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The Value of Wise Sayings

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

to acquire wisdom and discipline,
to understand the words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise behavior,
righteousness, justice and fairness,
to give discernment to the naïve,
knowledge and discretion to the youth
(let the wise listen and increase learning
and the discerning obtain wise counsel)
to understand a proverb and a puzzle,
the sayings of the wise and their riddles.

The Wisdom of Parents

The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
For they are a garland of grace for your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.

Avoid a Bloodthirsty Gang

10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in.
11 Suppose they say: “Come with us!
Let’s lie in wait for blood!
Let’s ambush the innocent—for no reason!
12 Let’s swallow them alive like Sheol
    still healthy, as they go down to the Pit!
13 We’ll find all sorts of valuable things,
    we’ll fill our homes with loot!
14 Throw your lot in with us—
    we’ll all have one wallet.”
15 My son, do not go along with them,
keep your foot from their path—
16 for their feet run to evil
    and they are swift to shed blood.
17 Surely it is useless to spread a net
in the eyes of all winged creatures!
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood.
They ambush their own lives.
19 Such is the fate of all gaining by violence.
It takes the life of its possessor.

Wisdom Calls, But Who Listens?

20 Wisdom calls aloud in the streets,
she raises her voice in public squares.
21 She cries out above the commotion.
At the entrances of the city gates, she utters her speech:
22 “How long will you naïve ones love simplicity,
you scoffers delight in scoffing,
and you fools hate knowledge?
23 You are repulsed at my rebuke.
Behold, I pour out my heart to you.
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because you refused when I called,
and did not pay attention when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you ignore all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh at your calamity.
I will mock when dread comes on you,
27 when your terror comes like a storm
    and your calamity sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when trouble and distress overwhelm you!
28 Then they will cry out to me, but I will not answer!
They will earnestly seek me, but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of Adonai,
30 they would not accept my counsel,
they spurned all my reproof,
31 so they will eat the fruit of their own way
and be filled with their own schemes.
32 For the backsliding of the naïve will kill them
and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 But whoever pays attention to me will live securely,
and be free from the fear of evil.”