July 17

Proverbs 1:1 — 4:27


The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, the king of Israel, 2 for one to know wisdom and discipline, to discern the sayings of understanding, 3 to receive the discipline that gives insight, righteousness and judgment and uprightness, 4 to give to the inexperienced ones shrewdness, to a young man knowledge and thinking ability.

5 A wise person will listen and take in more instruction, and a man of understanding is the one who acquires skillful direction, 6 to understand a proverb and a puzzling saying, the words of wise persons and their riddles.

7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge. Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised.

8 Listen, my son, to the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother. 9 For they are a wreath of attractiveness to your head and a fine necklace to your throat.

10 My son, if sinners try to seduce you, do not consent. 11 If they keep saying: “Do go with us. Do let us lie in ambush for blood. Do let us lie in concealment for the innocent men without any cause. 12 Let us swallow them down alive just like Sheol, even whole, like those going down into a pit. 13 Let us find all sorts of precious valuables. Let us fill our houses with spoil. 14 Your lot you ought to cast in among us. Let there come to be just one bag belonging to all of us”— 15 my son, do not go in the way with them. Hold back your foot from their roadway. 16 For their feet are those that run to sheer badness, and they keep hastening to shed blood. 17 For it is for nothing that the net is spread before the eyes of anything owning wings. 18 Consequently they themselves lie in ambush for the very blood of these; they lie in concealment for their souls. 19 Thus are the paths of everyone making unjust profit. It takes away the very soul of its owners.

20 True wisdom itself keeps crying aloud in the very street. In the public squares it keeps giving forth its voice. 21 At the upper end of the noisy streets it calls out. At the entrances of the gates into the city it says its own sayings:

22 “How long will YOU inexperienced ones keep loving inexperience, and [how long] must YOU ridiculers desire for yourselves outright ridicule, and [how long] will YOU stupid ones keep hating knowledge? 23 Turn back at my reproof. Then to YOU I will cause my spirit to bubble forth; I will make my words known to YOU. 24 Because I have called out but YOU keep refusing, I have stretched out my hand but there is no one paying attention, 25 and YOU keep neglecting all my counsel, and my reproof YOU have not accepted, 26 I also, for my part, shall laugh at YOUR own disaster, I shall mock when what YOU dread comes, 27 when what YOU dread comes just like a storm, and YOUR own disaster gets here just like a storm wind, when distress and hard times come upon YOU. 28 At that time they will keep calling me, but I shall not answer; they will keep looking for me, but they will not find me, 29 for the reason that they hated knowledge, and the fear of Jehovah they did not choose. 30 They did not consent to my counsel; they disrespected all my reproof. 31 So they will eat from the fruitage of their way, and they will be glutted with their own counsels. 32 For the renegading of the inexperienced ones is what will kill them, and the easygoingness of the stupid is what will destroy them. 33 As for the one listening to me, he will reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity.”

2 My son, if you will receive my sayings and treasure up my own commandments with yourself, 2 so as to pay attention to wisdom with your ear, that you may incline your heart to discernment; 3 if, moreover, you call out for understanding itself and you give forth your voice for discernment itself, 4 if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, 5 in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. 6 For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment. 7 And for the upright ones he will treasure up practical wisdom; for those walking in integrity he is a shield, 8 by observing the paths of judgment, and he will guard the very way of his loyal ones. 9 In that case you will understand righteousness and judgment and uprightness, the entire course of what is good.

10 When wisdom enters into your heart and knowledge itself becomes pleasant to your very soul, 11 thinking ability itself will keep guard over you, discernment itself will safeguard you, 12 to deliver you from the bad way, from the man speaking perverse things, 13 from those leaving the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, 14 from those who are rejoicing in doing bad, who are joyful in the perverse things of badness; 15 those whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their general course; 16 to deliver you from the strange woman, from the foreign woman who has made her own sayings smooth, 17 who is leaving the confidential friend of her youth and who has forgotten the very covenant of her God. 18 For down to death her house does sink and down to those impotent in death her tracks. 19 None of those having relations with her will come back, nor will they regain the paths of those living.

20 The purpose is that you may walk in the way of good people and that the paths of the righteous ones you may keep. 21 For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. 22 As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.

3 My son, my law do not forget, and my commandments may your heart observe, 2 because length of days and years of life and peace will be added to you. 3 May loving-kindness and trueness themselves not leave you. Tie them about your throat. Write them upon the tablet of your heart, 4 and so find favor and good insight in the eyes of God and of earthling man. 5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. 6 In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.

7 Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad. 8 May it become a healing to your navel and a refreshment to your bones.

9 Honor Jehovah with your valuable things and with the firstfruits of all your produce. 10 Then your stores of supply will be filled with plenty; and with new wine your own press vats will overflow.

11 The discipline of Jehovah, O my son, do not reject; and do not abhor his reproof, 12 because the one whom Jehovah loves he reproves, even as a father does a son in whom he finds pleasure.

13 Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment, 14 for having it as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself. 15 It is more precious than corals, and all other delights of yours cannot be made equal to it. 16 Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand there are riches and glory. 17 Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its roadways are peace. 18 It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.

19 Jehovah himself in wisdom founded the earth. He solidly fixed the heavens in discernment. 20 By his knowledge the watery deeps themselves were split apart, and the cloudy skies keep dripping down light rain. 21 My son, may they not get away from your eyes. Safeguard practical wisdom and thinking ability, 22 and they will prove to be life to your soul and charm to your throat. 23 In that case you will walk in security on your way, and even your foot will not strike against anything. 24 Whenever you lie down you will feel no dread; and you will certainly lie down, and your sleep must be pleasurable. 25 You will not need to be afraid of any sudden dreadful thing, nor of the storm upon the wicked ones, because it is coming. 26 For Jehovah himself will prove to be, in effect, your confidence, and he will certainly keep your foot against capture.

27 Do not hold back good from those to whom it is owing, when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do [it]. 28 Do not say to your fellowman: “Go, and come back and tomorrow I shall give,” when there is something with you. 29 Do not fabricate against your fellowman anything bad, when he is dwelling in a sense of security with you. 30 Do not quarrel with a man without cause, if he has rendered no bad to you.

31 Do not become envious of the man of violence, nor choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious person is a detestable thing to Jehovah, but His intimacy is with the upright ones. 33 The curse of Jehovah is on the house of the wicked one, but the abiding place of the righteous ones he blesses. 34 If it has to do with ridiculers, he himself will deride; but to the meek ones he will show favor. 35 Honor is what the wise ones will come to possess, but the stupid ones are exalting dishonor.

4 Listen, O sons, to the discipline of a father and pay attention, so as to know understanding. 2 For good instruction is what I certainly shall give to YOU. My law DO not leave. 3 For I proved to be a real son to my father, tender and the only one before my mother. 4 And he would instruct me and say to me: “May your heart keep fast hold of my words. Keep my commandments and continue living. 5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding. Do not forget, and do not turn aside from the sayings of my mouth. 6 Do not leave it, and it will keep you. Love it, and it will safeguard you. 7 Wisdom is the prime thing. Acquire wisdom; and with all that you acquire, acquire understanding. 8 Highly esteem it, and it will exalt you. It will glorify you because you embrace it. 9 To your head it will give a wreath of charm; a crown of beauty it will bestow upon you.”

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings. Then for you the years of life will become many. 11 I will instruct you even in the way of wisdom; I will cause you to tread in the tracks of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your pace will not be cramped; and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take hold on discipline; do not let go. Safeguard it, for it itself is your life.

14 Into the path of the wicked ones do not enter, and do not walk straight on into the way of the bad ones. 15 Shun it, do not pass along by it; turn aside from it, and pass along. 16 For they do not sleep unless they do badness, and their sleep has been snatched away unless they cause someone to stumble. 17 For they have fed themselves with the bread of wickedness, and the wine of acts of violence is what they drink. 18 But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established. 19 The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling.

20 My son, to my words do pay attention. To my sayings incline your ear. 21 May they not get away from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those finding them and health to all their flesh. 23 More than all else that is to be guarded, safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life. 24 Remove from yourself the crookedness of speech; and the deviousness of lips put far away from yourself. 25 As for your eyes, straight ahead they should look, yes, your own beaming eyes should gaze straight in front of you. 26 Smooth out the course of your foot, and may all your own ways be firmly established. 27 Do not incline to the right hand or to the left. Remove your foot from what is bad.