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The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:(A)


For learning about wisdom and instruction,
    for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
    righteousness, justice, and equity;(B)
to teach shrewdness to the simple,
    knowledge and prudence to the young—(C)
let the wise, too, hear and gain in learning
    and the discerning acquire skill,(D)
to understand a proverb and a figure,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.(E)

Warnings against Evil Companions

Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
    and do not reject your mother’s teaching,(F)
for they are a fair garland for your head
    and pendants for your neck.(G)
10 My child, if sinners entice you,
    do not consent.(H)
11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
    let us wantonly ambush the innocent;(I)
12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive
    and whole, like those who go down to the Pit.(J)
13 We shall find all kinds of costly things;
    we shall fill our houses with spoil.
14 Throw in your lot among us;
    we will all have one purse”—
15 my child, do not walk in their way;
    keep your foot from their paths,(K)
16 for their feet run to evil,
    and they hurry to shed blood.(L)
17 For in vain is the net baited
    while the bird is looking on;
18 yet they lie in wait—to kill themselves!
    and set an ambush—for their own lives!
19 Such is the end[a] of all who are greedy for gain;
    it takes away the life of its possessors.(M)

The Call of Wisdom

20 Wisdom cries out in the street;
    in the squares she raises her voice.(N)
21 At the busiest corner she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?(O)
23 Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
    I will make my words known to you.(P)
24 Because I have called and you refused,
    have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,(Q)
25 and because you have ignored all my counsel
    and would have none of my reproof,(R)
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
    I will mock when panic strikes you,(S)
27 when panic strikes you like a storm
    and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
    they will seek me diligently but will not find me.(T)
29 Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
    and despised all my reproof,(U)
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
    and be sated with their own devices.(V)
32 For waywardness kills the simple,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;(W)
33 but those who listen to me will be secure
    and will live at ease without dread of disaster.”(X)

The Value of Wisdom

My child, if you accept my words
    and treasure up my commandments within you,(Y)
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding,
if you indeed cry out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures—(Z)
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.(AA)
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;(AB)
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly,(AC)
guarding the paths of justice
    and preserving the way of his faithful ones.(AD)
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path,(AE)
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 prudence will watch over you,
    and understanding will guard you.
12 It will save you from the way of evil,
    from those who speak perversely,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,(AF)
14 who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,(AG)
15 those whose paths are crooked
    and who are devious in their ways.(AH)

16 You will be saved from the loose woman,[b]
    from the adulteress[c] with her smooth words,(AI)
17 who forsakes the partner of her youth
    and forgets her sacred covenant,
18 for her way[d] leads down to death
    and her paths to the shades;(AJ)
19 those who go to her never come back,
    nor do they regain the paths of life.

20 Therefore walk in the way of the good,
    and keep to the paths of the just.
21 For the upright will abide in the land,
    and the innocent will remain in it,(AK)
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
    and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.(AL)


  1. 1.19 Gk: Heb are the ways
  2. 2.16 Heb strange woman
  3. 2.16 Heb alien woman
  4. 2.18 Cn: Heb house

The Collection for the Saints

16 Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia.(A) On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come.(B) And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

Plans for Travel

I will visit you after passing through Macedonia—for I intend to pass through Macedonia(C) and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

10 If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord just as I am;(D) 11 therefore let no one despise him. Send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers and sisters.(E)

12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers and sisters, but he was not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.(F)

Final Messages and Greetings

13 Keep alert; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.(G) 14 Let all that you do be done in love.(H)

15 Now, brothers and sisters, you know that members of the household of Stephanas were the first fruits in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints;(I) 16 I urge you to put yourselves at the service of such people and of everyone who works and toils with them.(J) 17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence,(K) 18 for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So give recognition to such persons.(L)

19 The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord.(M) 20 All the brothers and sisters send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22 Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come![a](N) 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.[b]


  1. 16.22 Or Our Lord has come
  2. 16.24 Other ancient authorities add Amen