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Proverbs 1Revised Standard Version (RSV)

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


That men may know wisdom and instruction,
    understand words of insight,
receive instruction in wise dealing,
    righteousness, justice, and equity;
that prudence may be given to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,
    and the man of understanding acquire skill,
to understand a proverb and a figure,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

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

Warnings against Evil Companions

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
    and reject not your mother’s teaching;
for they are a fair 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 wantonly ambush the innocent;
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 spoil;
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 all who get gain by violence;
    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 on the top of the walls[a] 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 Give heed[b] to my reproof;
behold, I will pour out my thoughts[c] 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 and 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 panic strikes you,
27 when panic 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 be sated with their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacence of fools destroys them;
33 but he who listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of evil.”


  1. Proverbs 1:21 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 1:23 Heb Turn
  3. Proverbs 1:23 Heb spirit
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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