1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
for understanding words of insight;
a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young-
let the wise listen and
add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance-
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the LORD
is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools1 despise wisdom and discipline.
8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
11 If they
say, "Come along with us;
let's lie in wait for someone's blood,
let's waylay some harmless soul;
12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave,2
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot with us,
and we will share a common purse"
15 my son, do
not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into sin,
they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!
18 These men
lie in wait for their own blood;
they waylay only themselves!
19 Such is
the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.
20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street,
she raises her voice in the public squares;
21 at the
head of the noisy streets3
she cries out,
in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
22 "How long
will you simple ones4
love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you had
responded to my rebuke,
I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.
24 But since
you rejected me when I called
and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you
ignored all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn
will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you-
calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 "Then they
will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me.
29 Since they
and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30 since they
would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will
eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the
waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm."
1 verse 7 The Hebrew words rendered fool in
Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one
who is morally deficient.
2 verse 12 Hebrew Sheol
3 verse 21 Hebrew; Septuagint / on the tops of the walls
4 verse 24 The Hebrew word rendered simple in Proverbs generally denotes one without moral direction and inclined to evil.