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 1

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

 

Prologue

2

For learning about wisdom and instruction,

for understanding words of insight,

3

for gaining instruction in wise dealing,

righteousness, justice, and equity;

4

to teach shrewdness to the simple,

knowledge and prudence to the young—

5

let the wise also hear and gain in learning,

and the discerning acquire skill,

6

to understand a proverb and a figure,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

 

7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

Warnings against Evil Companions

8

Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,

and do not reject your mother’s teaching;

9

for they are a fair garland for your head,

and pendants for your neck.

10

My child, if sinners entice you,

do not consent.

11

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

let us wantonly ambush the innocent;

12

like Sheol let us swallow them alive

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

13

We shall find all kinds of costly things;

we shall fill our houses with booty.

14

Throw in your lot among us;

we will all have one purse”—

15

my child, do not walk in their way,

keep your foot from their paths;

16

for their feet run to evil,

and they hurry to shed blood.

17

For in vain is the net baited

while the bird is looking on;

18

yet they lie in wait—to kill themselves!

and set an ambush—for their own lives!

19

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

it takes away the life of its possessors.

 

The Call of Wisdom

20

Wisdom cries out in the street;

in the squares she raises her voice.

21

At 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?

23

Give heed to my reproof;

I will pour out my thoughts to you;

I will make my words known to you.

24

Because I have called and you refused,

have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,

25

and because you have ignored all my counsel

and would have none of my reproof,

26

I also will laugh at your calamity;

I will mock when panic strikes you,

27

when panic strikes you like a storm,

and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,

when distress and anguish come upon you.

28

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

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

29

Because they hated knowledge

and did not choose the fear of the Lord,

30

would have none of my counsel,

and despised all my reproof,

31

therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way

and be sated with their own devices.

32

For waywardness kills the simple,

and the complacency of fools destroys them;

33

but those who listen to me will be secure

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

 


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Verses 1–6

The lessons here given are plain, and likely to benefit those who feel their own ignorance, and their need to be taught. If young people take heed to their ways, according to Solomon's Proverbs, they will gain knowledge and discretion. Solomon speaks of the most important points of truth, and a greater than Solomon is here. Christ speaks by his word and by his Spirit. Christ is the Word and the Wisdom of God, and he is made to us wisdom.

Verses 7–9

Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what they must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and wilful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honourable; let us value them, and then they shall be so to us.

Verses 7–9

Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what they must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and wilful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honourable; let us value them, and then they shall be so to us.

Verses 10–19

Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into the paths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But they have so much the more to answer for. How cautious young people should be! “Consent thou not.” Do not say as they say, nor do as they do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them. Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man to destroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it is neither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake of thousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Men promise themselves in vain that sin will turn to their advantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stop themselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin, let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths. Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which will not suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? much less if he lose his soul?

Verses 20–33

Solomon, having showed how dangerous it is to hearken to the temptations of Satan, here declares how dangerous it is not to hearken to the calls of God. Christ himself is Wisdom, is Wisdoms. Three sorts of persons are here called by Him: 1. Simple ones. Sinners are fond of their simple notions of good and evil, their simple prejudices against the ways of God, and flatter themselves in their wickedness. 2. Scorners. Proud, jovial people, that make a jest of every thing. Scoffers at religion, that run down every thing sacred and serious. 3. Fools. Those are the worst of fools that hate to be taught, and have a rooted dislike to serious godliness. The precept is plain; Turn you at my reproof. We do not make a right use of reproofs, if we do not turn from evil to that which is good. The promises are very encouraging. Men cannot turn by any power of their own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. But that grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love of Christ, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surely should have the attention of every one. It may well be asked, how long men mean to proceed in such a perilous path, when the uncertainty of life and the consequences of dying without Christ are considered? Now sinners live at ease, and set sorrow at defiance; but their calamity will come. Now God is ready to hear their prayers; but then they shall cry in vain. Are we yet despisers of wisdom? Let us hearken diligently, and obey the Lord Jesus, that we may enjoy peace of conscience and confidence in God; be free from evil, in life, in death, and for ever.




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