Proverbs 9 (The Message)

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1 Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home; it's supported by seven hewn timbers. 2 The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted, wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers. 3 Having dismissed her serving maids, Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place, and invites everyone within sound of her voice: 4 "Are you confused about life, don't know what's going on? Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me! 5 I've prepared a wonderful spread - fresh-baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines. 6 Leave your impoverished confusion and live! Walk up the street to a life with meaning." 7 If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you'll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. 8 So don't waste your time on a scoffer; all you'll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that's different - they'll love you for it! 9 Save your breath for the wise - they'll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know - they'll profit from it. 10 Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God. 11 It's through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. 12 Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you. Madame Whore Calls Out, Too 13 Then there's this other woman, Madame Whore - brazen, empty-headed, frivolous. 14 She sits on the front porch of her house on Main Street, 15 And as people walk by minding their own business, calls out, 16 "Are you confused about life, don't know what's going on? 17 Steal off with me, I'll show you a good time! No one will ever know - I'll give you the time of your life." 18 But they don't know about all the skeletons in her closet, that all her guests end up in hell.
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