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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs

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FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs 1


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added a subheading summary as a description of what is happening)


FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs 1: Introduction & early warnings


[Preliminary Comments: This first chapter lays out the purpose of the proverbs [v.1-9] and as a contrast, the life of the sinner is shown and warned against [v.10-19]. Then the writer personifies ‘wisdom' and imagines ‘her' calling out and warning the foolish against their ways. [v.20-33] Each part is clear and distinct.]



v.1-9 Purpose and theme


v.1 The Author – Solomon

v.1  The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:


v.2-4 The Uses of the Proverbs

v.2  for [i] gaining wisdom and instruction;
[ii] understanding words of insight;
v.3  for [iii] receiving instruction in prudent behaviour,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
v.4  for [iv] giving prudence to those who are simple,
[v] knowledge and discretion to the young  –

v.5-6 For the wise & discerning to develop

v.5  let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance –
v.6  for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.


v.7 The starting place

v.7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.


v.8,9 Hold on to your parents' teaching

v.8  Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
    and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
v.9  They are a garland to grace your head
    and a chain to adorn your neck.


v.10-19 Warnings against the invitation of sinful men


v.10-14 Reject the ways sinners entice

v.10  My son, if sinful men entice you,
    do not give in to them.
v.11  If they say, ‘Come along with us;
    let's lie in wait for innocent blood,
    let's ambush some harmless soul;
v.12  let's swallow them alive, like the grave,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
v.13  we will get all sorts of valuable things
    and fill our houses with plunder;
v.14  cast lots with us;
    we will all share the loot'–

v.15,16 Avoid such people who look for ways to sin and injure others

v.15  my son, do not go along with them,
    do not set foot on their paths;
v.16  for their feet rush into evil,
    they are swift to shed blood.

v.17,18 Such behaviour is obviously foolish, self-destructive

v.17  How useless to spread a net
    where every bird can see it!
v.18  These men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they ambush only themselves!

v.19 They grab for gain but lose their lives

v.19  Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
    it takes away the life of those who get it.



v.20-33 Wisdom Personified brings a rebuke


v.20,21 Wisdom can be found out in the world

v.20  Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
    she raises her voice in the public square;
v.21  on top of the wall she cries out,
    at the city gate she makes her speech:


v.22,23 Ways of the foolish and how they can change

v.22  ‘How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
    How long will mockers delight in mockery
    and fools hate knowledge?
v.23  Repent at my rebuke!
    Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
    I will make known to you my teachings.

v.24,25 How they ignore wisdom

v.24  But since you refuse to listen when I call
    and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
v.25  since you disregard all my advice
    and do not accept my rebuke,

v.26,27 Wisdom will be justified when disaster comes on them

v.26  I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
    I will mock when calamity overtakes you –
v.27  when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
    when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
    when distress and trouble overwhelm you.


v.28,29 By then it will be too late to change

v.28  ‘Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
    they will look for me but will not find me,
v.29  since they hated knowledge
    and did not choose to fear the Lord.

v.30,31 A man reaps what he sows

v.30  Since they would not accept my advice
    and spurned my rebuke,
v.31  they will eat the fruit of their ways
    and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

v.32,33 Such folly is self-destructive but wisdom brings security

v.32  For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
    and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
v.33  but whoever listens to me will live in safety
    and be at ease, without fear of harm.'




Continue to Proverbs 2