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Wisdom Gives a Feast

Wisdom has built her house
    with its seven columns.
She has prepared the meat
and set out the wine.
    Her feast is ready.

She has sent her servant women
    to announce her invitation
    from the highest hills:
“Everyone who is ignorant
    or foolish is invited!
    All of you are welcome
    to my meat and wine.
If you want to live,
    give up your foolishness
    and let understanding
    guide your steps.”

True Wisdom

Correct a worthless bragger,
    and all you will get
    are insults and injuries.
Any bragger you correct
    will only hate you.
But if you correct someone
who has common sense,
    you will be loved.
If you have good sense,
    instruction will help you
    to have even better sense.
And if you live right,
    education will help you
    to know even more.

10 Respect and obey the Lord!
    This is the beginning
    of wisdom.[a]
To have understanding,
    you must know the Holy God.
11 I am Wisdom.
    If you follow me,
    you will live a long time.
12 Good sense is good for you,
    but if you brag,
    you hurt yourself.

A Foolish Invitation

13 Stupidity[b] is reckless,
    senseless, and foolish.
14 She sits in front of her house
    and on the highest hills
    in the town.
15 She shouts to everyone
    who passes by,
16     “If you are stupid,
    come on inside!”
And to every fool she says,
17     “Stolen water tastes best,
    and the food you eat in secret
    tastes best of all.”
18 None who listen to Stupidity
understand
    that her guests
    are as good as dead.

Footnotes

  1. 9.10 the beginning of wisdom: Or “what wisdom is all about.”
  2. 9.13 Stupidity: Or “A foolish woman.”

Invitations of Wisdom and Folly

Wisdom has built(A) her house;
    she has set up[a] its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;(B)
    she has also set her table.(C)
She has sent out her servants, and she calls(D)
    from the highest point of the city,(E)
    “Let all who are simple(F) come to my house!”
To those who have no sense(G) she says,
    “Come,(H) eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.(I)
Leave your simple ways and you will live;(J)
    walk in the way of insight.”(K)

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
    whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.(L)
Do not rebuke mockers(M) or they will hate you;
    rebuke the wise and they will love you.(N)
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
    teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.(O)

10 The fear of the Lord(P) is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One(Q) is understanding.(R)
11 For through wisdom[b] your days will be many,
    and years will be added to your life.(S)
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
    if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

13 Folly is an unruly woman;(T)
    she is simple and knows nothing.(U)
14 She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the highest point of the city,(V)
15 calling out(W) to those who pass by,
    who go straight on their way,
16     “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense(X) she says,
17     “Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!(Y)
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.(Z)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 9:1 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew has hewn out
  2. Proverbs 9:11 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew me

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