1 These are the proverbs of King Solomon of Israel, the son of David. 2 Proverbs will teach you wisdom and self-control and how to understand sayings with deep meanings. 3 You will learn what is right and honest and fair. 4 From these, an ordinary person can learn to be smart, and young people can gain knowledge and good sense.
5 If you are already wise, you will become even wiser. And if you are smart, you will learn to understand 6 proverbs and sayings, as well as words of wisdom and all kinds of riddles. 7 Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of knowledge.[a] Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice.
Warnings against Bad Friends
8 My child, obey the teachings of your parents, 9 and wear their teachings as you would a lovely hat or a pretty necklace. 10 Don’t be tempted by sinners or listen 11 when they say, “Come on! Let’s gang up and kill somebody, just for the fun of it! 12 They’re well and healthy now, but we’ll finish them off once and for all. 13 We’ll take their valuables and fill our homes with stolen goods. 14 If you join our gang, you’ll get your share.”
15 Don’t follow anyone like that or do what they do. 16 They are in a big hurry to commit some crime, perhaps even murder. 17 They are like a bird that sees the bait, but ignores the trap.[b] 18 They gang up to murder someone, but they are the victims. 19 The wealth you get from crime robs you of your life.
20 Wisdom[c] shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather. 21 She shouts in the marketplaces and near the city gates as she says to the people, 22 “How much longer will you enjoy being stupid fools? Won’t you ever stop sneering and laughing at knowledge? 23 Listen as I correct you and tell you what I think. 24 You completely ignored me and refused to listen; 25 you rejected my advice and paid no attention when I warned you.
26 “So when you are struck by some terrible disaster, 27 or when trouble and distress surround you like a whirlwind, I will laugh and make fun. 28 You will ask for my help, but I won’t listen; you will search, but you won’t find me. 29 No, you would not learn, and you refused to respect the Lord. 30 You rejected my advice and paid no attention when I warned you.
31 “Now you will eat the fruit of what you have done, until you are stuffed full with your own schemes. 32 Sin and self-satisfaction bring destruction and death to stupid fools. 33 But if you listen to me, you will be safe and secure without fear of disaster.”
1.7the beginning of knowledge: Or “what knowledge is all about.”
1.17They are. . . trap: Or “Be like a bird that won’t go for the bait, if it sees the trap.”
1.20Wisdom: In the book of Proverbs the word “wisdom” is sometimes used as though wisdom were a supernatural being who was with God at the time of creation.
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