I. Wisdom and folly contrasted, Chapters 1—9

Proverbs 1:1-33 KJVS

[1] The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

[2] To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

[3] To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

[4] To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

[5] A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

[6] To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

[7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

[8] My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

[9] For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

[10] My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

[11] If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

[12] Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

[13] We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

[14] Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

[15] My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

[16] For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

[17] Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

[18] And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

[19] So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

[20] Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

[21] She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

[22] How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

[23] Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

[24] Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

[25] But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

[26] I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

[27] When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

[28] Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

[29] For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

[30] They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

[31] Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

[32] For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

[33] But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.


Proverbs 2:1-22 KJVS

[1] My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

[2] So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

[3] Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

[4] If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

[5] Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

[6] For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

[7] He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

[8] He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

[9] Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

[10] When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

[11] Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

[12] To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

[13] Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

[14] Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

[15] Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

[16] To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

[17] Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

[18] For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

[19] None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

[20] That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

[21] For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

[22] But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.


Proverbs 3:1-35 KJVS

[1] My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

[2] For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

[3] Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

[4] So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

[5] Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

[6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

[7] Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

[8] It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

[9] Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

[10] So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

[11] My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

[12] For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

[13] Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

[14] For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

[15] She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

[16] Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

[17] Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

[18] She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

[19] The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

[20] By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

[21] My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

[22] So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

[23] Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

[24] When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

[25] Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

[26] For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

[27] Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

[28] Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

[29] Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

[30] Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

[31] Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

[32] For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

[33] The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

[34] Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

[35] The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.


Proverbs 4:1-27 KJVS

[1] Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

[2] For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

[3] For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

[4] He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

[5] Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

[6] Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

[7] Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

[8] Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

[9] She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

[10] Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

[11] I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

[12] When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

[13] Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

[14] Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

[15] Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

[16] For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

[17] For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

[18] But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

[19] The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

[20] My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

[21] Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

[22] For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

[23] Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

[24] Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

[25] Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

[26] Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

[27] Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.


Proverbs 5:1-23 KJVS

[1] My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

[2] That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

[3] For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

[4] But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.

[5] Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

[6] Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

[7] Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

[8] Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

[9] Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

[10] Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

[11] And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

[12] And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

[13] And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

[14] I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

[15] Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

[16] Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

[17] Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

[18] Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

[19] Let 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.

[20] And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

[21] For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

[22] His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

[23] He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.


Proverbs 6:1-35 KJVS

[1] My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

[2] Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

[3] Do 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.

[4] Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

[5] Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

[6] Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

[7] Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

[8] Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

[9] How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

[10] Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

[11] So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

[12] A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

[13] He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

[14] Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

[15] Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

[16] These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

[20] My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

[21] Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

[22] When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

[23] For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

[24] To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

[25] Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

[26] For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

[27] Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

[28] Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

[29] So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

[30] Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

[31] But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

[32] But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

[33] A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

[34] For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

[35] He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.


Proverbs 7:1-27 KJVS

[1] My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

[2] Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

[3] Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

[4] Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

[5] That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

[6] For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

[7] And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

[8] Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

[9] In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

[10] And, 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:

[12] Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

[13] So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

[14] I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

[15] Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

[16] I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

[17] I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

[18] Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

[19] For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

[20] He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

[21] With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

[22] He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

[23] Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

[24] Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

[25] Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

[26] For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

[27] Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.


Proverbs 8:1-36 KJVS

[1] Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

[2] She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

[3] She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

[4] Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

[5] O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

[6] Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

[7] For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

[8] All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

[9] They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

[10] Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

[11] For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

[12] I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

[13] The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

[14] Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

[15] By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

[16] By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

[17] I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

[18] Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

[19] My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

[20] I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

[21] That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

[22] The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

[23] I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

[24] When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

[25] Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

[26] While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

[27] When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

[28] When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

[29] When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

[30] Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

[31] Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

[32] Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

[33] Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

[34] Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

[35] For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

[36] But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.


Proverbs 9:1-18 KJVS

[1] Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

[2] She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

[3] She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

[4] Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

[5] Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

[6] Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

[7] He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

[8] Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

[9] Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

[10] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

[11] For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

[12] If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

[13] A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

[14] For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

[15] To call passengers who go right on their ways:

[16] Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

[17] Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

[18] But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.



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