Proverbs 1 (New International Version)

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Prologue: Purpose and Theme

1 The proverbs1 of Solomon2 son of David, king of Israel:3 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-- 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,6 and let the discerning get guidance-- 6 for understanding proverbs and parables,7 the sayings and riddles8 of the wise.9 7 The fear of the LORD10 is the beginning of knowledge, but foolsa despise wisdom11 and discipline.12

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 9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.16 10 My son, if sinners entice17 you, do not give in18 to them.19 11 If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait20 for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul; 12 let's swallow21 them alive, like the grave,b and whole, like those who go down to the pit;22 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"-- 15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot24 on their paths;25 16 for their feet rush into sin,26 they are swift to shed blood.27 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 19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.30

Warning Against Rejecting Wisdom

20 Wisdom calls aloud31 in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; 21 at the head of the noisy streetsc she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: 22 "How long will you simple onesd32 love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate33 knowledge? 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, 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-- 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster41 sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer;42 they will look for me but will not find me.43 29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD,44 30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,45 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.46 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;47 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety48 and be at ease, without fear of harm."49
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