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Proverbs 1 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Beginning of Knowledge

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

To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
    and forsake not your mother's teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
    and pendants for your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
    do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
    let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we shall find all precious goods,
    we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot among us;
    we will all have one purse”—
15 my son, do not walk in the way with them;
    hold back your foot from their paths,
16 for their feet run to evil,
    and they make haste to shed blood.
17 For in vain is a net spread
    in the sight of any bird,
18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they set an ambush for their own lives.
19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
    it takes away the life of its possessors.

The Call of Wisdom

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,[a]
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
    have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
    and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
    I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
    and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
    they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
    and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
    and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 1:23 Or Will you turn away at my reproof?
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Proverbs 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Purpose of Proverbs

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
    to help them understand the insights of the wise.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
    to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
    knowledge and discernment to the young.

Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
    Let those with understanding receive guidance
by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom

My child,[a] listen when your father corrects you.
    Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
What you learn from them will crown you with grace
    and be a chain of honor around your neck.

10 My child, if sinners entice you,
    turn your back on them!
11 They may say, “Come and join us.
    Let’s hide and kill someone!
    Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave[b];
    let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13 Think of the great things we’ll get!
    We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14 Come, throw in your lot with us;
    we’ll all share the loot.”

15 My child, don’t go along with them!
    Stay far away from their paths.
16 They rush to commit evil deeds.
    They hurry to commit murder.
17 If a bird sees a trap being set,
    it knows to stay away.
18 But these people set an ambush for themselves;
    they are trying to get themselves killed.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
    it robs them of life.

Wisdom Shouts in the Streets

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
    She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
    to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons,
    will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
    How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
    and make you wise.

24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
    I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice
    and rejected the correction I offered.
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
    I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
    when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
    and anguish and distress overwhelm you.

28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
    Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
    and chose not to fear the Lord.
30 They rejected my advice
    and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
    choking on their own schemes.
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
    Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
    untroubled by fear of harm.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1:8 Hebrew My son; also in 1:10, 15.
  2. 1:12 Hebrew like Sheol.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 1 King James Version (KJV)

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:

30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Proverbs 1 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

The proverbs (truths obscurely expressed, maxims, and parables) of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

[a]That people may know skillful and godly [b]Wisdom and instruction, discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight,

Receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,

That prudence may be given to the simple, and knowledge, discretion, and discernment to the youth—

The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]—

That people may understand a proverb and a figure of speech or an enigma with its interpretation, and the words of the wise and their dark sayings or riddles.

The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.

My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your mother.

For they are a [victor’s] chaplet (garland) of grace upon your head and chains and pendants [of gold worn by kings] for your neck.

10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.

11 If they say, Come with us; let us lie in wait [to shed] blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause [and show that his piety is in vain];

12 Let us swallow them up alive as does Sheol (the place of the dead), and whole, as those who go down into the pit [of the dead];

13 We shall find and take all kinds of precious goods [when our victims are put out of the way], we shall fill our houses with plunder;

14 Throw in your lot with us [they insist] and be a sworn brother and comrade; let us all have one purse in common—

15 My son, do not walk in the way with them; restrain your foot from their path;

16 For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.

17 For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird!

18 But [when these men set a trap for others] they are lying in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.

19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy of gain; such [greed for plunder] takes away the lives of its possessors.

20 [c]Wisdom cries aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the markets;

21 She cries at the head of the noisy intersections [in the chief gathering places]; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

22 How long, O simple ones [open to evil], will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge?

23 If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [[d]Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.

24 Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man has heeded it,

25 And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof,

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic—

27 When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

28 Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently but they will not find me.

29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord,

30 Would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.

32 For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 1:2 Over the doors of the school of Plato these words were written in Greek, “Let no one enter who is not a geometrician.” But Solomon opens wide the doors of his proverbs with a special message of welcome to the unlearned, the simple, the foolish, the young, and even to the wise—that all “will hear and increase in learning” (Prov. 1:5).
  2. Proverbs 1:2 A key term in the book of Proverbs, “Wisdom” is capitalized throughout, as God’s design for living and as a reminder of Christ, Whom the apostle Paul calls “the wisdom of God... in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (I Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3 kjv).
  3. Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom here is personified. Read “the Wisdom of God” instead of “Wisdom” and see the wonderful power of this book.
  4. Proverbs 1:23 See footnotes on Prov. 1:2 and 1:20.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

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