The Beginning of Knowledge
1 aThe proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in brighteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to cthe simple,
knowledge and ddiscretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and eincrease in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
7 hThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Enticement of Sinners
8 iHear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
9 for they are ja graceful garland for your head
and kpendants for your neck.
10 My son, if sinners lentice you,
do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us, mlet us lie in wait for blood;
nlet us ambush the innocent without reason;
12 like Sheol let us oswallow them alive,
and whole, like pthose who go down to the pit;
13 we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse”—
15 my son, qdo not walk in the way with them;
rhold back your foot from their paths,
16 for stheir feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
17 tFor in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
18 but these men ulie in wait for their own blood;
they uset an ambush for their own lives.
19 vSuch are the ways of everyone who is wgreedy for unjust gain;
xit takes away the life of its possessors.
The Call of Wisdom
20 yWisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at zthe entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O asimple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will bscoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools chate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,1
behold, I will dpour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 eBecause I have called and fyou refused to listen,
have gstretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have hignored all my counsel
and iwould have none of my reproof,
26 I also jwill laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when kterror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like la storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 mThen they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they chated knowledge
and ndid not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 hwould have none of my counsel
and idespised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat othe fruit of their way,
and have ptheir fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by qtheir turning away,
and rthe complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but swhoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be tat ease, without dread of disaster.”
The Value of Wisdom
2 uMy son, vif you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice wfor understanding,
4 if you seek it like xsilver
and search for it as for yhidden treasures,
5 then zyou will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For athe Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is ba shield to those who cwalk in integrity,
8 guarding the paths of justice
and dwatching over the way of his esaints.
9 fThen you will understand grighteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 hdiscretion will iwatch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12 delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
to jwalk in the ways of darkness,
14 who krejoice in doing evil
and ldelight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose mpaths are crooked,
16 So pyou will be delivered from the forbidden1 woman,
from qthe adulteress2 with rher smooth words,
17 who forsakes sthe companion of her youth
and forgets tthe covenant of her God;
18 ufor her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;3
19 none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
20 So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright vwill inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be wcut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be xrooted out of it.
Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart
3 yMy son, do not forget my teaching,
zbut let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for alength of days and years of life
and bpeace they will add to you.
3 Let not csteadfast love and dfaithfulness forsake you;
ebind them around your neck;
fwrite them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will gfind favor and hgood success1
in the sight of God and man.
5 iTrust in the Lord with all your heart,
and jdo not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways kacknowledge him,
and he lwill make straight your paths.
7 mBe not wise in your own eyes;
nfear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be ohealing to your flesh2
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with qthe firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your rbarns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11 sMy son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as ta father the son in whom he delights.
Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
13 uBlessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 vfor the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than wgold.
15 She is more precious than xjewels,
and ynothing you desire can compare with her.
16 zLong life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are ariches and honor.
17 Her bways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is ca tree of life to those who dlay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19 eThe Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding ehe established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge fthe deeps broke open,
and gthe clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, hdo not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be ilife for your soul
and jadornment for your neck.
23 kThen you will walk on your way securely,
land your foot will not stumble.
24 mIf you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, nyour sleep will be sweet.
25 oDo not be afraid of sudden terror
or of pthe ruin4 of the wicked, when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
and will qkeep your foot from being caught.
27 rDo not withhold good from those to whom it is due,5
when it is in your power to do it.
28 sDo not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29 tDo not plan evil against your neighbor,
who udwells trustingly beside you.
30 vDo not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
31 wDo not envy xa man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for ythe devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are zin his confidence.
33 aThe Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he bblesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Toward the cscorners he dis scornful,
ebut to the humble he gives favor.6
35 The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get7 disgrace.
A Father’s Wise Instruction
4 fHear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may ggain1 insight,
2 for I give you good hprecepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father,
itender, jthe only one in the sight of my mother,
4 he ktaught me and said to me,
l“Let your heart hold fast my words;
mkeep my commandments, and live.
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
olove her, and she will guard you.
7 pThe beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get ginsight.
8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will qhonor you rif you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head sa graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10 fHear, tmy son, and accept my words,
that uthe years of your life may be many.
11 I have vtaught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, wyour step will not be hampered,
and xif you run, you will not stumble.
13 yKeep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your zlife.
14 aDo not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they bcannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
cand drink the wine of violence.
18 But dthe path of the righteous is like ethe light of dawn,
which shines fbrighter and brighter until gfull day.
19 hThe way of the wicked is like deep idarkness;
they do not know over what they jstumble.
20 kMy son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 lLet them not escape from your sight;
mkeep them within your heart.
22 For they are nlife to those who find them,
and healing to all their2 flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for ofrom it flow pthe springs of life.
24 Put away from you qcrooked speech,
and put rdevious talk far from you.
25 sLet your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 tPonder3 the path of your feet;
uthen all your ways will be sure.
27 vDo not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.
Warning Against Adultery
5 wMy son, be attentive to my wisdom;
xincline your ear to my understanding,
2 that you may keep ydiscretion,
and your lips may zguard knowledge.
3 For the lips of aa forbidden1 woman drip honey,
and her speech2 is bsmoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is cbitter as dwormwood,
5 Her feet ggo down to death;
her steps follow the path to3 Sheol;
6 she hdoes not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And inow, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your jlabors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you kgroan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, l“How I hated discipline,
and my heart mdespised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 nI am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
15 Drink owater from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your psprings be scattered abroad,
streams of water qin the streets?
17 rLet them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your ofountain be blessed,
and srejoice in tthe wife of your youth,
19 a lovely udeer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts vfill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated4 always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with wa forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of wan adulteress?5
21 For xa man’s ways are ybefore the eyes of the Lord,
and he zponders6 all his paths.
22 The ainiquities of the wicked bensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 cHe dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is dled astray.