19What you get from me is better than the finest gold,
better than the purest silver.
20I walk the way of righteousness;
I follow the paths of justice,
21giving wealth to those who love me,
filling their houses with treasures.
22“The LORD created me first of all,
the first of his works, long ago.
23I was made in the very beginning,
at the first, before the world began.
24I was born before the oceans,
when there were no springs of water.
25I was born before the mountains,
before the hills were set in place,
26before God made the earth and its fields
or even the first handful of soil.
27I was there when he set the sky in place,
when he stretched the horizon across the ocean,
28when he placed the clouds in the sky,
when he opened the springs of the ocean
29and ordered the waters of the sea
to rise no further than he said.
I was there when he laid the earth's foundations.
30I was beside him like an architect,
I was his daily source of joy,
always happy in his presence —
31happy with the world
and pleased with the human race.
32“Now, young people, listen to me.
Do as I say, and you will be happy.
33Listen to what you are taught.
Be wise; do not neglect it.
34Those who listen to me will be happy —
those who stay at my door every day,
waiting at the entrance to my home.
35Those who find me find life,
and the LORD will be pleased with them.
36Those who do not find me hurt themselves;
anyone who hates me loves death.”
Wisdom and Stupidity
1Wisdom has built her house and made seven pillars for it. 2She has had an animal killed for a feast, mixed spices in the wine, and laid the table. 3She has sent her servant women to call out from the highest place in the town: 4“Come in, ignorant people!” And to the foolish she says, 5“Come, eat my food and drink the wine that I have mixed. 6Leave the company of ignorant people, and live. Follow the way of knowledge.”
7If you correct conceited people, you will only be insulted. If you reprimand evil people, you will only get hurt. 8Never correct conceited people; they will hate you for it. But if you correct the wise, they will respect you. 9Anything you say to the wise will make them wiser. Whatever you tell the righteous will add to their knowledge.
10To be wise you must first have reverence for the LORD. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding. 11Wisdom will add years to your life. 12You are the one who will profit if you have wisdom, and if you reject it, you are the one who will suffer.
13Stupidity is like a loud, ignorant, shameless woman.14She sits at the door of her house or on a seat in the highest part of the town, 15and calls out to people passing by, who are minding their own business: 16“Come in, ignorant people!” To the foolish she says, 17“Stolen water is sweeter. Stolen bread tastes better.” 18Her victims do not know that the people die who go to her house, that those who have already entered are now deep in the world of the dead.
1These are Solomon's proverbs:
Wise children make their fathers proud of them; foolish ones bring their mothers grief.
2Wealth that you get by dishonesty will do you no good, but honesty can save your life.
3The LORD will not let good people go hungry, but he will keep the wicked from getting what they want.
4Being lazy will make you poor, but hard work will make you rich.
5A sensible person gathers the crops when they are ready; it is a disgrace to sleep through the time of harvest.
6Good people will receive blessings. The words of the wicked hide a violent nature.
7Good people will be remembered as a blessing, but the wicked will soon be forgotten.
8Sensible people accept good advice. People who talk foolishly will come to ruin.
9Honest people are safe and secure, but the dishonest will be caught.
10Someone who holds back the truth causes trouble, but one who openly criticizes works for peace.
11A good person's words are a fountain of life, but a wicked person's words hide a violent nature.
12Hate stirs up trouble, but love overlooks all offences.
13Intelligent people talk sense, but stupid people need to be punished.
14The wise get all the knowledge they can, but when fools speak, trouble is not far off.
15Wealth protects the rich; poverty destroys the poor.
16The reward for doing good is life, but sin leads only to more sin.
17People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger.
18Anyone who hides hatred is a liar. Anyone who spreads gossip is a fool.
19The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.
20A good person's words are like pure silver; a wicked person's ideas are worthless.
21A good person's words will benefit many people, but you can kill yourself with stupidity.
22It is the LORD's blessing that makes you wealthy. Hard work can make you no richer.
23It is foolish to enjoy doing wrong. Intelligent people take pleasure in wisdom.
24The righteous get what they want, but the wicked will get what they fear most.
25Storms come, and the wicked are blown away, but honest people are always safe.
26Never get a lazy person to do something for you; he will be as irritating as vinegar on your teeth or smoke in your eyes.
27Obey the LORD, and you will live longer. The wicked die before their time.
28The hopes of good people lead to joy, but wicked people can look forward to nothing.
29The LORD protects honest people, but destroys those who do wrong.
30Righteous people will always have security, but the wicked will not survive in the land.
31Righteous people speak wisdom, but the tongue that speaks evil will be stopped.
32Righteous people know the kind thing to say, but the wicked are always saying things that hurt.