The Purpose of Proverbs

The proverbs of Solomon(A) son of David, king of Israel:
For learning what wisdom and discipline are;
for understanding insightful sayings;
for receiving wise instruction
in righteousness, justice, and integrity;(B)
for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced,[a](C)
knowledge and discretion(D) to a young man—
a wise man will listen and increase his learning,(E)
and a discerning man will obtain guidance—
for understanding a proverb or a parable,[b]
the words of the wise, and their riddles.(F)

The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;(G)
fools despise wisdom and discipline.(H)

Avoid the Path of the Violent

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
and don’t reject your mother’s teaching,(I)
for they will be a garland(J) of grace on your head
and a gold chain around your neck.(K)
10 My son, if sinners entice you,(L)
don’t be persuaded.(M)
11 If they say—“Come with us!
Let’s set an ambush(N) and kill someone.[c]
Let’s attack some innocent person(O) just for fun![d]
12 Let’s swallow them alive,(P) like Sheol,
still healthy as they go down to the Pit.(Q)
13 We’ll find all kinds of valuable property
and fill our houses with plunder.(R)
14 Throw in your lot with us,
and we’ll all share our money”[e]
15 my son, don’t travel that road with them(S)
or set foot on their path,(T)
16 because their feet run toward trouble
and they hurry to commit murder.[f](U)
17 It is foolish to spread a net
where any bird can see it,
18 but they set an ambush to kill themselves;[g]
they attack their own lives.
19 Such are the paths of all who make profit dishonestly;(V)
it takes the lives of those who receive it.[h]

Read full chapter


  1. Proverbs 1:4 Or simple, or gullible
  2. Proverbs 1:6 Or an enigma
  3. Proverbs 1:11 Lit Let’s ambush for blood
  4. Proverbs 1:11 Lit person for no reason
  5. Proverbs 1:14 Lit us; one bag will be for all of us
  6. Proverbs 1:16 Lit to shed blood
  7. Proverbs 1:18 Lit they ambush for their blood
  8. Proverbs 1:19 Lit takes the life of its masters

Bible Gateway Recommends