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Proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand sayings of understanding,
to gain insightful instruction,[a]
    righteousness and justice and equity,
to give shrewdness[b] to the simple,
    knowledge and purpose[c] to the young,
may the wise hear and increase learning,
    and the one who understands gain direction,[d]
to understand a proverb and an expression,
    words of wisdom and their riddles.
Fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
    wisdom and instruction, fools despise.

Lecture Against Gang Behavior

My child, may you keep[e] your father’s instruction,
    and do not reject your mother’s teachings,
for they are a garland of favor for your head,
    and pendants for your neck.
10 My child, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
11 If they say,
    “Come with us!
    We shall lie in wait for blood;
    we shall ambush the innocent without cause.[f]
12 Like Sheol,[g] we will swallow them alive
    and whole, like those who descend to the pit.[h]
13 We shall find all precious wealth,
    we shall fill our houses with booty,
14 you shall throw your lot in our midst,
    there will be one purse for all of us.”
15 My child, do not walk in their way.[i]
    Keep your foot from their paths,
16 for their feet run to evil,
    and they hurry to shed blood,
17 for “in vain[j] is the net scattered,
    in the sight of any winged bird.”[k]
18 They lie in wait for their own blood.
    They ambush their own lives.
19 Thus are the ways of all who are greedy for gain—
    it will take the life of its possessors.

The Call of Lady Wisdom

20 Wisdom calls out in the streets,
    in the squares she raises her voice.
21 On a busy corner[l] she cries out,
    at the entrances of the gates in the city, she speaks her sayings:
22 How long,[m] O simple ones, will you love simplicity?
    And how long will scoffers delight in their scoffing,
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 May you turn to my argument![n]
    Behold, I shall pour out my spirit upon you;
    I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I called out and you refused me,
    I stretched out my hand, yet there is none who heeds.
25 You have ignored all my counsel,
    and my reproof you are not willing to accept.
26 I will also laugh at your calamity;[o]
    I will mock when panic[p] comes upon you.
27 When your panic comes like a storm,
    and your calamity arrives like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you,
28 then they will call[q] me, but I will not answer;
    they will seek me diligently but not find me.
29 Since they hated knowledge,
    and did not choose the fear of Yahweh,
30 they were not willing to accept my counsel,
    they despised all my reproof.
31 They shall eat from the fruit of their way,
    and they shall be sated from their own schemes,
32 for the waywardness of the simple ones will kill them,
    and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 Whoever listens to me will dwell in security
    and rest securely[r] from dread and disaster.”


  1. Proverbs 1:3 Literally “the instruction of insight”
  2. Proverbs 1:4 Or “cleverness,” or “prudence”
  3. Proverbs 1:4 Or “plan”
  4. Proverbs 1:5 Or “guidance”
  5. Proverbs 1:8 Or “obey,” or “hear”
  6. Proverbs 1:11 Or “wantonly,” or “for nothing”
  7. Proverbs 1:12 A term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the Underworld
  8. Proverbs 1:12 Literally “like the descenders of a pit”
  9. Proverbs 1:15 Or “on their road”
  10. Proverbs 1:17 Or “without cause,” or “for nothing”
  11. Proverbs 1:17 Literally “bird of wing”
  12. Proverbs 1:21 Literally “head of commotion,” or “head of stirring, bustling”
  13. Proverbs 1:22 Literally “Until when”
  14. Proverbs 1:23 Or “turn at my reproach”
  15. Proverbs 1:26 Or “downfall”
  16. Proverbs 1:26 Or “dread, fear”
  17. Proverbs 1:28 Or “cry out to
  18. Proverbs 1:33 Or “be at ease, peace”