The Importance of Proverbs

These are the wise words of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.

They teach wisdom and self-control;

they will help you understand wise words.

They will teach you how to be wise and self-controlled

and will teach you to do what is honest and fair and right.

They make the uneducated wise

and give knowledge and sense to the young.

Wise people can also listen and learn;

even they can find good advice in these words.

Then anyone can understand wise words and stories,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

Knowledge begins with respect for the Lord,

but fools hate wisdom and discipline.

Warnings Against Evil

My child, listen to your father’s teaching

and do not forget your mother’s advice.

Their teaching will be like flowers in your hair

or a necklace around your neck.

10 My child, if sinners try to lead you into sin,

do not follow them.

11 They will say, “Come with us.

Let’s ambush and kill someone;

let’s attack some innocent people just for fun.

12 Let’s swallow them alive, as death does;

let’s swallow them whole, as the grave does.

13 We will take all kinds of valuable things

and fill our houses with stolen goods.

14 Come join us,

and we will share with you stolen goods.”

15 My child, do not go along with them;

do not do what they do.

16 They are eager to do evil

and are quick to kill.

17 It is useless to spread out a net

right where the birds can see it.

18 But sinners will fall into their own traps;

they will only catch themselves!

19 All greedy people end up this way;

greed kills selfish people.

Wisdom Speaks

20 Wisdom is like a woman shouting in the street;

she raises her voice in the city squares.

21 She cries out in the noisy street

and shouts at the city gates:

22 “You fools, how long will you be foolish?

How long will you make fun of wisdom

and hate knowledge?

23 If only you had listened when I corrected you,

I would have told you what’s in my heart;

I would have told you what I am thinking.

24 I called, but you refused to listen;

I held out my hand, but you paid no attention.

25 You did not follow my advice

and did not listen when I corrected you.

26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble.

I will make fun when disaster strikes you,

27 when disaster comes over you like a storm,

when trouble strikes you like a whirlwind,

when pain and trouble overwhelm you.

28 “Then you will call to me,

but I will not answer.

You will look for me,

but you will not find me.

29 It is because you rejected knowledge

and did not choose to respect the Lord.

30 You did not accept my advice,

and you rejected my correction.

31 So you will get what you deserve;

you will get what you planned for others.

32 Fools will die because they refuse to listen;

they will be destroyed because they do not care.

33 But those who listen to me will live in safety

and be at peace, without fear of injury.”