1The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.
2They are for achieving wisdom and instruction, and to recognize sayings that bring insight.
3They provide education in what makes sense, living right, judging correctly, and acting fairly.
4They give discernment to the immature, knowledge and discretion to the young.
5Wise people will listen and gain in learning, and those who have good judgment will gain skills in guidance,
6understanding the proverbs and puzzles, the sayings and questions of the wise.
7Honoring the Lord is where true knowledge begins, but fools treat wisdom and good advice with contempt.
8My son, pay attention to your father's instruction, and don't reject your mother's teaching.
9They are a wreath of grace to decorate your head; they are pendants for your neck.
10My son, if evil people try to tempt you, don't give into them.
11They may tell you, “Come with us. Let's go and hide, ready to kill someone. Let's ambush someone for fun!
12Let's bury them alive; let's put them in the grave while they're still healthy!
13We'll take from them all kinds of valuable things and fill our homes with the stuff we steal!
14Come and join us and we'll all share what we get!”
15My son, don't follow their ways. Don't go in that direction with them.
16For they rush to do evil; they hurry to commit violence and murder.
17There's no point in trying to lure birds into a net when they can see it.
18However, these evil people hide ready to kill others, but they themselves are the victims. They're only ambushing themselves!
19This is what happens to you if you try to become rich through crime—it kills you!
20Wisdom calls out in the streets; she shouts aloud in the squares.
21She cries out at busy corners; she explains her message at the town gates:
22“How long will you stupid people love stupidity? How long will scornful people enjoy their mocking? How long will fools hate knowledge?
23Pay attention to my warnings, and I'll pour out my deepest thoughts to you—I'll explain what I know to you.
24For I have called you, but you refused to listen; I reached out my hand to you, but you didn't care.
25You ignored everything I said; you wouldn't accept any of my warnings.
26So I'll laugh at you when you're in trouble; I'll mock you when you're in a panic.
27When panic rains down on you like a storm, when trouble hits you like a whirlwind, when sorrow and pain come on you,
28then you'll call out to me for help, but I won't answer; you'll search hard for me, but won't find me.
29Why?—because they hated knowledge, and they didn't choose to respect the Lord.
30They're not willing to accept my advice; they despise all my warnings.
31So they'll have to eat the fruit of their own choices, bloated by their own devious schemes.
32Stupid people are killed by their rebellion; foolish people are destroyed by their lack of concern.
33But everyone who listens to me will be kept safe, and will live without worrying about problems.”