stag that bounds toward the net,
23 till an arrow pierces its liver;
Like a bird that rushes into a snare,
unaware that his life is at stake.
24 So now, children, listen to me,
be attentive to the words of my mouth!
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways,
do not go astray in her paths;
26 For many are those she has struck down dead,
numerous, those she has slain.
27 Her house is a highway to Sheol,
leading down into the chambers of death.
The Discourse of Wisdom
1 Does not Wisdom call,
and Understanding raise her voice?
2 On the top of the heights along the road,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 By the gates at the approaches of the city,
in the entryways she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call;
my appeal is to you mortals.
5 You naive ones, gain prudence,
you fools, gain sense.
6 Listen! for noble things I speak;
my lips proclaim honest words.
7 Indeed, my mouth utters truth,
and my lips abhor wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are sincere,
none of them wily or crooked;
9 All of them are straightforward to the intelligent,
and right to those who attain knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 [For Wisdom is better than corals,
and no treasures can compare with her.]
12 I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and useful knowledge I have.
13 [The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil;]
Pride, arrogance, the evil way,
and the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Mine are counsel and advice;
Mine is strength; I am understanding.
15 By me kings reign,
and rulers enact justice;
16 By me princes govern,
and nobles, all the judges of the earth.
17 Those who love me I also love,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
wealth that endures, and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
20 On the way of righteousness I walk,
along the paths of justice,
21 Granting wealth to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.
22 “The Lord begot me, the beginning of his works,
the forerunner of his deeds of long ago;
23 From of old I was formed,
at the first, before the earth.
24 When there were no deeps I was brought forth,
when there were no fountains or springs of water;
25 Before the mountains were settled into place,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 When the earth and the fields were not yet made,
nor the first clods of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, there was I,
when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
28 When he made firm the skies above,
when he fixed fast the springs of the deep;
29 When he set for the sea its limit,
so that the waters should not transgress his command;
When he fixed the foundations of earth,
30 then was I beside him as artisan;
I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,
31 Playing over the whole of his earth,
having my delight with human beings.
32 Now, children, listen to me;
happy are they who keep my ways.
33 Listen to instruction and grow wise,
do not reject it!
34 Happy the one who listens to me,
attending daily at my gates,
keeping watch at my doorposts;
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
and wins favor from the Lord;
36 But those who pass me by do violence to themselves;
all who hate me love death.”
The Two Women Invite Passersby to Their Banquets
Woman Wisdom Issues Her Invitation
1 Wisdom has built her house,
she has set up her seven columns;
2 She has prepared her meat, mixed her wine,
yes, she has spread her table.
3 She has sent out her maidservants; she calls
from the heights out over the city:
4 “Let whoever is naive turn in here;
to any who lack sense I say,
5 Come, eat of my food,
and drink of the wine I have mixed!
6 Forsake foolishness that you may live;
advance in the way of understanding.”
7 Whoever corrects the arrogant earns insults;
and whoever reproves the wicked incurs opprobrium.
8 Do not reprove the arrogant, lest they hate you;
reprove the wise, and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise, and they become still wiser;
teach the just, and they advance in learning.
10 The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied
and the years of your life increased.
12 If you are wise, wisdom is to your advantage;
if you are arrogant, you alone shall bear it.
Woman Folly Issues Her Invitation
13 Woman Folly is raucous,
utterly foolish; she knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house
upon a seat on the city heights,
15 Calling to passersby
as they go on their way straight ahead:
16 “Let those who are naive turn in here,
to those who lack sense I say,
17 Stolen water is sweet,
and bread taken secretly is pleasing!”
18 Little do they know that the shades are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol!
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.