9 Wisdom has built her [spacious and sufficient] house; She has hewn out and set up her seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine; She has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, she calls From the highest places of the city: 4 “Whoever is naive or inexperienced, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says, 5 “Come, eat my food And drink the wine I have mixed [and accept my gifts]. 6 “Leave [behind] your foolishness [and the foolish] and live, And walk in the way of insight and understanding.”
7 He who corrects and instructs a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man gets insults for himself. 8 [a]Do not correct a scoffer [who foolishly ridicules and takes no responsibility for his error] or he will hate you; Correct a wise man [who learns from his error], and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser; Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. 10 The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight. 11 For by me (wisdom from God) your days will be multiplied, And years of life shall be increased. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself [for your own benefit]; If you scoff [thoughtlessly ridicule and disdain], you alone will pay the penalty.
13 The foolish woman is restless and noisy; She is naive and easily misled and thoughtless, and knows nothing at all [of eternal value]. 14 She sits at the doorway of her house, On a seat by the high and conspicuous places of the city, 15 Calling to those who pass by, Who are making their paths straight: 16 “Whoever is naive or inexperienced, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks understanding (common sense), she says, 17 “Stolen waters (pleasures) are sweet [because they are forbidden]; And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the spirits of the dead are there, And that her guests are [already] in the depths of Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead).
Proverbs 9:8The ancient rabbis took this to have the force of a commandment: never give a rebuke that is sure to be ignored.