Proverbs 1

1:1 The proverbs [means “to be like” or “to represent” thus to explain one thing by comparing it to another] of Solomon [cf. 1 Kings 4:32; Prov. 10:1; 25:1] son of David, king of Israel:

1:2 for attaining [gaining] wisdom [refers to the application of facts to life; cf. Prov. 2:6; Jas. 1:5] and discipline [instruction in how to live]; for understanding words of insight;

1:3 for acquiring [receiving] a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right [adherence to God’s law] and just [equitable] and fair;

1:4 for giving prudence [shrewdness] to the simple [or “inexperienced”; one who has yet to learn how to apply God’s law to life; cf. Prov. 19:7b], knowledge and discretion to the young—

1:5 let the wise listen and [as a result of listening] add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance [the ability to navigate through life]

1:6 for understanding proverbs [wise sayings] and parables [a specific form of saying that imparts wisdom], the sayings and riddles of the wise.

1:7 The fear [piety, reverence, submission] of the LORD is the beginning [starting point; the necessary prerequisite] of knowledge, but fools [a moral/spiritual rather than intellectual classification] despise wisdom and discipline.

1:8 [cf. Prov. 17:25] Listen, my son, to [note the role of parents in sharing wisdom with their children…] your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

1:9 They [a parents advise/instructions] will be [note two symbols of success in life…] [1] a garland to grace your head and [2] a chain to adorn your neck.

1:10 [this verse states theme of verses 10-19] My son, if sinners [cf. Ps. 1:1; 1 Cor. 15:33] entice you, do not give in to them.

1:11 If they say, “Come along with us [do not underestimate the power of acceptance by a group of peers]; [a description of murdering for entertainment…] let’s lie in wait [indicates intent to commit premeditated murder] for someone’s blood, let’s [for no reason (other than entertainment)] waylay some harmless [innocent] soul;

1:12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave [Sheol: the realm of the dead], and whole, like those who go down to the pit [the abode of the dead];

1:13 [thievery in addition to murder…] we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder;

1:14 throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse [spoils]”—

1:15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths [the life of crime described in verses 10-14];

1:16 for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood [note Prov. 6:17b-18 re: what God hates].

1:17 How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!

1:18 These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves [those who seek to destroy others will themselves be destroyed]!

1:19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it [cf. Obadiah 15].

1:20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she [wisdom personified as a woman; cf. Prov. 8:22-31] raises her voice [to get the attention of others; calling to offer insight to those who need it] in the public squares [a busy place teeming with people];

1:21 at the head of the noisy [commotion often drowns out the voice of wisdom] streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city [re: city gates cf. Deut. 22:15; Ruth 4:1; 1 Sam. 9:18; gathering place for leaders and common people] she makes her speech:

1:22 “How long will you simple ones [ignorant or foolish ones: those who are naïve and uninformed about the realities of life] love your simple ways [or ignorance]? How long will mockers [those who speak scornfully] delight in mockery and fools [refers to someone who is morally deficient] hate knowledge?

1:23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.

1:24 But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,

1:25 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,

1:26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—

1:27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

1:28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.

1:29 Since they hated knowledge [not the accumulation of information; knowledge that comes from a vital relationship with God] and [note parallel expression…] did not choose to fear [reverence] the LORD,

1:30 since they would not accept my advice [counsel] and spurned my rebuke [correction; reproof],

1:31 [a reminder that all of our choices have consequences; cf. Gal. 6:7; Col. 3:25] they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

1:32 For the waywardness [literally “turning,” in this case a turning away from wisdom] of the simple [the inexperienced] will kill them [a reminder that the consequences of unwise actions can be deadly], and the complacency [from a root meaning “to be quiet, at ease”; sinful idleness or carefree attitude toward spiritual matters] of fools will destroy them;

1:33 but whoever listens to me [wisdom] will [note the benefits of following wisdom’s teaching…] live in safety [literally will “lie down in trust”; sleep with no worries] and be at ease, without fear of harm [danger; evil; calamity].”

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