Proverbs 1
World English Bible

The Beginning of Knowledge

(Ezra 4:6-16; Esther 1:1-9; Proverbs 9:1-12)

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

2to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding;

3to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

4to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man:

5that the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel:

6to understand a proverb, and parables, the words and riddles of the wise.

7The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sin

8My son, listen to your father's instruction, and don't forsake your mother's teaching:

9for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck.

10My son, if sinners entice you, don't consent.

11If they say, "Come with us, Let's lay in wait for blood; let's lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;

12let's swallow them up alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down into the pit.

13We'll find all valuable wealth. We'll fill our houses with spoil.

14You shall cast your lot among us. We'll all have one purse."

15My son, don't walk in the way with them. Keep your foot from their path,

16for their feet run to evil. They hurry to shed blood.

17For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird:

18but these lay wait for their own blood. They lurk secretly for their own lives.

19So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain. It takes away the life of its owners.

Wisdom Calls Aloud

20Wisdom calls aloud in the street. She utters her voice in the public squares.

21She calls at the head of noisy places. At the entrance of the city gates, she utters her words:

22"How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery, and fools hate knowledge?

23Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you.

24Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention;

25but you have ignored all my counsel, and wanted none of my reproof;

26I also will laugh at your disaster. I will mock when calamity overtakes you;

27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come on you.

28Then will they call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;

29because they hated knowledge, and didn't choose the fear of Yahweh.

30They wanted none of my counsel. They despised all my reproof.

31Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own schemes.

32For the backsliding of the simple will kill them. The careless ease of fools will destroy them.

33But whoever listens to me will dwell securely, and will be at ease, without fear of harm."

The World English Bible is a 1997 revision of the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible, first published in 1901. It is in the Public Domain. Please feel free to copy and distribute it freely. Thank you to Michael Paul Johnson for making this work available. For the latest information, to report corrections, or for other correspondence, visit

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