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Proverbs 8-9Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Wisdom’s Appeal

Doesn’t Wisdom call out?
Doesn’t Understanding make her voice heard?
At the heights overlooking the road,
at the crossroads, she takes her stand.
Beside the gates at the entry to[a] the city,
at the main entrance, she cries out:
“People, I call out to you;
my cry is to mankind.
Learn to be shrewd, you who are inexperienced;
develop common sense, you who are foolish.
Listen, for I speak of noble things,
and what my lips say is right.
For my mouth tells the truth,
and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
none of them are deceptive or perverse.
All of them are clear to the perceptive,
and right to those who discover knowledge.
10 Accept my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is better than jewels,
and nothing desirable can compare with it.
12 I, Wisdom, share a home with shrewdness
and have knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct,
and perverse speech.
14 I possess good advice and competence;[b]
I have understanding and strength.
15 It is by me that kings reign
and rulers enact just law;
16 by me, princes lead,
as do nobles and all righteous judges.[c]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who search for me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
lasting wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than solid gold,
and my harvest than pure silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 giving wealth as an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.

22 “The Lord made[d] me
at the beginning of His creation,[e]
before His works of long ago.
23 I was formed before ancient times,
from the beginning, before the earth began.
24 I was born
when there were no watery depths
and no springs filled with water.
25 I was delivered
before the mountains and hills were established,
26 before He made the land, the fields,
or the first soil on earth.
27 I was there when He established the heavens,
when He laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean,
28 when He placed the skies above,
when the fountains of the ocean gushed out,
29 when He set a limit for the sea
so that the waters would not violate His command,
when He laid out the foundations of the earth.
30 I was a skilled craftsman[f] beside Him.
I was His[g] delight every day,
always rejoicing before Him.
31 I was rejoicing in His inhabited world,
delighting in the human race.

32 “And now, my sons, listen to me;
those who keep my ways are happy.
33 Listen to instruction and be wise;
don’t ignore it.
34 Anyone who listens to me is happy,
watching at my doors every day,
waiting by the posts of my doorway.
35 For the one who finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but the one who misses me[h] harms himself;
all who hate me love death.”

Wisdom versus Foolishness

Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved out her seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her female servants;
she calls out from the highest points of the city:
“Whoever is inexperienced, enter here!”
To the one who lacks sense, she says,
“Come, eat my bread,
and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave inexperience behind, and you will live;
pursue the way of understanding.
The one who corrects a mocker
will bring dishonor on himself;
the one who rebukes a wicked man will get hurt.[i]
Don’t rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.

10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by Wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for your own benefit;
if you mock, you alone will bear the consequences.”
13 The woman Folly is rowdy;
she is gullible and knows nothing.
14 She sits by the doorway of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling to those who pass by,
who go straight ahead on their paths:
16 “Whoever is inexperienced, enter here!”
To the one who lacks sense, she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten secretly is tasty!”
18 But he doesn’t know that the departed spirits are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 8:3 Lit the mouth of
  2. Proverbs 8:14 Or resourcefulness
  3. Proverbs 8:16 Some Hb mss, LXX read nobles who judge the earth
  4. Proverbs 8:22 Or possessed, or begot
  5. Proverbs 8:22 Lit way
  6. Proverbs 8:30 Or a confidant, or a child, or was constantly
  7. Proverbs 8:30 LXX; MT omits His
  8. Proverbs 8:36 Or who sins against me
  9. Proverbs 9:7 Lit man his blemish

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