¶ The proverbs of Solomon the son of David king of Israel: To learn wisdom, instruction, understanding, prudence, righteousness, judgment and equity. That the very babes might have wit, and that young men might have knowledge and understanding. By hearing, the wise man shall come by more wisdom: and by experience he shall be more apt to understand a parable, and the interpretation thereof, the words of the wise, and the dark speeches of the same.
¶ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. But fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear thy fathers doctrine, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for that shall bring grace unto thy head, and shall be a chain about thy neck.
¶ My son, consent not unto sinners, if they entice thee, and say: Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, and lurk privily for the innocent without a cause: Let us swallow them up like the hell, let us devour them quick and whole, as those that go down into the pit. So shall we find all manner of costly riches, and fill our houses with spoils. Cast in thy lot among us, we shall have all one purse. My son, walk not thou with them, refrain thy foot from their ways. For their feet run to evil, and are hasty to shed blood. But in vain is the net laid forth before the bird's eyes. Yea they themselves lay wait one for another's blood, and one of them would slay another. These are the ways of all such as be covetous, that one would ravish another's life.
¶ Wisdom crieth without and putteth forth her voice in the streets. She calleth before the congregation in the open gates, and sheweth her words throw the city, saying: O ye children, how long will ye love childishness? how long will the scorners delight in scorning, and the unwise be enemies unto knowledge? O turn you unto my correction: lo, I will express my mind unto you, and make you understand my words. Seeing then that I have called, and ye refused it: I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded it, but all my counsels have ye despised and set my corrections to naught. Therefore shall I also laugh in your destruction, and mock you, when the thing that ye fear cometh upon you: even when the thing that ye be afraid of, falleth in suddenly like a storm, and your misery like a tempest: yea when trouble and heaviness cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not hear: they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: And that because they hated knowledge, and received not the fear of the LORD, but abhorred my counsel, and despised my correction. Therefore shall they eat the fruits of their own way, and be filled with their own counsels: for the turning away of the unwise shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall be their own destruction. But who so hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and have enough without any fear of evil.