1 These are the proverbs of King Solomon of Israel, the son of David. 2 Proverbs will teach you wisdom and self-control and how to understand sayings with deep meanings. 3 You will learn what is right and honest and fair. 4 From these, an ordinary person can learn to be smart, and young people can gain knowledge and good sense.
5 If you are already wise, you will become even wiser. And if you are smart, you will learn to understand 6 proverbs and sayings, as well as words of wisdom and all kinds of riddles. 7 Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of knowledge.[a] Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice.
Warnings against Bad Friends
8 My child, obey the teachings of your parents, 9 and wear their teachings as you would a lovely hat or a pretty necklace. 10 Don’t be tempted by sinners or listen 11 when they say, “Come on! Let’s gang up and kill somebody, just for the fun of it! 12 They’re well and healthy now, but we’ll finish them off once and for all. 13 We’ll take their valuables and fill our homes with stolen goods. 14 If you join our gang, you’ll get your share.”
15 Don’t follow anyone like that or do what they do. 16 They are in a big hurry to commit some crime, perhaps even murder. 17 They are like a bird that sees the bait, but ignores the trap.[b] 18 They gang up to murder someone, but they are the victims. 19 The wealth you get from crime robs you of your life.
20 Wisdom[c] shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather. 21 She shouts in the marketplaces and near the city gates as she says to the people, 22 “How much longer will you enjoy being stupid fools? Won’t you ever stop sneering and laughing at knowledge? 23 Listen as I correct you and tell you what I think. 24 You completely ignored me and refused to listen; 25 you rejected my advice and paid no attention when I warned you.
26 “So when you are struck by some terrible disaster, 27 or when trouble and distress surround you like a whirlwind, I will laugh and make fun. 28 You will ask for my help, but I won’t listen; you will search, but you won’t find me. 29 No, you would not learn, and you refused to respect the Lord. 30 You rejected my advice and paid no attention when I warned you.
31 “Now you will eat the fruit of what you have done, until you are stuffed full with your own schemes. 32 Sin and self-satisfaction bring destruction and death to stupid fools. 33 But if you listen to me, you will be safe and secure without fear of disaster.”
Wisdom and Bad Friends
2 My child, you must follow and treasure my teachings and my instructions. 2 Keep in tune with wisdom and think what it means to have common sense. 3 Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. 4 Search for wisdom as you would search for silver or hidden treasure. 5 Then you will understand what it means to respect and to know the Lord God.
6 All wisdom comes from the Lord, and so do common sense and understanding. 7 God gives helpful advice[d] to everyone who obeys him and protects all of those who live as they should. 8 God sees that justice is done, and he watches over everyone who is faithful to him. 9 With wisdom you will learn what is right and honest and fair.
10 Wisdom will control your mind, and you will be pleased with knowledge. 11 Sound judgment and good sense will watch over you. 12 Wisdom will protect you from evil schemes and from those liars 13 who turned from doing good to live in the darkness. 14 Most of all they enjoy being mean and deceitful. 15 They are dishonest themselves, and all they do is crooked.
Wisdom and Sexual Purity
16 Wisdom will protect you from the smooth talk of a sinful woman, 17 who breaks her wedding vows and leaves the man she married when she was young. 18 The road to her house leads down to the dark world of the dead. 19 Visit her, and you will never find the road to life again.
20 Follow the example of good people and live an honest life. 21 If you are honest and innocent, you will keep your land; 22 if you do wrong and can never be trusted, you will be rooted out.
1.7the beginning of knowledge: Or “what knowledge is all about.”
1.17They are. . . trap: Or “Be like a bird that won’t go for the bait, if it sees the trap.”
1.20Wisdom: In the book of Proverbs the word “wisdom” is sometimes used as though wisdom were a supernatural being who was with God at the time of creation.
1 Corinthians 16Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Collection for God’s People
16 When you collect money for God’s people, I want you to do exactly what I told the churches in Galatia to do. 2 That is, each Sunday each of you must put aside part of what you have earned. If you do this, you won’t have to take up a collection when I come. 3 Choose some followers to take the money to Jerusalem. I will send them on with the money and with letters which show that you approve of them. 4 If you think I should go along, they can go with me.
Paul’s Travel Plans
5 After I have gone through Macedonia, I hope to see you 6 and visit with you for a while. I may even stay all winter, so that you can help me on my way to wherever I will be going next. 7 If the Lord lets me, I would rather come later for a longer visit than to stop off now for only a short visit. 8 I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because there is a wonderful opportunity for me to do some work here. But there are also many people who are against me.
10 When Timothy arrives, give him a friendly welcome. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 Don’t let anyone mistreat him. I am looking for him to return to me together with the other followers. So when he leaves, send him off with your blessings.
12 I have tried hard to get our friend Apollos to visit you with the other followers. He doesn’t want to come just now, but he will come when he can.
Personal Concerns and Greetings
13 Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong. 14 Show love in everything you do.
15 You know that Stephanas and his family were the first in Achaia to have faith in the Lord. They have done all they can for God’s people. My friends, I ask you 16 to obey leaders like them and to do the same for all others who work hard with you.
17 I was glad to see Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus. Having them here was like having you. 18 They made me feel much better, just as they made you feel better. You should appreciate people like them.
19 Greetings from the churches in Asia.
Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church that meets in their house, send greetings in the name of the Lord.
20 All of the Lord’s followers send their greetings.
Give each other a warm greeting.
21 I am signing this letter myself: PAUL.
22 I pray that God will put a curse on everyone who doesn’t love the Lord. And may the Lord come soon.
23 I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to you.
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