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Prologue: Purpose and Theme...
The proverbs of Shelomoh son of Dawid, sovereign of Yisra`el:
For knowing wisdom and discipline, For understanding the words of understanding,
For receiving the discipline of wisdom, Righteousness, right-ruling, and straightness;
For giving insight to the simple, Knowledge and discretion to the young.
The wise one hears and increases learning, And the understanding one gets wise counsel,
For understanding a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of YHWH is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom;
Warning Against Enticement...
My son, heed the discipline of your father, And do not forsake the Torah of your mother;
For they are a fair wreath on your head, And chains about your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in.
If they say, 'Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause.
'Let us swallow them alive like the grave, And entirely, like those going down to the pit.
'Let us find all precious goods, Let us fill our houses with spoil.
'Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse,'
My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path;
For their feet run to evil, And they hurry to shed blood.
For in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird.
But they lie in wait for their own blood, They ambush their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.
Warning Against Rejecting Wisdom...
Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the broad places.
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out, At the openings of the gates, In the city she speaks her words:
'How long, you simple ones, Would you love simplicity, And shall scoffers delight in their scoffing, And fools hate knowledge?
'Turn at my reproof. See, I pour out my spirit on you, I make my words known to you.
'Because I called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one inclined,
'And you spurned all my counsel, And would not yield to my reproof,
'Let me also laugh at your calamity, Mock when your dread comes,
'When your dread comes like a storm, And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
'Let them then call on me, but I answer not; Let them seek me, but not find me.
'Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of YHWH,
'They did not accept my counsel, They despised all my reproof,
'Therefore let them eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own counsels.
'For the turning away of the simple slays them, And the complacency of fools destroys them.
'But whoever listens to me dwells safely, And is at ease from the dread of evil.'