The Usefulness of Proverbs

The (A)proverbs of Solomon (B)the son of David, king of Israel:

To know (C)wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of (D)understanding,
To (E)receive instruction in wise behavior,
(F)Righteousness, justice, and integrity;
To give (G)prudence to the naive,
To the youth (H)knowledge and discretion,
A wise person will hear and (I)increase in learning,
And a (J)person of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a saying,
The words of the wise and their (K)riddles.

(L)The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

(M)Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
And (N)do not ignore your mother’s teaching;
For they are a (O)graceful wreath for your head
And (P)necklaces for your neck.
10 My son, if sinners (Q)entice you,
(R)Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let’s (S)lie in wait for blood,
Let’s (T)ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let’s (U)swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, like those who (V)go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with plunder;
14 Throw in your lot [a]with us;
We will all have one money bag,”
15 My son, (W)do not walk on the way with them.
(X)Keep your feet from their path,
16 For (Y)their feet run to evil,
And they are quick to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is [b]useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any [c]bird;
18 But they (Z)lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 Such are the ways of everyone who (AA)makes unjust gain;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

Wisdom Warns

20 (AB)Wisdom shouts in the street,
She [d]raises her voice in the public square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she declares her sayings:
22 “How long, you (AC)naive ones, will you love simplistic thinking?
And how long will (AD)scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools (AE)hate knowledge?
23 Turn to my rebuke,
Behold, I will (AF)pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because (AG)I called and you (AH)refused,
I (AI)stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
25 And you (AJ)neglected all my advice
And did not (AK)want my rebuke;
26 I will also (AL)laugh at your (AM)disaster;
I will mock when your (AN)dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your disaster comes like a (AO)whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will (AP)call on me, but I will not answer;
They will (AQ)seek me diligently but will not find me,
29 Because they (AR)hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
30 They (AS)did not accept my advice,
They disdainfully rejected every rebuke from me.
31 So they shall (AT)eat of the fruit of their own way,
And be (AU)filled with their own schemes.
32 For the (AV)faithlessness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 But (AW)whoever listens to me will live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 1:14 Lit in the midst of us
  2. Proverbs 1:17 Lit in vain
  3. Proverbs 1:17 Lit possessor of wing
  4. Proverbs 1:20 Lit gives

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

My son, if you will (A)receive my words
And (B)treasure my commandments within you,
(C)Make your ear attentive to wisdom;
Incline your heart to understanding.
For if you cry out for insight,
And [a]raise your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as (D)silver
And search for her as for (E)hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the (F)fear of the Lord,
And discover the knowledge of God.
For (G)the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a (H)shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He (I)watches over the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern (J)righteousness, justice,
And integrity, and every (K)good path.
10 For (L)wisdom will enter your heart,
And (M)knowledge will be delightful to your soul;
11 Discretion will (N)watch over you,
Understanding will guard you,
12 To (O)rescue you from the way of evil,
From a person who speaks (P)perverse things;
13 From those who (Q)leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the (R)ways of darkness;
14 Who (S)delight in doing evil
And rejoice in the perversity of evil;
15 Whose paths are (T)crooked,
And who are devious in their ways;
16 To (U)rescue you from the strange woman,
From the (V)foreign woman who flatters with her words,
17 Who leaves the (W)companion of her youth
And forgets the (X)covenant of her God;
18 For (Y)her house sinks down to death,
And her tracks lead to the [b]dead;
19 None (Z)who go to her return,
Nor do they reach the (AA)paths of life.
20 So you will (AB)walk in the way of good people
And keep to the (AC)paths of the righteous.
21 For (AD)the upright will live in the land,
And (AE)the blameless will remain in it;
22 But (AF)the wicked will be eliminated from the land,
And (AG)the treacherous will be (AH)torn away from it.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 2:3 Lit give
  2. Proverbs 2:18 Lit departed spirits

The Rewards of Wisdom

My son, (A)do not forget my [a]teaching,
But have your heart (B)comply with my commandments;
For (C)length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let (D)kindness and truth leave you;
(E)Bind them around your neck,
(F)Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will (G)find favor and a (H)good [b]reputation
In the sight of God and man.
(I)Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And (J)do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways (K)acknowledge Him,
And He will (L)make your paths straight.
(M)Do not be wise in your own eyes;
(N)Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be (O)healing to your [c]body
And (P)refreshment to your bones.
(Q)Honor the Lord from your wealth,
And from the (R)first of all your produce;
10 Then your (S)barns will be filled with plenty,
And your (T)vats will overflow with new wine.
11 (U)My son, do not reject the [d]discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His rebuke,
12 For (V)whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
Just (W)as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

13 (X)Blessed is a person who finds wisdom,
And one who obtains understanding.
14 For [e]her (Y)profit is better than the profit of silver,
And her produce better than gold.
15 She is (Z)more precious than [f]jewels,
And nothing you desire compares with her.
16 [g](AA)Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are (AB)riches and honor.
17 Her (AC)ways are pleasant ways,
And all her paths are (AD)peace.
18 She is a (AE)tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are those who hold on to her.
19 The Lord founded the earth (AF)by wisdom,
He (AG)established the heavens by understanding.
20 By His knowledge the (AH)ocean depths were burst open,
And the (AI)clouds drip with dew.
21 My son, see that (AJ)they do not escape from your sight;
Comply with sound wisdom and discretion,
22 And they will be (AK)life to your soul
And (AL)adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will (AM)walk in your way securely,
And your foot will not (AN)stumble.
24 When you (AO)lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 (AP)Do not be afraid of sudden danger,
Nor of (AQ)trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be [h]your confidence,
And will (AR)keep your foot from being caught.

27 (AS)Do not withhold good from [i]those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
28 (AT)Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it to you,”
When you have it with you.
29 (AU)Do not devise harm against your neighbor,
While he lives securely beside you.
30 (AV)Do not contend with a person for no reason,
If he has done you no harm.
31 (AW)Do not envy a violent person,
And do not choose any of his ways.
32 For the (AX)devious are an abomination to the Lord;
But [j]He is (AY)intimate with the upright.
33 The (AZ)curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He (BA)blesses the home of the righteous.
34 Though (BB)He scoffs at the scoffers,
Yet (BC)He gives grace to the needy.
35 (BD)The wise will inherit honor,
But fools [k]increase dishonor.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 3:1 Or law
  2. Proverbs 3:4 Lit understanding
  3. Proverbs 3:8 Lit navel
  4. Proverbs 3:11 Or instruction
  5. Proverbs 3:14 I.e., the profit from Wisdom (personified)
  6. Proverbs 3:15 Lit corals
  7. Proverbs 3:16 Lit Length of days
  8. Proverbs 3:26 Or at your side
  9. Proverbs 3:27 Lit its owners
  10. Proverbs 3:32 Lit His private counsel is
  11. Proverbs 3:35 Lit raise high