Proverbs Chapter 1

1 These are proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

2 for you to obtain wisdom and instruction,
to penetrate words of significance,

3 to acquire well-ordered knowledge,
and become just with discernment and integrity.

4 Simple people will become clever
and the young will acquire understanding and foresight.

5 Let the wise man listen: he will add to his learning,
and the man of sound judgment will acquire skill,

6 to understand the proverbs and sayings,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 The beginning of knowledge is the fear of Yahweh,
only fools have contempt for wisdom and discipline.

Avoid the company of evildoers

8 Listen, my son, to the teaching of your father, do not ignore your mother¡¯s instruction:

9 for they will be your graceful crown, a precious chain around your neck.

10 My son, if sinners try to tempt you, do not give in.

11 They will invite you, ¡°Come with us, let us spill blood, let us ambush the innocent without a second thought.

12 We will engulf them as does the netherworld and snatch them suddenly as does death.

13 We will help ourselves to many riches and fill our houses with booty.

14 Join forces with us; one purse will be shared between us!¡±

15 My son, do not go with them, do not set foot along their way.

16 See how they speed on to evil! How they hasten to spill blood!

17 What bird would fall into a trap if you set it up in its sight?

18 But these people stalk them selves and set a trap for their own lives.

19 Such is the lot of all who live by plunder: plunder will rob them of their own lives.

Listen to me today

20 Wisdom shouts aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in the market place;

21 at street corners she cries; she delivers her speeches at the city gates:

22 ¡°You ignorant people, how long will you continue to cling to your foolishness? How long will mockers revel in their mockery, and fools have contempt for knowledge?

23 Listen to my warning. I will now pour my spirit upon you and make you know my words.

24 Indeed if I cry out and you refuse to listen, if I offer my hand and no one cares,

25 if you ignore my advice and reject my warning,

26 I, in turn, will laugh at your disaster, I will sneer when terror grips you;

27 when terror comes down on you like a hurricane, and distress and anxiety befall you.

28 Then people will cry to me but I will not respond. They will seek me but will not find me,

29 because they despised knowledge and did not choose the fear of Yahweh;

30 they would not listen to any advice and they rejected all my warnings.

31 They will harvest the fruit of their evil ways and have their fill of their own designs.

32 For the error of the ignorant leads to death, the idleness of fools brings about their ruin.

33 But whoever listens to me will feel secure and at ease, without fear of evil.¡±


Comments Proverbs, Chapter 1

• 1.1 From the beginning, people are divided into two groups. On one hand, the wise which includes the intelligent, clever and responsible; on the other hand, the foolish, including also those who are stupid, lying and evil.

The beginning of knowledge is the fear of Yahweh. This word ¡°fear¡± does not have for us the meaning it had in the Bible. It is not, in fact, a matter of being afraid of God, but to be conscious of acting in his presence and of being responsible to him. Those who ¡°fear Yahweh¡± make fidelity and obedience to his word the basis of their decisions.

• 20. An invitation to be converted today. Tomorrow will be too late. Jesus will say the same: Matthew 7:21 and 25:1.

Wisdom shouts aloud in the streets. Who will be able to say that no one awakened him and showed him the way? Subhuman conditions of life make a people irresponsible, but irresponsible people also make a subhuman world. All are invited, however, to come out of their passivity.

They did not choose the fear of Yahweh. It is easy to excuse oneself: ¡°There is no malice on my part; it is a question of negligence.¡± Wisdom rejects these excuses. Negligence is a form of contempt for God.