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


2For learning about wisdom and instruction,

for understanding words of insight,

3for gaining instruction in wise dealing,

righteousness, justice, and equity;

4to teach shrewdness to the simple,

knowledge and prudence to the young—

5let the wise also hear and gain in learning,

and the discerning acquire skill,

6to understand a proverb and a figure,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Warnings against Evil Companions

8Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,

and do not reject your mother’s teaching;

9for they are a fair garland for your head,

and pendants for your neck.

10My child, if sinners entice you,

do not consent.

11If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;

let us wantonly ambush the innocent;

12like Sheol let us swallow them alive

and whole, like those who go down to the Pit.

13We shall find all kinds of costly things;

we shall fill our houses with booty.

14Throw in your lot among us;

we will all have one purse”—

15my child, do not walk in their way,

keep your foot from their paths;

16for their feet run to evil,

and they hurry to shed blood.

17For in vain is the net baited

while the bird is looking on;

18yet they lie in wait—to kill themselves!

and set an ambush—for their own lives!

19Such is the end of all who are greedy for gain;

it takes away the life of its possessors.

The Call of Wisdom

20Wisdom cries out in the street;

in the squares she raises her voice.

21At the busiest corner she cries out;

at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

22“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?

How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing

and fools hate knowledge?

23Give heed to my reproof;

I will pour out my thoughts to you;

I will make my words known to you.

24Because I have called and you refused,

have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,

25and because you have ignored all my counsel

and would have none of my reproof,

26I also will laugh at your calamity;

I will mock when panic strikes you,

27when panic strikes you like a storm,

and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,

when distress and anguish come upon you.

28Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;

they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.

29Because they hated knowledge

and did not choose the fear of the Lord,

30would have none of my counsel,

and despised all my reproof,

31therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way

and be sated with their own devices.

32For waywardness kills the simple,

and the complacency of fools destroys them;

33but those who listen to me will be secure

and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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