1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel. 2 They are for achieving wisdom and instruction, and to recognize sayings that bring insight. 3 They provide education in what makes sense, living right, judging correctly, and acting fairly. 4 They give discernment to the immature, knowledge and discretion to the young. 5 Wise people will listen and gain in learning, and those who have good judgment will gain skills in guidance, 6 understanding the proverbs and puzzles, the sayings and questions of the wise.
7 Honoring the Lord is where true knowledge begins, but fools treat wisdom and good advice with contempt.
8 My son, pay attention to your father's instruction, and don't reject your mother's teaching. 9 They are a wreath of grace to decorate your head; they are pendants for your neck.
10 My son, if evil people try to tempt you, don't give into them. 11 They may tell you, “Come with us. Let's go and hide, ready to kill someone. Let's ambush someone for fun! 12 Let's bury them alive; let's put them in the grave while they're still healthy! 13 We'll take from them all kinds of valuable things and fill our homes with the stuff we steal! 14 Come and join us* Literally, “throw in your lot with us.” and we'll all share what we get!”
15 My son, don't follow their ways. Don't go in that direction with them. 16 For they rush to do evil; they hurry to commit violence and murder. 17 There's no point in trying to lure birds into a net when they can see it. 18 However, these evil people hide ready to kill others, but they themselves are the victims. They're only ambushing themselves! 19 This is what happens to you if you try to become rich through crime—it kills you!
20 Wisdom calls out in the streets; she† “She”: in Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman. shouts aloud in the squares. 21 She cries out at busy corners; she explains her message at the town gates:
22 “How long will you stupid people love stupidity? How long will scornful people enjoy their mocking? How long will fools hate knowledge? 23 Pay attention to my warnings, and I'll pour out my deepest thoughts to you—I'll explain what I know to you.
24 For I have called you, but you refused to listen; I reached out my hand to you, but you didn't care. 25 You ignored everything I said; you wouldn't accept any of my warnings.
26 So I'll laugh at you when you're in trouble; I'll mock you when you're in a panic. 27 When panic rains down on you like a storm, when trouble hits you like a whirlwind, when sorrow and pain come on you, 28 then you'll call out to me for help, but I won't answer; you'll search hard for me, but won't find me. 29 Why?—because they hated knowledge, and they didn't choose to respect the Lord. 30 They're not willing to accept my advice; they despise all my warnings.
31 So they'll have to eat the fruit of their own choices, bloated by their own devious schemes. 32 Stupid people are killed by their rebellion; foolish people are destroyed by their lack of concern. 33 But everyone who listens to me will be kept safe, and will live without worrying about problems.”
*1:14 Literally, “throw in your lot with us.”
†1:20 “She”: in Proverbs, wisdom is personified as a woman.