Proverbs 1 (English Standard Version)

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The Beginning of Knowledge

1 1The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in 2righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to give prudence to 3the simple, knowledge and 4discretion to the youth-- 5 Let the wise hear and 5increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, 6 to understand a proverb and a saying, 6the words of the wise and their 7riddles. 7 8The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

8 9Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, 9 for they are 10a graceful garland for your head and 11pendants for your neck. 10 My son, if sinners 12entice you, do not consent. 11 If they say, "Come with us, 13let us lie in wait for blood; 14let us ambush the innocent without reason; 12 like Sheol let us 15swallow them alive, and whole, like 16those who go down to the pit; 13 we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; 14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse"-- 15 my son, 17do not walk in the way with them; 18hold back your foot from their paths, 16 for 19their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. 17 20For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, 18 but these men 21lie in wait for their own blood; they 22set an ambush for their own lives. 19 23Such are the ways of everyone who is 24greedy for unjust gain; 25it takes away the life of its possessors.

The Call of Wisdom

20 26Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at 27the entrance of the city gates she speaks: 22 "How long, O 28simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will 29scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools 30hate knowledge? 23 If you turn at my reproof,a behold, I will 31pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. 24 32Because I have called and 33you refused to listen, have 34stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, 25 because you have 35ignored all my counsel and 36would have none of my reproof, 26 I also 37will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when 38terror strikes you, 27 when terror strikes you like 39a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. 28 40Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. 29 Because they 41hated knowledge and 42did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 43would have none of my counsel and 44despised all my reproof, 31 therefore they shall eat 45the fruit of their way, and have 46their fill of their own devices. 32 For the simple are killed by 47their turning away, and 48the complacency of fools destroys them; 33 but 49whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be 50at ease, without dread of disaster."
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