Lady Wisdom Gives a Dinner Party

1-6 Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home;
    it’s supported by seven hewn timbers.
The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
    wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.
Having dismissed her serving maids,
    Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
    and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
    Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
    roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
    Walk up the street to a life with meaning.”

7-12 If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
    confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
    all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
    that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
    tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
    insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
    and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
    mock life and life will mock you.

Madame Whore Calls Out, Too

13-18 Then there’s this other woman, Madame Whore—
    brazen, empty-headed, frivolous.
She sits on the front porch
    of her house on Main Street,
And as people walk by minding
    their own business, calls out,
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
    Steal off with me, I’ll show you a good time!
    No one will ever know—I’ll give you the time of your life.”
But they don’t know about all the skeletons in her closet,
    that all her guests end up in hell.

The Wise Sayings of Solomon

An Honest Life Is Immortal

10 Wise son, glad father;
    stupid son, sad mother.

Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere;
    an honest life is immortal.

God won’t starve an honest soul,
    but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked.

Sloth makes you poor;
    diligence brings wealth.

Make hay while the sun shines—that’s smart;
    go fishing during harvest—that’s stupid.

Blessings accrue on a good and honest life,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

A good and honest life is a blessed memorial;
    a wicked life leaves a rotten stench.

A wise heart takes orders;
    an empty head will come unglued.

Honesty lives confident and carefree,
    but Shifty is sure to be exposed.

10 An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead,
    but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.

11 The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

12 Hatred starts fights,
    but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.

13 You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight,
    but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.

14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
    know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
    the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.

16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
    an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.

17 The road to life is a disciplined life;
    ignore correction and you’re lost for good.

18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
    fools openly spread slander.

19 The more talk, the less truth;
    the wise measure their words.

20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
    the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
    but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.

Fear-of-God Expands Your Life

22 God’s blessing makes life rich;
    nothing we do can improve on God.

23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,
    but a mindful person relishes wisdom.

24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
    what the good people desire, they get.

25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
    good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.

26 A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
    it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.

27 The Fear-of-God expands your life;
    a wicked life is a puny life.

28 The aspirations of good people end in celebration;
    the ambitions of bad people crash.

29 God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
    but he calls into question a shabby performance.

30 Good people last—they can’t be moved;
    the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.

31 A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
    a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.

32 The speech of a good person clears the air;
    the words of the wicked pollute it.

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