Proverbs 1 NIV

Prologue: Purpose and Theme

1 The proverbs1 of Solomon2 son of David, king of Israel:3

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2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple,4 knowledge and discretion5 to the young--

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5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,6 and let the discerning get guidance--

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6 for understanding proverbs and parables,7 the sayings and riddles8 of the wise.9

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7 The fear of the LORD 10 is the beginning of knowledge, but foolsa despise wisdom11 and discipline.12

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    • a 1:7 - The Hebrew words rendered "fool" in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one who is morally deficient.

      Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom

      Warning Against Enticement

      8 Listen, my son,13 to your father's14 instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.15

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          9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.16

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          10 My son, if sinners entice17 you, do not give in18 to them.19

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          11 If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait20 for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul;

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          12 let's swallow21 them alive, like the grave,b and whole, like those who go down to the pit;22

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            • b 1:12 - Hebrew "Sheol"
              13 we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder;
              14 throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse23"--

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                  15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot24 on their paths;25

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                  16 for their feet rush into sin,26 they are swift to shed blood.27

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                  17 How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!
                  18 These men lie in wait28 for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!29

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                      19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.30

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                      Warning Against Rejecting Wisdom

                      20 Wisdom calls aloud31 in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;

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                          21 at the head of the noisy streetsc she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:

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                            • c 1:21 - Hebrew; Septuagint "/ on the tops of the walls"
                              22 "How long will you simple onesd32 love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate33 knowledge?

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                                • d 1:22 - The Hebrew word rendered "simple" in Proverbs generally denotes one without moral direction and inclined to evil.
                                  23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
                                  24 But since you rejected34 me when I called35 and no one gave heed36 when I stretched out my hand,

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                                  25 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
                                  26 I in turn will laugh37 at your disaster;38 I will mock39 when calamity overtakes you40--

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                                      27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster41 sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

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                                      28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer;42 they will look for me but will not find me.43

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                                      29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD,44

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                                      30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,45

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                                      31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.46

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                                      32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;47

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                                      33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety48 and be at ease, without fear of harm."49

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