The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. If sinners entice you, don’t consent. Wisdom calls aloud in the street.
VERSE 1. The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel:
proverbs. The Hebrew word is meshalim. It means sayings expressing commonly-held wisdom.
VERSE 2. to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding;
wisdom. The Hebrew word is hokhmah.
VERSE 3. to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to receive instruction. A wise person is able to be taught. Are you teachable?
to give prudence. A wise person teaches other people the wise path.
Matthew 5:19. Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
VERSE 5. that the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel:
the wise man may hear, and increase in learning. Even if we are wise, there is still plenty of room for improvement. We are to be lifelong learners.
VERSE 6. to understand a proverb, and parables, the words and riddles of the wise.
The fear of the LORD. This phrase is often misunderstood. It does not mean we should be terrified of God. Rather, it means a reverential fear and respect for God.
Job 28:28. To man he said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. To depart from evil is understanding.’
VERSE 8. My son, listen to your father’s instruction, and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching:
VERSE 9. for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck.
VERSE 10. My son, if sinners entice you, don’t consent.
VERSE 11. If they say, “Come with us. Let’s lay in wait for blood. Let’s lurk secretly for the innocent without cause.
Sheol. The New Testament describes heaven and eternal life. But what does the Old Testament say about life after death? Read more »
VERSE 13. We’ll find all valuable wealth. We’ll fill our houses with plunder.
VERSE 14. You shall cast your lot among us. We’ll all have one purse.”
VERSE 15. My son, don’t walk on the path with them. Keep your foot from their path,
don’t walk on the path with them. We are to not participate in evil.
VERSE 16. for their feet run to evil. They hurry to shed blood.
VERSE 17. For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird:
VERSE 18. but these lay wait for their own blood. They lurk secretly for their own lives.
VERSE 19. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain. It takes away the life of its owners.
VERSE 20. Wisdom calls aloud in the street. She utters her voice in the public squares.
Wisdom. The Hebrew word is חָ֭כְמוֹת (“ḥā·ḵə·mō·wṯ “). It means wisdom, every wise woman.
She. Wisdom is personified as a female. She appears as a prophet or street teacher.
VERSE 21. She calls at the head of noisy places. At the entrance of the city gates, she utters her words:
VERSE 22. “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery, and fools hate knowledge?
How long. This is the voice of a prophet. She is rebuking people who are still foolish. Many people persist in foolishness and ignorance. She is trying to cajole them into growth.
simplicity. The Hebrew word is פֶ֥תִי (“p̄e·ṯî”). It literally means “one.” In this instance, it means “inanity.” Foolish people are often taken up by inane things and triviality.
VERSE 23. Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you.
reproof. She is rebuking foolish people.
VERSE 24. Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention;
VERSE 25. but you have ignored all my counsel, and wanted none of my reproof;
VERSE 26. I also will laugh at your disaster. I will mock when calamity overtakes you;
laugh at your disaster. To communicate with fools, wisdom’s attitude matches theirs.
VERSE 27. when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come on you.
call on me. The Bible commands to ask things of God:
Proverbs 1:28. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;
Proverbs 8:17. I love those who love me. Those who seek me diligently will find me.
Wisdom 7:7. For this cause I prayed, and understanding was given to me. I asked a spirit of wisdom came to me.
Mark 9:32. But they didn’t understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Luke 18:41. “What do you want me to do?” He said, “Lord, that I may see again.”
James 4:2-3. You lust, and don’t have. You murder and covet, and can’t obtain. You fight and make war. You don’t have, because you don’t ask. 3 You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
VERSE 29. because they hated knowledge, and didn’t choose the fear of the LORD.
VERSE 30. They wanted none of my counsel. They despised all my reproof.
they will eat of the fruit of their own way. This is sometimes called the law of sowing and reaping.
There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »
VERSE 32. For the backsliding of the simple will kill them. The careless ease of fools will destroy them.
VERSE 33. But whoever listens to me will dwell securely, and will be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.