Proverbs 1
Contemporary English Version

How Proverbs Can Be Used

1 These are the proverbs

of King Solomon of Israel,

the son of David.

2Proverbs will teach you

wisdom and self-control

and how to understand

sayings with deep meanings.

3You will learn what is right

and honest and fair.

4From these, an ordinary person

can learn to be smart,

and young people can gain

knowledge and good sense.

5If you are already wise,

you will become even wiser.

And if you are smart,

you will learn to understand

6proverbs and sayings,

as well as words of wisdom,

and all kinds of riddles.

7 Respect and obey the Lord!

This is the beginning

of knowledge.+

Only a fool rejects wisdom

and good advice.

Warnings against Bad Friends

8My child, obey the teachings

of your parents,

9and wear their teachings

as you would a pretty hat

or a lovely necklace.

10Don't be tempted by sinners

or listen 11when they say,

“Come on! Let's gang up

and kill somebody,

just for the fun of it!

12They're well and healthy now,

but we'll finish them off

once and for all.

13We'll take their valuables

and fill our homes

with stolen goods.

14If you join our gang,

you'll get your share.”

15Don't follow anyone like that

or do what they do.

16They are in a big hurry

to commit some crime,

perhaps even murder.

17They are like a bird

that sees the bait,

but ignores the trap.+

18They gang up to murder someone,

but they are the victims.

19The wealth you get from crime

robs you of your life.

Wisdom Speaks

20 Wisdom+ shouts in the streets

wherever crowds gather.

21She shouts in the marketplaces

and near the city gates

as she says to the people,

22“How much longer

will you enjoy

being stupid fools?

Won't you ever stop sneering

and laughing at knowledge?

23Listen as I correct you

and tell you what I think.

24You completely ignored me

and refused to listen;

25you rejected my advice

and paid no attention

when I warned you.

26“So when you are struck

by some terrible disaster,

27or when trouble and distress

surround you like a whirlwind,

I will laugh and make fun.

28You will ask for my help,

but I won't listen;

you will search,

but you won't find me.

29No, you would not learn,

and you refused

to respect the Lord.

30You rejected my advice

and paid no attention

when I warned you.

31“Now you will eat the fruit

of what you have done,

until you are stuffed full

with your own schemes.

32Sin and self-satisfaction

bring destruction and death

to stupid fools.

33But if you listen to me,

you will be safe and secure

without fear of disaster.”


1.7 the beginning of knowledge: Or “what knowledge is all about.”
1.17 They are … trap: Or “Be like a bird that won't go for the bait, if it sees the trap.”
1.20 Wisdom: In the book of Proverbs the word “wisdom” is sometimes used as though wisdom were a supernatural being who was with God at the time of creation.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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