The Beginning of Knowledge
(Ezra 4:6-16; Esther 1:1-9; Proverbs 9:1-12)
1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Enticement of Sin
8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives.
19So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
Wisdom Calls Aloud
20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, [saying],
22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.