Proverbs, Chapter 1

Attaining Wisdom and Avoiding Destruction: Insights from Proverbs 1

In the first chapter of Proverbs, King Solomon shares his collection of wise teachings and insights. He wishes his readers to attain wisdom, understanding, and sound counsel. He emphasizes the importance of fear and reverence for Yahweh as the foundation of knowledge.

Solomon addresses his son, advising him to listen to his father’s instruction and not to forsake his mother’s teaching. He warns against being lured by sinners, who entice with promises of wealth and power but ultimately lead towards bloodshed and destruction.

Wisdom is personified as a voice calling out in the streets and public squares, urging the simple-minded to turn from their folly and embrace knowledge. Those who ignore her counsel will face calamity and distress, which she will laugh and mock. When disaster strikes, their cries for help will go unanswered because they rejected wisdom and the fear of Yahweh.

However, those who heed the voice of wisdom will dwell securely, free from harm and fear. The path of the simple and the careless ease of fools lead to destruction, while the attentive and knowledgeable will find fulfillment and safety.

Throughout this chapter, Solomon emphasizes the importance of seeking wisdom, resisting temptation, and embracing the fear of Yahweh. The contrast theme between the wise and the foolish is evident, highlighting the consequences that follow each path.

Chapter 1 Text

Verse Verse Text
Proverbs 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel:
Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding;
Proverbs 1:3 To receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;
Proverbs 1:4 To give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man—
Proverbs 1:5 That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel;
Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb and parables, the words and riddles of the wise.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:8 My son, listen to your father’s instruction, and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching;
Proverbs 1:9 For they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck.
Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, don’t consent.
Proverbs 1:11 If they say, “Come with us. Let’s lie in wait for blood. Let’s lurk secretly for the innocent without cause.
Proverbs 1:12 Let’s swallow them up alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down into the pit.
Proverbs 1:13 We’ll find all valuable wealth. We’ll fill our houses with plunder.
Proverbs 1:14 You shall cast your lot among us. We’ll all have one purse”—
Proverbs 1:15 My son, don’t walk on the path with them. Keep your foot from their path,
Proverbs 1:16 For their feet run to evil. They hurry to shed blood.
Proverbs 1:17 For the net is spread in vain in the sight of any bird;
Proverbs 1:18 But these lay in wait for their own blood. They lurk secretly for their own lives.
Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain. It takes away the life of its owners.
Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street. She utters her voice in the public squares.
Proverbs 1:21 She calls at the head of noisy places. At the entrance of the city gates, she utters her words:
Proverbs 1:22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery, and fools hate knowledge?
Proverbs 1:23 Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you.
Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention;
Proverbs 1:25 But you have ignored all my counsel, and wanted none of my reproof;
Proverbs 1:26 I also will laugh at your disaster. I will mock when calamity overtakes you,
Proverbs 1:27 When calamity overtakes you like a storm, when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come on you.
Proverbs 1:28 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me,
Proverbs 1:29 Because they hated knowledge, and didn’t choose the fear of Yahweh.
Proverbs 1:30 They wanted none of my counsel. They despised all my reproof.
Proverbs 1:31 Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own schemes.
Proverbs 1:32 For the backsliding of the simple will kill them. The careless ease of fools will destroy them.
Proverbs 1:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell securely, and will be at ease, without fear of harm.”

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