Proverbs 1

How proverbs help us

1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David's son, king of Israel.

2 These are proverbs that will make you wise. They will help you to learn things and to understand good teaching. 3 They will help you to understand how to live a good life. They will teach you how to live as a person who is good, honest and fair.

4 They can cause even a silly person to become clever. They teach young people what they should know, so that they can live well.

5 Wise people should also listen carefully, so that they learn something new. And people with clever minds can learn to live in a good way.

6 People will learn to understand what proverbs and picture stories mean. They will understand the teaching and clever messages of wise people.

Good teaching for life

7 If you want to know how to live in a good way, you must first learn to respect the Lord with fear. Fools refuse to listen to wise teaching.

1:7When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.

8 Listen, my child, when your father shows you what is right. And do not forget what your mother has taught you. 9 Their teaching will bring you honour, like a beautiful crown or a valuable necklace.

Keep away from sin

10 My child, if sinners want you to join with them, do not agree! 11 They may say, ‘Come with us. We will find someone to murder. We will attack any helpless person that we choose. 12 We will send them quickly to their graves. They may be strong and healthy, but they will soon be under the earth. 13 We will take all their valuable things for ourselves. We will fill our houses with lots of good things. 14 So, come and join us! We will share with each other everything that we rob from other people.’

15 My child, do not go along with people like that. Stay away from them. 16 They are in a hurry to do evil things. They cannot wait to murder someone!

17 Think about it! If you put a trap where the birds can see it, you will never catch anything. 18 These wicked men hide to attack someone. They are ready to kill someone, but they destroy their own lives! 19 That is what happens to those who cheat other people to become rich themselves. The riches that they have taken from others will destroy their own lives.

Wisdom warns foolish people

20 Listen! Wisdom is like a woman who shouts in the streets. She speaks loudly in the market places. 21 She shouts above the noise in the city's streets. She calls aloud at its gates. This is what she says:

22 ‘Listen to me!

Will you silly people continue to be so silly?

You people who laugh at God, will you always be like that?

Will fools always refuse to learn anything?

23 Listen to me as I warn you of danger!

Then I will let you know my thoughts.

I will let you hear my message.

24 I called out to you, but you refused to listen.

I reached out to you, but you turned your backs to me.

25 You would not accept my teaching.

When I warned you, you did nothing.

26 So, when trouble comes to you, I will laugh.

I will laugh at you when you are afraid.

27 Fear may hit you like a strong wind.

Trouble may knock you down, like a storm.

Your problems may make you very afraid.

But I will laugh at you.

28 Foolish people will call to me for help, but I will not answer.

They will look for me everywhere, but they will not find me.

29 They have refused to learn what is right.

They have refused to respect the Lord.

30 They have not agreed to my advice.

When I warned them, they turned away.

31 So now they will receive the trouble that they deserve.

Their own silly ideas will make them sick.

32 Silly people have turned away from me, and that will kill them.

Fools like an easy life, and that will destroy them.

33 But whoever listens to me, Wisdom, will live safely.

That person will have peace in his mind.

He will not be afraid of trouble.’