my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;
for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.
How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!
These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!
Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.
Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
"How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you--
when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
"Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD,
since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,
who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.
It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.
For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.
Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.
For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;
but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;
by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.
My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble;
when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.