1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
We see that proverbs are written to teach people wisdom and discipline. Discipline is basic correction to show you what not to do in life, and it mainly comes from those who are in charge of your life: parents, guardians, and so forth.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
After going through these proverbs, even if you are a simple person, meaning one with very little knowledge or understanding, you will be filled with insight, and will be lifted to a higher level of knowledge and discernment.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance 6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of Yah is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
A foundation is something that supports the entire structure of whatever sits on top of it. Since it is the base of a very heavy object, it has to be safe and secure, and extremely strong. Well, the foundation of true knowledge (not the foolish knowledge of the world) is the fear of Yah, and it involves discipline, which fools despise. Ask yourself if the things you involve yourself in everyday represent the fear of Yah. Are you being disciplined correctly to fear and obey Yah in everything?
8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
The correction or discipline of righteous parents leads to the proper fear of Yah, or the foundation of true knowledge. To despise or reject that discipline makes you a fool, as the book of Proverbs clearly points out.
9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.
A crown is usually worn by kings and queens and other royals, and what they all have in common is that they rule over people. To rule means to be in complete control of something or someone. In this case, the crown you wear is given to you when you gain control of your own self: your emotions, your behavior, your words, your thoughts, and so forth. That crown represents victory or control over yourself, and that crown represents grace, which is a gift from Yah, involving forgiveness and eternal life. It is equal to a chain of honor, like the royal necklaces kings and queens wear. That is what obeying and appreciating the correction and discipline of your father and mother leads to. The crown is tied to correction and the chain of honor is tied to discipline.
10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!
Now this is a direct instruction from Solomon, a wise King of Judah and Israel. Sinners are those who reject Yah and his laws and do as they please, breaking his commandments. When they entice you, or try to convince you to do as they do, you should turn your back on them by telling them “no,” and rejecting them as they reject Yah.
11 They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12 “Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13 “Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14 “Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.”
They will tempt you with words similar to these, but you’ll know these sinners when they come to entice you. Hear what Solomon says to do when they come.
15 My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.
Not only should you say, “No,” and reject them, but you should also stay far away from them. Move away from them!
16 They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder.
17 If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away.
You are a bird, and Yah always warns his birds. You will notice a trap before it catches you. But it is up to you to avoid that trap. Sinners are full of traps.
18 But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed.
In the end, all sinners will be judged by Yah himself, so they won’t escape the punishment they deserve for the evil they do.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
And you can replace the word money here with anything that is not of Yah that you desire. If it leads you away from Yah and you desire it with all your heart, it will rob you of the eternal life Yah wants to give you.
Wisdom Shouts in the Streets
20 Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 “Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 “You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.
26 “So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 “For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear Yah.
30 “They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 “Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.
32 “For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 “But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”
Keywords: Discipline, wisdom, proverbs, fear of Yah, knowledge of this world, true knowledge, study aid, Proverbs 1