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Proverbs 6:6-14:23 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest –
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

12 A troublemaker and a villain,
    who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13     who winks maliciously with his eye,
    signals with his feet
    and motions with his fingers,
14     who plots evil with deceit in his heart –
    he always stirs up conflict.
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
    he will suddenly be destroyed – without remedy.

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Warning against adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them round your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbour’s wife,
    from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.

25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
    or let her captivate you with her eyes.

26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
    but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never be wiped away.

34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

Warning against the adulterous woman

My son, keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’
    and to insight, ‘You are my relative.’
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:

14 ‘Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with coloured linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.’

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.

Wisdom’s call

Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:
‘To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all humanity.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[c]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

12 ‘I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
    I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behaviour and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
    and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
    and nobles – all who rule on earth.[d]
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honour,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.

22 ‘The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[e][f]
    before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
    so that the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30     Then I was constantly[g] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in the human race.

32 ‘Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
    and receive favour from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.’

Invitations of wisdom and folly

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has set up[h] its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
    from the highest point of the city,
    ‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’
To those who have no sense she says,
    ‘Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.’

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
    whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
    rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
    teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom[i] your days will be many,
    and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
    if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

13 Folly is an unruly woman;
    she is simple and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out to those who pass by,
    who go straight on their way,
16     ‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’
To those who have no sense she says,
17     ‘Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!’
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise son brings joy to his father,
    but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Lazy hands make for poverty,
    but diligent hands bring wealth.

He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
    but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.[j]

The name of the righteous is used in blessings,[k]
    but the name of the wicked will rot.

The wise in heart accept commands,
    but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
    and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

12 Hatred stirs up conflict,
    but love covers over all wrongs.

13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
    but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

14 The wise store up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
    but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

16 The wages of the righteous is life,
    but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.

17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
    but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
    and spreads slander is a fool.

19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
    but the prudent hold their tongues.

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
    but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
    but fools die for lack of sense.

22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
    without painful toil for it.

23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,
    but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
    what the righteous desire will be granted.

25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
    but the righteous stand firm for ever.

26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
    so are sluggards to those who send them.

27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
    but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
    but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
    but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

30 The righteous will never be uprooted,
    but the wicked will not remain in the land.

31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
    but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favour,
    but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favour with him.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
    all the promise of[l] their power comes to nothing.

The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
    and it falls on the wicked instead.

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbours,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

12 Whoever derides their neighbour has no sense,
    but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
    but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
    but victory is won through many advisors.

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
    but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

16 A kind-hearted woman gains honour,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
    but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
    but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,
    but whoever pursues evil finds death.

20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
    but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

21 Be sure of this: the wicked will not go unpunished,
    but those who are righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
    but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favour,
    but evil comes to one who searches for it.

28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

12 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.

Good people obtain favour from the Lord,
    but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.

No one can be established through wickedness,
    but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
    but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

The plans of the righteous are just,
    but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the speech of the upright rescues them.

The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous stands firm.

A person is praised according to their prudence,
    and one with a warped mind is despised.

Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
    than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

11 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies have no sense.

12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous endures.

13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
    and so the innocent escape trouble.

14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
    and the work of their hands brings them reward.

15 The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.

16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.

17 An honest witness tells the truth,
    but a false witness tells lies.

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19 Truthful lips endure for ever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
    but those who promote peace have joy.

21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
    but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

22 The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
    but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

24 Diligent hands will rule,
    but laziness ends in forced labour.

25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up.

26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27 The lazy do not roast[m] any game,
    but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
    along that path is immortality.

13 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
    but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
    but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

The righteous hate what is false,
    but the wicked make themselves obnoxious
    and bring shame on themselves.

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

A person’s riches may ransom their life,
    but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
    but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

15 Good judgment wins favour,
    but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.[n]

16 All who are prudent act with[o] knowledge,
    but fools expose their folly.

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
    but whoever heeds correction is honoured.

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but fools detest turning from evil.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.

21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

23 An unploughed field produces food for the poor,
    but injustice sweeps it away.

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

14 The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
    but those who despise him are devious in their ways.

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
    but the lips of the wise protect them.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
    but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

An honest witness does not deceive,
    but a false witness pours out lies.

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
    but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

Stay away from a fool,
    for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
    but the folly of fools is deception.

Fools mock at making amends for sin,
    but goodwill is found among the upright.

10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no one else can share its joy.

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.

12 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.

13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and rejoicing may end in grief.

14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
    and the good rewarded for theirs.

15 The simple believe anything,
    but the prudent give thought to their steps.

16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil,
    but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
    and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.

18 The simple inherit folly,
    but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,
    and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbours,
    but the rich have many friends.

21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbour,
    but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
    But those who plan what is good find[p] love and faithfulness.

23 All hard work brings a profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 7:22 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool
  2. Proverbs 7:22 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  3. Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
  4. Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
  5. Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
  6. Proverbs 8:22 Or The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work; or The Lord brought me forth at the beginning of his work
  7. Proverbs 8:30 Or was the master worker; or was a little child
  8. Proverbs 9:1 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew has hewn out
  9. Proverbs 9:11 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew me
  10. Proverbs 10:6 Or righteous, / but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence
  11. Proverbs 10:7 See Gen. 48:20.
  12. Proverbs 11:7 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum When the wicked die, their hope perishes; / all they expected from
  13. Proverbs 12:27 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  14. Proverbs 13:15 Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  15. Proverbs 13:16 Or prudent protect themselves through
  16. Proverbs 14:22 Or show
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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