Proverbs 1:8-33; Proverbs 2:1-22; Proverbs 3:1-35; Proverbs 4:1-27; Proverbs 5:1-23; Proverbs 6:1-35; Proverbs 7:1-27; Proverbs 8:1-36; Proverbs 9:1-18 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

8 My son, listen to your father's discipline, and do not neglect your mother's teachings, 9 because discipline and teachings are a graceful garland on your head and a [golden] chain around your neck. 10 My son, if sinners lure you, do not go along. 11 If they say, "Come with us. Let's set an ambush to kill someone. Let's hide to ambush innocent people for fun. 12 We'll swallow them alive like the grave, like those in good health who go into the pit. 13 We'll find all kinds of valuable possessions. We'll fill our homes with stolen goods. 14 Join us. We'll split the loot equally." 15 My son, do not follow them in their way. Do not even set foot on their path, 16 because they rush to do evil and hurry to shed blood. 17 It does no good to spread a net within the sight of any bird. 18 But these people set an ambush for their own murder. They go into hiding only to lose their lives. 19 This is what happens to everyone who is greedy for unjust gain. Greed takes away his life. 20 Wisdom sings her song in the streets. In the public squares she raises her voice. 21 At the corners of noisy streets she calls out. At the entrances to the city she speaks her words, 22 "How long will you gullible people love being so gullible? How long will you mockers find joy in your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? 23 "Turn to me when I warn you. I will generously pour out my spirit for you. I will make my words known to you. 24 "I called, and you refused to listen. I stretched out my hands to you, and no one paid attention. 25 You ignored all my advice. You did not want me to warn you. 26 I will laugh at your calamity. I will make fun of you when panic strikes you, 27 when panic strikes you like a violent storm, when calamity strikes you like a wind storm, when trouble and anguish come to you. 28 "They will call to me at that time, but I will not answer. They will look for me, but they will not find me, 29 because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 They refused my advice. They despised my every warning. 31 They will eat the fruit of their lifestyle. They will be stuffed with their own schemes. 32 "Gullible people kill themselves because of their turning away. Fools destroy themselves because of their indifference. 33 But whoever listens to me will live without worry and will be free from the dread of disaster." 1 My son, if you take my words [to heart] and treasure my commands within you, 2 if you pay close attention to wisdom, and let your mind reach for understanding, 3 if indeed you call out for insight, if you ask aloud for understanding, 4 if you search for wisdom as if it were money and hunt for it as if it were hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and you will find the knowledge of God. 6 The LORD gives wisdom. From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He has reserved priceless wisdom for decent people. He is a shield for those who walk in integrity 8 in order to guard those on paths of justice and to watch over the way of his godly ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-- every good course [in life]. 10 Wisdom will come into your heart. Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Foresight will protect you. Understanding will guard you. 12 [Wisdom will] save you from the way of evil, from the person who speaks devious things, 13 from those who abandon the paths of righteousness to walk the ways of darkness, 14 from those who enjoy doing evil, from those who find joy in the deviousness of evil. 15 Their paths are crooked. Their ways are devious. 16 [Wisdom will] also save you from an adulterous woman, from a loose woman with her smooth talk, 17 who leaves [her husband,] the closest friend of her youth, and forgets her marriage vows to her God. 18 Her house sinks down to death. Her ways lead to the souls of the dead. 19 None who have sex with her come back. Nor do they ever reach the paths of life. 20 So walk in the way of good people and stay on the paths of righteous people. 21 Decent people will live in the land. People of integrity will remain in it. 22 But wicked people will be cut off from the land and treacherous people will be torn from it. 1 My son, do not forget my teachings, and keep my commands in mind, 2 because they will bring you long life, good years, and peace. 3 Do not let mercy and truth leave you. Fasten them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will find favor and much success in the sight of God and humanity. 5 Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth. 7 Do not consider yourself wise. Fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8 [Then] your body will be healed, and your bones will have nourishment. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income. 10 Then your barns will be full, and your vats will overflow with fresh wine. 11 Do not reject the discipline of the LORD, my son, and do not resent his warning, 12 because the LORD warns the one he loves, even as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased. 13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom and the one who obtains understanding. 14 The profit [gained] from [wisdom] is greater than the profit [gained] from silver. Its yield is better than fine gold. 15 [Wisdom] is more precious than jewels, and all your desires cannot equal it. 16 Long life is in [wisdom's] right hand. In [wisdom's] left hand are riches and honor. 17 [Wisdom's] ways are pleasant ways, and all its paths lead to peace. 18 [Wisdom] is a tree of life for those who take firm hold of it. Those who cling to it are blessed. 19 By Wisdom the LORD laid the foundation of the earth. By understanding he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the deep waters were divided, and the skies dropped dew. 21 My son, do not lose sight of these things. Use priceless wisdom and foresight. 22 Then they will mean life for you, and they will grace your neck. 23 Then you will go safely on your way, and you will not hurt your foot. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid. As you lie there, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the destruction of wicked people when it comes. 26 The LORD will be your confidence. He will keep your foot from getting caught. 27 Do not hold back anything good from those who are entitled to it when you have the power to do so. 28 When you have the good thing with you, do not tell your neighbor, "Go away! Come back tomorrow. I'll give you something then." 29 Do not plan to do something wrong to your neighbor while he is sitting there with you and suspecting nothing. 30 Do not quarrel with a person for no reason if he has not harmed you. 31 Do not envy a violent person. Do not choose any of his ways. 32 The devious person is disgusting to the LORD. The LORD's intimate advice is with decent people. 33 The LORD curses the house of wicked people, but he blesses the home of righteous people. 34 When he mocks the mockers, he is gracious to humble people. 35 Wise people will inherit honor, but fools will bear disgrace. 1 Sons, listen to [your] father's discipline, and pay attention in order to gain understanding. 2 After all, I have taught you well. Do not abandon my teachings. 3 When I was a boy [learning] from my father, when I was a tender and only child of my mother, 4 they used to teach me and say to me, "Cling to my words wholeheartedly. Obey my commands so that you may live. 5 Acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding. Do not forget. Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken. 6 Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you. Love wisdom, and it will protect you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding with all that you have. 8 Cherish wisdom. It will raise you up. It will bring you honor when you embrace it. 9 It will give you a graceful garland for your head. It will hand you a beautiful crown." 10 My son, listen and accept my words, and they will multiply the years of your life. 11 I have taught you the way of wisdom. I have guided you along decent paths. 12 When you walk, your stride will not be hampered. Even if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Cling to discipline. Do not relax your grip on it. Keep it because it is your life. 14 Do not stray onto the path of wicked people. Do not walk in the way of evil people. 15 Avoid it. Do not walk near it. Turn away from it, and keep on walking. 16 Wicked people cannot sleep unless they do wrong, and they are robbed of their sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 They eat food obtained through wrongdoing and drink wine obtained through violence. 18 But the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday. 19 The way of wicked people is like deep darkness. They do not know what makes them stumble. 20 My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say. 21 Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart 22 because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body. 23 Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. 24 Remove dishonesty from your mouth. Put deceptive speech far away from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead and your sight be focused in front of you. 26 Carefully walk a straight path, and all your ways will be secure. 27 Do not lean to the right or to the left. Walk away from evil. 1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom. Open your ears to my understanding 2 so that you may act with foresight and speak with insight. 3 The lips of an adulterous woman drip with honey. Her kiss is smoother than oil, 4 but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet descend to death. Her steps lead straight to hell. 6 She doesn't even think about the path of life. Her steps wander, and she doesn't realize it. 7 But now, sons, listen to me, and do not turn away from what I say to you. 8 Stay far away from her. Do not even go near her door. 9 Either you will surrender your reputation to others and [the rest of] your years to some cruel person, 10 or strangers will benefit from your strength and you will have to work hard in a pagan's house. 11 Then you will groan when your end comes, when your body and flesh are consumed. You will say, 12 "Oh, how I hated discipline! How my heart despised correction! 13 I didn't listen to what my teachers said to me, nor did I keep my ear open to my instructors. 14 I almost reached total ruin in the assembly and in the congregation." 15 Drink water out of your own cistern and running water from your own well. 16 Why should water flow out of your spring? Why should your streams flow into the streets? 17 They should be yours alone, so do not share them with strangers. 18 Let your own fountain be blessed, and enjoy the girl you married when you were young, 19 a loving doe and a graceful deer. Always let her breasts satisfy you. Always be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why should you, my son, be intoxicated with an adulterous woman and fondle a loose woman's breast? 21 Each person's ways are clearly seen by the LORD, and he surveys all his actions. 22 A wicked person will be trapped by his own wrongs, and he will be caught in the ropes of his own sin. 23 He will die for his lack of discipline and stumble around because of his great stupidity. 1 My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake, 2 you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise. 3 Do the following things, my son, so that you may free yourself, because you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Humble yourself, and pester your neighbor. 4 Don't let your eyes rest or your eyelids close. 5 Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter and like a bird from the hand of a hunter. 6 Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise. 7 Although it has no overseer, officer, or ruler, 8 in summertime it stores its food supply. At harvest time it gathers its food. 9 How long will you lie there, you lazy bum? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 "Just a little sleep, just a little slumber, just a little nap." 11 Then your poverty will come [to you] like a drifter, and your need will come [to you] like a bandit. 12 A good-for-nothing scoundrel is a person who has a dishonest mouth. 13 He winks his eye, makes a signal with his foot, [and] points with his fingers. 14 He devises evil all the time with a twisted mind. He spreads conflict. 15 That is why disaster will come on him suddenly. In a moment he will be crushed beyond recovery. 16 There are six things that the LORD hates, even seven that are disgusting to him: 17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, 18 a mind devising wicked plans, feet that are quick to do wrong, 19 a dishonest witness spitting out lies, and a person who spreads conflict among relatives. 20 My son, obey the command of your father, and do not disregard the teachings of your mother. 21 Fasten them on your heart forever. Hang them around your neck. 22 When you walk around, they will lead you. When you lie down, they will watch over you. When you wake up, they will talk to you 23 because the command is a lamp, the teachings are a light, and the warnings from discipline are the path of life 24 to keep you from an evil woman and from the smooth talk of a loose woman. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart. Do not let her catch you with her eyes. 26 A prostitute's price is [only] a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts for [your] life itself. 27 Can a man carry fire in his lap without burning his clothes? 28 Can anyone walk on red-hot coals without burning his feet? 29 So it is with a man who has sex with his neighbor's wife. None who touch her will escape punishment. 30 People do not despise a thief who is hungry when he steals to satisfy his appetite, 31 but when he is caught, he has to repay it seven times. He must give up all the possessions in his house. 32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman has no sense. Whoever does this destroys himself. 33 An adulterous man will find disease and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be blotted out, 34 because jealousy arouses a husband's fury. The husband will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35 No amount of money will change his mind. The largest bribe will not satisfy him. 1 My son, pay attention to my words. Treasure my commands that are within you. 2 Obey my commands so that you may live. Follow my teachings just as you protect the pupil of your eye. 3 Tie them on your fingers. Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister." Give the name "my relative" to understanding 5 in order to guard yourself from an adulterous woman, from a loose woman with her smooth talk. 6 From a window in my house I looked through my screen. 7 I was looking at gullible people when I saw a young man without much sense among youths. 8 He was crossing a street near her corner and walking toward her house 9 in the twilight, in the evening, in the dark hours of the night. 10 A woman with an ulterior motive meets him. She is dressed as a prostitute. 11 She is loud and rebellious. Her feet will not stay at home. 12 One moment she is out on the street, the next she is at the curb, on the prowl at every corner. 13 She grabs him and kisses him and brazenly says to him, 14 "I have some sacrificial meat. Today I kept my vows. 15 That's why I came to meet you. Eagerly, I looked for you, and I've found you. 16 I've made my bed, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. 17 I've sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let's drink our fill of love until morning. Let's enjoy making love, 19 because my husband's not home. He has gone on a long trip. 20 He took lots of money with him. He won't be home for a couple of weeks." 21 With all her seductive charms, she persuades him. With her smooth lips, she makes him give in. 22 He immediately follows her like a steer on its way to be slaughtered, like a ram hobbling into captivity 23 until an arrow pierces his heart, like a bird darting into a trap. He does not realize that it will cost him his life. 24 Now, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to the words from my mouth. 25 Do not let your heart be turned to her ways. Do not wander onto her paths, 26 because she has brought down many victims, and she has killed all too many. 27 Her home is the way to hell and leads to the darkest vaults of death. 1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise its voice? 2 [Wisdom] takes its stand on high ground, by the wayside where the roads meet, 3 near the gates to the city. At the entrance [wisdom] sings its song, 4 "I am calling to all of you, and my appeal is to all people. 5 You gullible people, learn how to be sensible. You fools, get a heart that has understanding. 6 Listen! I am speaking about noble things, and my lips will say what is right. 7 My mouth expresses the truth, and wickedness is disgusting to my lips. 8 Everything I say is fair, and there is nothing twisted or crooked in it. 9 All of it is clear to a person who has understanding and right to those who have acquired knowledge. 10 Take my discipline, not silver, and my knowledge rather than fine gold, 11 because wisdom is better than jewels. Nothing you desire can equal it. 12 "I, Wisdom, live with insight, and I acquire knowledge and foresight. 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and twisted speech. 14 Advice and priceless wisdom are mine. I, Understanding, have strength. 15 Through me kings reign, and rulers decree fair laws. 16 Through me princes rule, so do nobles and all fair judges. 17 I love those who love me. Those eagerly looking for me will find me. 18 I have riches and honor, lasting wealth and righteousness. 19 What I produce is better than gold, pure gold. What I yield is better than fine silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, on the paths of justice, 21 to give an inheritance to those who love me and to fill their treasuries. 22 "The LORD already possessed me long ago, when his way began, before any of his works. 23 I was appointed from everlasting from the first, before the earth began. 24 I was born before there were oceans, before there were springs filled with water. 25 I was born before the mountains were settled in their places and before the hills, 26 when he had not yet made land or fields or the first dust of the world. 27 "When he set up the heavens, I was there. When he traced the horizon on the surface of the ocean, 28 when he established the skies above, when he determined the currents in the ocean, 29 when he set a limit for the sea so the waters would not overstep his command, when he traced the foundations of the earth, 30 I was beside him as a master craftsman. I made him happy day after day, I rejoiced in front of him all the time, 31 found joy in his inhabited world, and delighted in the human race. 32 "Now, sons, listen to me. Blessed are those who follow my ways. 33 Listen to discipline, and become wise. Do not leave my ways. 34 Blessed is the person who listens to me, watches at my door day after day, and waits by my doorposts. 35 Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. 36 Whoever sins against me harms himself. All those who hate me love death." 1 Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat. She has mixed her wine. She has set her table. 3 She has sent out her servant girls. She calls from the highest places in the city, 4 "Whoever is gullible turn in here!" She says to a person without sense, 5 "Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Stop being gullible and live. Start traveling the road to understanding." 7 Whoever corrects a mocker receives abuse. Whoever warns a wicked person gets hurt. 8 Do not warn a mocker, or he will hate you. Warn a wise person, and he will love you. 9 Give [advice] to a wise person, and he will become even wiser. Teach a righteous person, and he will learn more. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 You will live longer because of me, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will help you. If you mock, you alone will be held responsible. 13 The woman Stupidity is loud, gullible, and ignorant. 14 She sits at the doorway of her house. She is enthroned on the high ground of the city 15 and calls to those who pass by, those minding their own business, 16 "Whoever is gullible turn in here!" She says to a person without sense, 17 "Stolen waters are sweet, and food eaten in secret is tasty." 18 But he does not know that the souls of the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.
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