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

2That men may know wisdom and instruction,

understand words of insight,

3receive instruction in wise dealing,

righteousness, justice, and equity;

4that prudence may be given to the simple,

knowledge and discretion to the youth—

5the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,

and the man of understanding 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.

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

and reject not your mother’s teaching;

9for they are a fair garland for your head,

and pendants for your neck.

10My son, 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 precious goods,

we shall fill our houses with spoil;

14throw in your lot among us,

we will all have one purse”—

15my son, do not walk in the way with them,

hold back your foot from their paths;

16for their feet run to evil,

and they make haste to shed blood.

17For in vain is a net spread

in the sight of any bird;

18but these men lie in wait for their own blood,

they set an ambush for their own lives.

19Such are the ways of all who get gain by violence;

it takes away the life of its possessors.

20Wisdom cries aloud in the street;

in the markets she raises her voice;

21on the top of the walls 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;

behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you;

I will make my words known to you.

24Because I have called and you refused to listen,

have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,

25and 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 the simple are killed by their turning away,

and the complacence of fools destroys them;

33but he who listens to me will dwell secure

and will be at ease, without dread of evil.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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