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Proverbs Chapter 1 - New International Version

1. The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

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, knowledge and discretion to the young--

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

6. for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools [1] despise wisdom and discipline.

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

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

10. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.

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

12. let's swallow them alive, like the grave, [2] and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

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 purse"--

15. my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;

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

17. How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!

18. These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!

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

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

21. at the head of the noisy streets [3] she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:

22. "How long will you simple ones [4] love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate 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 rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,

25. since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,

26. I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Footnotes
  • 1: The Hebrew words rendered fool in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one who is morally deficient.
  • 2: Hebrew Sheol
  • 3: Hebrew; Septuagint / on the tops of the walls
  • 4: The Hebrew word rendered simple in Proverbs generally denotes one without moral direction and inclined to evil.

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