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Proverbs 1-6

New American Standard Bible

Chapter 1

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice, and integrity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise person will hear and increase in learning, And a person of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a saying, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, And do not ignore your mother’s teaching; 9 For they are a graceful wreath for your head And necklaces for your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, 'Come with us, Let’s lie in wait for blood, Let’s ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let’s swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with plunder; 14 Throw in your lot with us; We will all have one money bag,' 15 My son, do not walk on the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil, And they are quick to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 Such are the ways of everyone who makes unjust gain; It takes away the life of its possessors. 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She raises her voice in the public square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she declares her sayings: 22 'How long, you naive ones, will you love simplistic thinking? And how long will scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn to my rebuke, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my advice And did not want my rebuke; 26 I will also laugh at your disaster; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your disaster comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 They did not accept my advice, They disdainfully rejected every rebuke from me. 31 So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own schemes. 32 For the faithlessness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 But whoever listens to me will live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.'

Chapter 2

1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom; Incline your heart to understanding. 3 For if you cry out for insight, And raise your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He watches over the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness, justice, And integrity, and every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, And knowledge will be delightful to your soul; 11 Discretion will watch over you, Understanding will guard you, 12 To rescue you from the way of evil, From a person who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways; 16 To rescue you from the strange woman, From the foreign woman who flatters with her words, 17 Who leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God; 18 For her house sinks down to death, And her tracks lead to the dead; 19 None who go to her return, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of good people And keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be eliminated from the land, And the treacherous will be torn away from it.

Chapter 3

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But have your heart comply with my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and a good reputation In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; 10 Then your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His rebuke, 12 For whom the LORD loves He disciplines, Just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights. 13 Blessed is a person who finds wisdom, And one who obtains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver, And her produce better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are those who hold on to her. 19 The LORD founded the earth by wisdom, He established the heavens by understanding. 20 By His knowledge the ocean depths were burst open, And the clouds drip with dew. 21 My son, see that they do not escape from your sight; Comply with sound wisdom and discretion, 22 And they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely, And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden danger, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it to you,' When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a person for no reason, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a violent person, And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the needy. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools increase dishonor.

Chapter 4

1 Listen, my sons, to the instruction of a father, And pay attention so that you may gain understanding, 2 For I give you good teaching; Do not abandon my instruction. 3 When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, 4 He taught me and said to me, 'Let your heart take hold of my words; Keep my commandments and live; 5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not abandon her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your possessions, acquire understanding. 8 Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.' 10 Listen, my son, and accept my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. 11 I have instructed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; And if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil people. 15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. 20 My son, pay attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 They are not to escape from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, And healing to all their body. 23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. 24 Rid yourself of a deceitful mouth And keep devious speech far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. 26 Watch the path of your feet, And all your ways will be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or to the left; Turn your foot from evil.

Chapter 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding, 2 So that you may maintain discretion And your lips may comply with knowledge. 3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, And her speech is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol. 6 She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. 7 Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house, 9 Otherwise you will give your vigor to others, And your years to the cruel one; 10 And strangers will be filled with your strength, And your hard-earned possessions will go to the house of a foreigner; 11 And you will groan in the end, When your flesh and your body are consumed; 12 And you say, 'How I hated instruction! And my heart disdainfully rejected rebuke! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers, Nor incline my ear to my instructors! 14 I was almost in total ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation.' 15 Drink water from your own cistern, And fresh water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow into the street, Streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 Like a loving doe and a graceful mountain goat, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress, And embrace the breasts of a foreigner? 21 For the ways of everyone are before the eyes of the LORD, And He observes all his paths. 22 His own wrongdoings will trap the wicked, And he will be held by the ropes of his sin. 23 He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his foolishness he will go astray.

Chapter 6

1 My son, if you have become a guarantor for your neighbor, Or have given a handshake for a stranger, 2 If you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth, Or caught by the words of your mouth, 3 Then do this, my son, and save yourself: Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and be urgent with your neighbor to free yourself. 4 Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids; 5 Save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler. 6 Go to the ant, you lazy one, Observe its ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no chief, Officer, or ruler, 8 Prepares its food in the summer And gathers its provision in the harvest. 9 How long will you lie down, you lazy one? When will you arise from your sleep? 10 'A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest,' 11 Then your poverty will come in like a drifter, And your need like an armed man. 12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Is one who walks with a perverse mouth, 13 Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers; 14 Who, with perversion in his heart, continually devises evil, Who spreads strife. 15 Therefore his disaster will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing. 16 There are six things that the LORD hates, Seven that are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who declares lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. 20 My son, comply with the commandment of your father, And do not ignore the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And rebukes for discipline are the way of life 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the foreign woman. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her eyelids. 26 For the price of a prostitute reduces one to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for a precious life. 27 Can anyone take fire in his lap And his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can a person walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched? 29 So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her will not go unpunished. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals To satisfy himself when he is hungry; 31 But when he is found, he must repay seven times as much; He must give up all the property of his house. 32 One who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself commits it. 33 He will find wounds and disgrace, And his shame will not be removed. 34 For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not have compassion on the day of vengeance. 35 He will not accept any settlement, Nor will he be satisfied though you make it a large gift.
King James Version

Chapter 1

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. 17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. 18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. 19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Chapter 2

1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: 16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. 20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Chapter 3

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. 31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous. 33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Chapter 4

1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Chapter 5

1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. 7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! 14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. 20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. 22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. 23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Chapter 6

1 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. 5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? 29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. 30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; 31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. 32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.
Christian Standard Bible

Chapter 1

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 For learning wisdom and discipline; for understanding insightful sayings; 3 for receiving prudent instruction in righteousness, justice, and integrity; 4 for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced, knowledge and discretion to a young man -- 5 let a wise person listen and increase learning, and let a discerning person obtain guidance --
6 for understanding a proverb or a parable, the words of the wise, and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction, and don't reject your mother's teaching, 9 for they will be a garland of favor on your head and pendants around your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, don't be persuaded. 11 If they say--"Come with us! Let's set an ambush and kill someone. Let's attack some innocent person just for fun! 12 Let's swallow them alive, like Sheol, whole, like those who go down to the Pit. 13 We'll find all kinds of valuable property and fill our houses with plunder. 14 Throw in your lot with us, and we'll all share the loot" -- 15 my son, don't travel that road with them or set foot on their path, 16 because their feet run toward evil and they hurry to shed blood. 17 It is useless to spread a net where any bird can see it, 18 but they set an ambush to kill themselves; they attack their own lives. 19 Such are the paths of all who make profit dishonestly; it takes the lives of those who receive it. 20 Wisdom calls out in the street; she makes her voice heard in the public squares. 21 She cries out above the commotion; she speaks at the entrance of the city gates: 22 "How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance? How long will you mockers enjoy mocking and you fools hate knowledge? 23 If you respond to my warning, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words. 24 Since I called out and you refused, extended my hand and no one paid attention, 25 since you neglected all my counsel and did not accept my correction, 26 I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when terror strikes you, 27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and stress overcome you. 28 Then they will call me, but I won't answer; they will search for me, but won't find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge, didn't choose to fear the Lord, 30 were not interested in my counsel, and rejected all my correction, 31 they will eat the fruit of their way and be glutted with their own schemes. 32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 But whoever listens to me will live securely and be undisturbed by the dread of danger."

Chapter 2

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; 3 furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity 8 so that he may guard the paths of justice and protect the way of his faithful followers. 9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and integrity--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will delight you. 11 Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you. 12 It will rescue you from the way of evil -- from anyone who says perverse things, 13 from those who abandon the right paths to walk in ways of darkness, 14 from those who enjoy doing evil and celebrate perversion, 15 whose paths are crooked, and whose ways are devious. 16 It will rescue you from a forbidden woman, from a wayward woman with her flattering talk, 17 who abandons the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; 18 for her house sinks down to death and her ways to the land of the departed spirits. 19 None return who go to her; none reach the paths of life. 20 So follow the way of the good, and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will inhabit the land, and those of integrity will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous ripped out of it.

Chapter 3

1 My son, don't forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; 2 for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. 3 Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and high regard with God and people. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Don't be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; 10 then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 Do not despise the Lord's instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline; 12 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights. 13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver, and her revenue is better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; nothing you desire can equal her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left, riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant, and all her paths, peaceful.
18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her, and those who hold on to her are happy. 19 The Lord founded the earth by wisdom and established the heavens by understanding.
20 By his knowledge the watery depths broke open, and the clouds dripped with dew. 21 Maintain sound wisdom and discretion. My son, don't lose sight of them. 22 They will be life for you and adornment for your neck. 23 Then you will go safely on your way; your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant. 25 Don't fear sudden danger or the ruin of the wicked when it comes, 26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare. 27 When it is in your power, don't withhold good from the one to whom it belongs. 28 Don't say to your neighbor, "Go away! Come back later. I'll give it tomorrow"--when it is there with you. 29 Don't plan any harm against your neighbor, for he trusts you and lives near you. 30 Don't accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm. 31 Don't envy a violent man or choose any of his ways; 32 for the devious are detestable to the Lord, but he is a friend to the upright. 33 The Lord's curse is on the household of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous; 34 He mocks those who mock but gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise will inherit honor, but he holds up fools to dishonor.

Chapter 4

1 Listen, sons, to a father's discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding, 2 for I am giving you good instruction. Don't abandon my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother, 4 he taught me and said, "Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; don't forget or turn away from the words from my mouth. 6 Don't abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 Wisdom is supreme--so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you. 9 She will place a garland of favor on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty." 10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years. 11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction; don't let go. Guard it, for it is your life. 14 Keep off the path of the wicked; don't proceed on the way of evil ones. 15 Avoid it; don't travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by. 16 For they can't sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. 19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don't know what makes them stumble. 20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings. 21 Don't lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one's whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. 24 Don't let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don't let your lips talk deviously. 25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 27 Don't turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

Chapter 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen closely to my understanding 2 so that you may maintain discretion and your lips safeguard knowledge. 3 Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil, 4 in the end she's as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol.
6 She doesn't consider the path of life; she doesn't know that her ways are unstable. 7 So now, sons, listen to me, and don't turn away from the words from my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her. Don't go near the door of her house. 9 Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others and your years to someone cruel; 10 strangers will drain your resources, and your hard-earned pay will end up in a foreigner's house. 11 At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed, 12 and you will say, "How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction. 13 I didn't obey my teachers or listen closely to my instructors. 14 I am on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community." 15 Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well. 16 Should your springs flow in the streets, streams in the public squares? 17 They should be for you alone and not for you to share with strangers. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving deer, a graceful doe -- let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever. 20 Why, my son, would you lose yourself with a forbidden woman or embrace a wayward woman? 21 For a man's ways are before the Lord's eyes, and he considers all his paths. 22 A wicked man's iniquities will trap him; he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin. 23 He will die because there is no discipline, and be lost because of his great stupidity.

Chapter 6

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger, 2 you have been snared by the words of your mouth-- trapped by the words from your mouth. 3 Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor's power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor. 4 Don't give sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids. 5 Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a hunter's trap. 6 Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. 7 Without leader, administrator, or ruler, 8 it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. 9 How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, 11 and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit. 12 A worthless person, a wicked man goes around speaking dishonestly, 13 winking his eyes, signaling with his feet, and gesturing with his fingers. 14 He always plots evil with perversity in his heart; he stirs up trouble. 15 Therefore calamity will strike him suddenly; he will be shattered instantly, beyond recovery. 16 The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to him: 17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, 19 a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers. 20 My son, keep your father's command, and don't reject your mother's teaching. 21 Always bind them to your heart; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you. 23 For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life. 24 They will protect you from an evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a wayward woman. 25 Don't lust in your heart for her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyelashes. 26 For a prostitute's fee is only a loaf of bread, but the wife of another man goes after a precious life. 27 Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can a man walk on burning coals without scorching his feet? 29 So it is with the one who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. 30 People don't despise the thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry. 31 Still, if caught, he must pay seven times as much; he must give up all the wealth in his house. 32 The one who commits adultery lacks sense; whoever does so destroys himself. 33 He will get a beating and dishonor, and his disgrace will never be removed. 34 For jealousy enrages a husband, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35 He will not be appeased by anything or be persuaded by lavish bribes.
New Living Translation

Chapter 1

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. 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.
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 the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don't neglect your mother's instruction. 9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.
10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! 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.'
15 My child, don't go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. 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. 18 But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed. 19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
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 the LORD. 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.'

Chapter 2

1 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
12 Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. 13 These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths. 14 They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil. 15 Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong.
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman. 17 She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. 18 Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave. 19 The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.
20 Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. 21 For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. 22 But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.

Chapter 3

1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
11 My child, don't reject the LORD's discipline, and don't be upset when he corrects you. 12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. 14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. 15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. 17 She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. 18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
19 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
21 My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, 22 for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. 23 They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. 24 You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. 25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, 26 for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them. 28 If you can help your neighbor now, don't say, 'Come back tomorrow, and then I'll help you.'
29 Don't plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. 30 Don't pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.
31 Don't envy violent people or copy their ways. 32 Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD, but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33 The LORD curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright.
34 The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.
35 The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!

Chapter 4

1 My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, 2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don't turn away from my instructions. 3 For I, too, was once my father's son, tenderly loved as my mother's only child.
4 My father taught me, 'Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. 5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don't forget my words or turn away from them. 6 Don't turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. 7 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. 8 If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.'
10 My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. 11 I will teach you wisdom's ways and lead you in straight paths. 12 When you walk, you won't be held back; when you run, you won't stumble. 13 Take hold of my instructions; don't let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
14 Don't do as the wicked do, and don't follow the path of evildoers. 15 Don't even think about it; don't go that way. Turn away and keep moving. 16 For evil people can't sleep until they've done their evil deed for the day. They can't rest until they've caused someone to stumble. 17 They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!
18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. 19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 21 Don't lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 27 Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Chapter 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel. 2 Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you've learned. 3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. 4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 6 For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn't realize it.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: 8 Stay away from her! Don't go near the door of her house! 9 If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved. 10 Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. 11 In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. 12 You will say, 'How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! 13 Oh, why didn't I listen to my teachers? Why didn't I pay attention to my instructors? 14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.'
15 Drink water from your own well--share your love only with your wife. 16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? 17 You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. 20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21 For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. 22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 23 He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

Chapter 6

1 My child, if you have put up security for a friend's debt or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger-- 2 if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said-- 3 follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend's mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased. 4 Don't put it off; do it now! Don't rest until you do. 5 Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net.
6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- 11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
12 What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constant liars, 13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers. 14 Their perverted hearts plot evil, and they constantly stir up trouble. 15 But they will be destroyed suddenly, broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.
16 There are six things the LORD hates--no, seven things he detests: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, 18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, 19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
20 My son, obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. 24 It will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman. 25 Don't lust for her beauty. Don't let her coy glances seduce you. 26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man's wife will cost you your life. 27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? 28 Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? 29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man's wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished.
30 Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. 31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house. 32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. 33 He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased. 34 For the woman's jealous husband will be furious, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation, nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.
English Standard Version

Chapter 1

1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— 5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, 6 to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, 9 for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; 12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; 14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— 15 my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, 16 for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. 17 For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, 18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. 19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors. 20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: 22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? 23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, 25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, 27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. 28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, 31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. 32 For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; 33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

Chapter 2

1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; 10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, 12 delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, 13 who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, 14 who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, 15 men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways. 16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, 17 who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; 18 for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; 19 none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Chapter 3

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. 11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. 13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; 20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. 23 Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. 24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. 29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, 32 for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence. 33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. 35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

Chapter 4

1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, 2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” 10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. 11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. 20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Chapter 5

1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, 2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. 3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; 6 she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. 7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, 11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12 and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.” 15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Chapter 6

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, 2 if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, 3 then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. 4 Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; 5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler. 6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, 13 winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, 14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; 15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. 16 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. 20 My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, 24 to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; 26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life. 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, 31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. 32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
New International Version

Chapter 1

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-- 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance--
6 for 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. 8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. 10 My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. 11 If they say, 'Come along with us; let's lie in wait for innocent blood, let's ambush some harmless soul; 12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; 14 cast lots with us; we will all share the loot'-- 15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; 16 for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. 17 How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! 18 These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! 19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it. 20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on 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? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you--
27 when 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. 30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.'

Chapter 2

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding-- 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Chapter 3

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. 19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. 21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, 'Come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you'-- when you already have it with you. 29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason-- when they have done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. 32 For the LORD detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. 33 The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. 34 He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. 35 The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.

Chapter 4

1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3 For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. 4 Then he taught me, and he said to me, 'Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.' 10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. 14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. 16 For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. 20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Chapter 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, 2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. 7 Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. 8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, 10 lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another. 11 At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. 12 You will say, 'How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! 13 I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God's people.' 15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer-- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. 23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.

Chapter 6

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, 2 you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. 3 So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go--to the point of exhaustion-- and give your neighbor no rest! 4 Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. 6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. 12 A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart-- he always stirs up conflict.
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy. 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. 20 My son, keep your father's command and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 21 Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbor's wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. 26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man's wife preys on your very life. 27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? 28 Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. 31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. 32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away. 34 For jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35 He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.