The Reasons for Proverbs

The proverbs of Solomon, David’s son who was king of Israel, ⌞given⌟

to grasp wisdom and discipline,

to understand deep thoughts,

to acquire the discipline of wise behavior—

righteousness and justice and fairness—

to give insight to gullible people,

to give knowledge and foresight to the young—

a wise person will listen and continue to learn,

and an understanding person will gain direction—

to understand a proverb and a clever saying,

the words of wise people and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Listen to Wisdom

My son,

listen to your father’s discipline,

and do not neglect your mother’s teachings,

because discipline and teachings

are a graceful garland on your head

and a ⌞golden⌟ chain around your neck.

10 My son,

if sinners lure you, do not go along.

11 If they say,

“Come with us.

Let’s set an ambush to kill someone.

Let’s hide to ambush innocent people for fun.

12 We’ll swallow them alive like the grave,

like those in good health who go into the pit.

13 We’ll find all kinds of valuable possessions.

We’ll fill our homes with stolen goods.

14 Join us.

We’ll split the loot equally.”

15 My son,

do not follow them in their way.

Do not even set foot on their path,

16 because they rush to do evil

and hurry to shed blood.

17 It does no good to spread a net

within the sight of any bird.

18 But these people set an ambush for their own murder.

They go into hiding only to lose their lives.

19 This is what happens to everyone

who is greedy for unjust gain.

Greed takes away his life.

20 Wisdom sings her song in the streets.

In the public squares she raises her voice.

21 At the corners of noisy streets she calls out.

At the entrances to the city she speaks her words,

22 “How long will you gullible people love being so gullible?

How long will you mockers find joy in your mocking?

How long will you fools hate knowledge?

23 “Turn to me when I warn you.

I will generously pour out my spirit for you.

I will make my words known to you.

24 “I called, and you refused to listen.

I stretched out my hands to you, and no one paid attention.

25 You ignored all my advice.

You did not want me to warn you.

26 I will laugh at your calamity.

I will make fun of you

when panic strikes you,

27 when panic strikes you like a violent storm,

when calamity strikes you like a wind storm,

when trouble and anguish come to you.

28 “They will call to me at that time, but I will not answer.

They will look for me, but they will not find me,

29 because they hated knowledge

and did not choose the fear of the Lord.

30 They refused my advice.

They despised my every warning.

31 They will eat the fruit of their lifestyle.

They will be stuffed with their own schemes.

32 “Gullible people kill themselves because of their turning away.

Fools destroy themselves because of their indifference.

33 But whoever listens to me will live without worry

and will be free from the dread of disaster.”