How Proverbs Can Be Used
1 These are the proverbs
of King Solomon of Israel,
the son of David.
2 Proverbs will teach you
wisdom and self-control
and how to understand
sayings with deep meanings.
3 You will learn what is right
and honest and fair.
4 From these, an ordinary person
can learn to be smart,
and young people can gain
knowledge and good sense.

5 If you are already wise,
you will become even wiser.
And if you are smart,
you will learn to understand
6 proverbs and sayings,
as well as words of wisdom,
and all kinds of riddles.
7 Respect and obey the Lord!
This is the beginning
of knowledge.
Only a fool rejects wisdom
and good advice.
Warnings against Bad Friends
8 My child, obey the teachings
of your parents,
9 and wear their teachings
as you would a pretty hat
or a lovely necklace.
10 Don't be tempted by sinners
or listen 11 when they say,
“Come on! Let's gang up
and kill somebody,
just for the fun of it!
12 They're well and healthy now,
but we'll finish them off
once and for all.
13 We'll take their valuables
and fill our homes
with stolen goods.
14 If you join our gang,
you'll get your share.”

15 Don't follow anyone like that
or do what they do.
16 They are in a big hurry
to commit some crime,
perhaps even murder.
17 They are like a bird
that sees the bait,
but ignores the trap.
18 They gang up to murder someone,
but they are the victims.
19 The wealth you get from crime
robs you of your life.
Wisdom Speaks
20 Wisdom shouts in the streets
wherever crowds gather.
21 She shouts in the marketplaces
and near the city gates
as she says to the people,
22 “How much longer
will you enjoy
being stupid fools?
Won't you ever stop sneering
and laughing at knowledge?
23 Listen as I correct you
and tell you what I think.
24 You completely ignored me
and refused to listen;
25 you rejected my advice
and paid no attention
when I warned you.

26 “So when you are struck
by some terrible disaster,
27 or when trouble and distress
surround you like a whirlwind,
I will laugh and make fun.
28 You will ask for my help,
but I won't listen;
you will search,
but you won't find me.
29 No, you would not learn,
and you refused
to respect the Lord.
30 You rejected my advice
and paid no attention
when I warned you.

31 “Now you will eat the fruit
of what you have done,
until you are stuffed full
with your own schemes.
32 Sin and self-satisfaction
bring destruction and death
to stupid fools.
33 But if you listen to me,
you will be safe and secure
without fear of disaster.”