Wisdom has built a palace supported on seven pillars, and has prepared a great banquet, and mixed the wines, and sent out her maidens inviting all to come. She calls from the busiest intersections in the city, “Come, you simple ones without good judgment; come to wisdom’s banquet and drink the wines that I have mixed. Leave behind your foolishness and begin to live; learn how to be wise.”

7-8 If you rebuke a mocker, you will only get a smart retort; yes, he will snarl at you. So don’t bother with him; he will only hate you for trying to help him. But a wise man, when rebuked, will love you all the more. Teach a wise man, and he will be the wiser; teach a good man, and he will learn more. 10 For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding. 11 “I, Wisdom, will make the hours of your day more profitable and the years of your life more fruitful.” 12 Wisdom is its own reward, and if you scorn her, you hurt only yourself.

13 A prostitute is loud and brash and never has enough of lust and shame. 14 She sits at the door of her house or stands at the street corners of the city, 15 whispering to men going by and to those minding their own business. 16 “Come home with me,” she urges simpletons. 17 “Stolen melons[a] are the sweetest; stolen apples* taste the best!” 18 But they don’t realize that her former guests are now citizens of hell.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 9:17 Stolen melons, literally, “stolen water.” stolen apples, literally, “stolen food.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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