Proverbs 1:1-33 NIV
Purpose and Theme
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The Fear of The Lord Is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men
8Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
14cast lots with us;
we will all share the loot”—
15my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.
17How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
19Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.
20Out in the open Wisdom Calls Aloud,
She Raises Her Voice in the public square;
21on top of the wall She Cries Out,
at the city gate She Makes Her Speech:
22“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23Repent at My rebuke!
Then I Will Pour Out My Thoughts to you,
I Will Make Known to you My Teachings.
24But since you refuse to listen When I Call
and no one pays attention When I Stretch Out My Hand,
25since you disregard all My Advice
and do not accept My Rebuke,
26I in turn Will Laugh when disaster strikes you;
I Will Mock when calamity overtakes you—
27when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to ME but I Will Not Answer;
they will look for ME but will not find ME,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to Fear The Lord.
30Since they would not accept My Advice
and spurned My Rebuke,
31they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33but whoever listens to ME will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Out in the open Wisdom Calls Aloud,
She Raises Her Voice in the public square
Wisdom is personified. In the Hebrew the noun is a feminine plural חָ֭כְמֹות khok-moth' , as though this Wisdom were the queen of all wisdoms, uniting in herself all their excellences. She Lifts Up Her Voice, not in solitude, outside the walls, in the streets, in the open space of the gates where the elders meet and the king sits in judgment, in the heart of the city itself Proverbs 1:21; through sages, lawgivers, teachers, and yet more through life and its experiences, she preaches to mankind.
Here the Person instructing throughout this whole book is represented under the name of “Wisdom”, by which we are to understand not the attribute of Divine Wisdom displayed in the works of creation; nor the light of nature in man; nor the Law of Moses given to the Israelites; nor the revelation of the Divine Will in general, as it is delivered out in the sacred Scriptures; nor the Gospel, and the ministry of it, in particular, but our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
For the things spoken of Wisdom, and ascribed to it in this book, especially in the eighth and ninth chapters, show that a Divine Person is intended, and most properly belong to CHRIST Who May Be Called “Wisdoms” in the plural number, as in the Hebrew text, because of the consummate and perfect Wisdom that is in Him; as HE Is A Divine Person, HE Is “The Logos”, The WORD and WISDOM of GOD; as Mediator, “All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Him.” Colossians 2:3
And, as man, “The SPIRIT of WISDOM” Rests Upon Him without measure, Isaiah 11:2. This, with what follows to the end of the chapter, is a prophecy of the Ministry of CHRIST in the days of His Flesh, and of the success of it; and of the calamities that should come upon the Jews for the rejection of Him: and Wisdom is here said to “cry”, as CHRIST Did, John 7:28; the word signifies to cry both in a sorrowful way, as JESUS Did When HE Cried To Jerusalem, Weeping Over it, Matthew 23:37; and in a joyful one, which well suits with the Gospel, as preached by Him; a joyful sound expressed by piping, in opposition to John's ministry, which was a mournful one, Matthew 11:17; for crying here means no other than the Preaching of The WORD; which is such a cry as that of heralds, when they publicly proclaim peace or war; so Wisdom or CHRIST, Is Said To “Proclaim liberty to the captives”, and “the acceptable year of The Lord”, Isaiah 61:1.
This cry was made “outside” the city of Jerusalem; CHRIST first Preached in the land of Galilee; or this may mean the Gentile world, where CHRIST Preached, though not in Person, yet by His apostles, whom HE Sent into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature.
She Utters Her Voice in the streets: of the city of Jerusalem, and other places; CHRIST Did Cry and Utter His Voice in the streets, that is, publicly Preach His Gospel there, as HE Did; and HE also Sent His servants into the streets and lanes of the city to call in sinners by the ministry of the WORD, Luke 14:21; which perhaps may be meant of places in the Gentile world; it may be figuratively understood of the public ministration of The WORD and Ordinances in the church called the streets and broad ways of it.