The proverbs of Solomon, King David's son, from Israel:
Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline, to help one understand wise sayings.
They provide insightful instruction, which is righteous, just, and full of integrity.
They make the naive mature, the young knowledgeable and discreet.
The wise hear them and grow in wisdom; those with understanding gain guidance.
They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings, the words of the wise, and their puzzles.
Wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Listen, my son, to your father's instruction; don't neglect your mother's teaching;
for they are a graceful wreath on your head, and beads for your neck.
My son, don't let sinners entice you. Don't go
when they say: "Come with us. Let's set up a deadly ambush. Let's secretly wait for the innocent just for fun.
Let's swallow up the living like the gravea— whole, like those who go down into the pit.
We'll find all sorts of precious wealth; we'll fill our houses with plunder.
Throw in your lot with us; we'll share our money."
My son, don't go on the path with them; keep your feet from their way,
because their feet run to evil; they hurry to spill blood.
It's useless to cast a net in the sight of a bird.
But these sinners set up a deadly ambush; they lie in wait for their own lives.
These are the ways of all who seek unjust gain; it costs them their lives.
Wisdom shouts in the street; in the public square she raises her voice.
Above the noisy crowd, she calls out. At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say:
"How long will you clueless people love your naïveté, mockers hold their mocking dear, and fools hate knowledge?
You should respond when I correct you. Look, I'll pour out my spirit on you. I'll reveal my words to you.
I invited you, but you rejected me; I stretched out my hand to you, but you paid no attention.
You ignored all my advice, and you didn't want me to correct you.
So I'll laugh at your disaster; I'll make fun of you when dread comes over you,
when terror hits you like a hurricane, and your disaster comes in like a tornado, when distress and oppression overcome you.
Then they will call me, but I won't answer; they will seek me, but won't find me
because they hated knowledge and didn't choose the fear of the LORD.
They didn't want my advice; they rejected all my corrections.
They will eat from the fruit of their way, and they'll be full of their own schemes.
The immature will die because they turn away; smugness will destroy fools.
Those who obey me will dwell securely, untroubled by the dread of harm."