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1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
19So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
13Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
14Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
15Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
16To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
17Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
18For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
19None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
20That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
21For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
22But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
19The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
23Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
24When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
25Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
26For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
27Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
28Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
29Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
30Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
31Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
32For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
33The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
34Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
3For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
1My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
2That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.
3For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:
4But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
6Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.
7Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
8Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
9Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:
10Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;
11And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
12And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;
13And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
14I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
15Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
16Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.
17Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.
18Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
19Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
20And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
21For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
22His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
23He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
1My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
2Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
3Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
4Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
5Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
12A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
13He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
14Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
15Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
20My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
21Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
22When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
23For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
24To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
25Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
26For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.
27Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
28Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
29So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
30Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
31But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
32But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
34For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.
1My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
2Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
4Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
5That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
6For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
7And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
11(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
12Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
13So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
14I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
15Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
16I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
19For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
20He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
21With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
22He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
23Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
24Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
25Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
26For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
27Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
10Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
12I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
17I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
20I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
22The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.
3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
7He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
13A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
14For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
15To call passengers who go right on their ways:
16Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
17Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
18But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
This book is a compendium of proverb collections. Although Solomon inspired the development of the book, its entire content did not derive from him. A proverb is a short, pithy saying with practical implications. The ones included here cover a variety of subjects, for example, chastity, control of the tongue, laziness, knowledge, relations with others, justice. Perhaps above everything else on Proverbs there is the reiterated assertion that the source of true wisdom is “the fear of the Lord.”
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