The Passion Translation
1 Here are kingdom revelations, words to live by,
and words of wisdom given to empower you to reign in life,[a]
written as proverbs by Israel’s King Solomon,[b] David’s son.
2 Within these sayings will be found the revelation of wisdom[c]
and the impartation of spiritual understanding.
Use them as keys to unlock the treasures of true knowledge.
3 Those who cling to these words will receive discipline
to demonstrate wisdom[d] in every relationship
and to choose what is right and just and fair.
4 These proverbs will give you great skill
to teach the immature and make them wise,
to give youth the understanding of their design and destiny.
5 For the wise, these proverbs will make you even wiser,
and for those with discernment,
you will be able to acquire brilliant strategies for leadership.
6 These kingdom revelations will break open your understanding
to unveil the deeper meaning of parables,
poetic riddles, and epigrams,
and to unravel the words and enigmas of the wise.
7 We cross the threshold of true knowledge
when we live in obedient devotion to God.[e]
Stubborn know-it-alls[f] will never stop to do this,
for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge.
The Wisdom of a Father
8 Pay close attention, my child, to your father’s wise words
and never forget your mother’s instructions.[g]
9 For their insight will bring you success,
adorning you with grace-filled thoughts
and giving you reins to guide your decisions.[h]
10 When peer pressure compels you to go with the crowd
and sinners invite you to join in,
you must simply say, “No!”
11 When the gang says—
“We’re going to steal and kill and get away with it.
12 We’ll take down the rich and rob them.
We’ll swallow them up alive
and take what we want from whomever we want.
13 Then we’ll take their treasures and fill our homes with loot.
14 So come on and join us.
Take your chance with us.
We’ll divide up all we get;
we’ll each end up with big bags of cash!”—
15 my son, refuse to go with them and stay far away from them.
16 For crime is their way of life and bloodshed their specialty.
17 To be aware of their snare is the best way of escape.
18 They’ll resort to murder to steal their victim’s assets,
but eventually it will be their own lives that are ambushed.
19 In their ungodly disrespect for God
they bring destruction on their own lives.
20 Wisdom’s praises are sung in the streets
and celebrated far and wide.
21 Yet wisdom’s song is not always heard in the halls of higher learning.
But in the hustle and bustle of everyday life
its lyrics can always be heard above the din of the crowd.[i]
You will hear wisdom’s warning as she preaches courageously
to those who stop to listen:
22 “Foolish ones, how much longer will you cling to your deception?[j]
How much longer will you mock wisdom,
you cynical scorners who fight the facts?
23 Come back to your senses and be restored to reality.
Don’t even think about refusing my rebuke!
Don’t you know that I’m ready
to pour out my spirit of wisdom upon you
and bring to you the revelation of my words
that will make your heart wise?
24 I’ve called to you over and over;
still you refuse to come to me.
I’ve pleaded with you again and again,
yet you’ve turned a deaf ear to my voice.
25 Because you have laughed at my counsel
and have insisted on continuing in your stubbornness,
26 I will laugh when your calamity comes
and will turn away from you at the time of your disaster.
Make a joke of my advice, will you?
Then I’ll make a joke out of you!
27 When the storm clouds of terror gather over your head,
when dread and distress consume you
and your catastrophe comes like a hurricane,
28 you will cry out to me, but I won’t answer.
Then it will be too late to expect my help.
When desperation drives you to search for me,
I will be nowhere to be found.
29 Because you have turned up your nose at me
and closed your eyes to the facts
and refused to worship me in awe[k]—
30 because you scoffed at my wise counsel
and laughed at my correction—
31 now you will eat the bitter fruit of your own ways.
You’ve made your own bed; now lie in it!
So how do you like that?
32 Like an idiot you’ve turned away from me
and chosen destruction instead.
Your self-satisfied smugness[l] will kill you.
33 But the one who always listens to me
will live undisturbed in a heavenly peace.
Free from fear, confident and courageous,
that one will rest unafraid and sheltered from the storms of life.”
- 1:1 As stated in the introduction, the Hebrew word for “proverbs” means more than just a wise saying. It can also mean “to rule, to reign in power, to take dominion.”
- 1:1 The name Solomon means “peaceable.” There is a greater one than Solomon who gives peace to all of his followers. His name is Jesus. Solomon was the seed of David; we are the seed of Jesus Christ. Solomon had an encounter with God after asking for a discerning heart (1 Kings 3:5–14). This pleased God, so he gave Solomon wisdom, riches, and power. God is ready to impart these same things today to those who ask him. See James 1:5–8.
- 1:2 There are six Hebrew words translated “wisdom” in the book of Proverbs. Some of them require an entire phrase in English to convey the meaning. The word used here is chokmah, and it is used in Proverbs forty-two times. Forty-two is the number of months Jesus ministered and the number of generations from Abraham to Christ listed in Matt. 1.
- 1:3 The Hebrew word translated “wisdom” here also means “righteousness.”
- 1:7 Many translations render this “the fear of the Lord.” This means much more than the English concept of fear. It also implies submission, awe, worship, and reverence. The Hebrew word used here is found fourteen times in Proverbs. The number fourteen represents spiritual perfection. The number fourteen is mentioned three times in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:1–17). It is also the number for Passover. You will pass from darkness to wisdom’s light by the “fear” of the Lord.
- 1:7 Or “foolish ones.” There are three Hebrew words translated “fool” in Proverbs and another six that are related to a fool or foolish acts. A fool is described in Proverbs as one who hates true wisdom and correction, with no desire to acquire revelation knowledge.
- 1:8 Many expositors see this verse as the words of David to Solomon, yet we all must give heed to this command. The words of our Father (God) and our mother (the church, the freewoman) will bring us wisdom. See Gal. 4:21–31.
- 1:9 The Hebrew text here is literally translated “adornment for your head, chains for your neck.” The head is a metaphor for our thoughts, the neck a symbol for willing obedience that guides our decisions, in contrast to being stiff-necked or proud. See Phil. 2:5–7.
- 1:21 Literally translated, this verse reads “Wisdom sings out in the streets and speaks her voice in the squares, crying out at the head of noisy crowds and at the entrance of the city gates.” This is a parabolic statement of wisdom being heard everywhere and in every place.
- 1:22 Or “Childish ones, how long will you love your childishness?”
- 1:29 The Hebrew word used here can be translated “fear,” “dread,” “awe,” or “worship.” Nearly every translation uses the word fear or reverence while ignoring the other aspects of the Aramaic word dekhlatha. The New Testament is clear that there is no fear in love. See 1 John 4:18.
- 1:32 Or “your abundant prosperity.”