Meditation and Prayer Journey – Proverbs 1

Proverbs 1


NIV Version,  Message VersionEnglish Standard Version (see the list of related scriptures at the bottom of the ESV page), King James Version

Amplified Version *colors added by me

1THE PROVERBS (truths obscurely expressed, maxims, and parables) of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:2[a]That people may know skillful and godly [b]Wisdom and instruction, discern and comprehend the words of understanding and insight,

3Receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,

4That prudence may be given to the simple, and knowledge, discretion, and discernment to the youth–

5The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]–(A)

6That people may understand a proverb and a figure of speech or an enigma with its interpretation, and the words of the wise and their dark sayings or riddles.

7The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.(B)

8My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your mother.

9For they are a [victor’s] chaplet (garland) of grace upon your head and chains and pendants [of gold worn by kings] for your neck.

10My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.(C)

11If they say, Come with us; let us lie in wait [to shed] blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause [and show that his piety is in vain];

12Let us swallow them up alive as does Sheol (the place of the dead), and whole, as those who go down into the pit [of the dead];

13We shall find and take all kinds of precious goods [when our victims are put out of the way], we shall fill our houses with plunder;

14Throw in your lot with us [they insist] and be a sworn brother and comrade; let us all have one purse in common–

15My son, do not walk in the way with them; restrain your foot from their path;

16For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.

17For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird!

18But [when these men set a trap for others] they are lying in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.

19So are the ways of everyone who is greedy of gain; such [greed for plunder] takes away the lives of its possessors.(D)

20[c]Wisdom cries aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the markets;

21She cries at the head of the noisy intersections [in the chief gathering places]; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

22How long, O simple ones [open to evil], will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge?

23If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [[d]Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.(E)

24Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man has heeded it,(F)

25And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof,

26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic

27When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

28Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently but they will not find me.(G)

29Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord,(H)

30Would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,

31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.

32For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them.(I)

33But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.

* NOTE: Other views expressed by those whose materials has been referenced here, do not necessarily reflect this author’s personal views.

Further Study

Proverbs 1:7 – Fools Despise Correction

A walk through the book of Proverbs

Proverbs 1 – “Patience with others and one’s self”

Proverbs 1 Saddleback Church

STUDIES ON PROVERBS Exposition: Proverbs

Multi Media

The Book of Proverbs as narrated by Max McLean – Proverbs 1

Wu Tang and Mouldinho on Proverbs 1 – hmmm the only song I could find??

Found another one – Blessed is the man

Key Words*

Wisdom – the word wisdom and wise appear several times throughout Chapter 1. But basically, both mean what we think it means – the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight; being prudent and sensible.

  • H2450 – khaw-kawm’ (v 5 & 6) [root H2449] wise, (that is, intelligent, skilful or artful): – cunning (man), subtil, ([un-]), wise ([hearted], man).
  • H2451 – khok-maw’ (v 1 & 7) [root 2449] a) skill (in war); b) wisdom (in administration); c) shrewdness, wisdom; d) wisdom, prudence (in religious affairs); e) wisdom (ethical and religious)
  • H2454 – khok-moth’ (v 20) Collateral forms of H2451; wisdom: – wisdom, every wise [woman].
  • H7818 – saw-kal’ (v 3) to be (causeatively make or act) circumspect and hence intelligent: – consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent (-ly), (give) skill (-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand (-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise (-ly), guide wittingly.
  • H2449 – khaw-kam’ (root of 2450 & 2451) A primitive root, to be wise (in mind, word or act): –  X exceeding, teach wisdom, be (make self, shew self) wise, deal (never so) wisely, make wiser.

Instruction (Discipline in NIV) – Interestingly, the word instruction today means: direction; a message describing how something is to be done. And the word discipline used as a translation in NIV can be understood in a few ways: a system of rules of conduct or method of practice; the trait of being well behaved. However, in this context it means: the act of punishing. If you look at the original meaning of the word, there is a harshness to it. Reading the verses with the word chastisement or reproof or correction in them seems to bring up a different picture.

  • H4148 – moo-sawr’ (v 2, 3, 7, & 8) [root H3256]; properly chastisement; figuratively reproof, warning or instruction; also restraint: – bond, chastening ([-eth]), chastisement, check, correction, discipline, doctrine, instruction, rebuke.
  • H3256 – yaw-sar’ (root) A primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence to instruct: – bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach.

JusticeH6664 – tseh’-dek (v 3) [root H6663] rightness, righteousness (what is right or just or normal, rightness, justness (of weights and measures)

Judgement – Todays meaning of judgement is just a little off from the meaning in OT. Today the definition of judgement is: an opinion formed by judging something; the cognitive process of reaching a decision or drawing conclusions. However, in the OT the word is closer to today’s word ‘convict.’ Takes on a little harsher meaning when you read it with the word convict.

  • H4941  mish-pawt’ (v 3) means [root H8199]; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law, individual or collectively), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly justice, including a particular right, or privilege (statutory or customary).
  • H8199 shaw-fat’ (root) A primitive root; to judge, that is, pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication to vindicate or punish …

Equity – The AMP translates this word as integrity which is good word given today’s meaning which is: moral soundness; adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

  • H4339 – may-shawr’ (v 3) (root H3474); evenness, that is, (figuratively) prosperity or concord; also straightness, … – agreement, aright, that are equal, equity, (things that are) right (-eously, things), sweetly, upright (-ly, -ness).
  • H3484 (root) to be right, be straight, be level, be upright, be just, be lawful, be smooth

Discretion – Again there is some difference in the meaning of today: freedom to act or judge on one’s own; knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress and the OT meaning:

  • H4209 – mez-im-maw’ (v 4) (root H2161); a plan …

Hear – This does not mean the act of hearing with the ear or just listening. The original word implied an action as well as actually hearing with the ear, it means:

H8085 – shaw-mah’ (v 1, 8, & 33) A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.): –  X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear (-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever [heareth], witness.

Grace – If we look up the definition of Grace in today’s dictionary we find: a state of sanctification by God or elegance and beauty of movement or expression. But the word grace means more than that. The commentary of John Gill on this says, “The instructions and laws of parents being attended unto and obeyed by children, render them more lovely and amiable than any beautiful ornament whatever that can be put upon their heads”. Grace in this case isn’t as much about the something given TO us as much as FROM us. It is a disposition to kindness and compassion.

  • H2580 – khane (v 9) [root H2603]; graciousness, that is, subjectively (kindness, favor) or objectively (beauty): – favour, grace (-ious), pleasant, precious, [well-] favoured.


Matthew Henry

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown

Proverbs Illustrations, Devotionals

My Reflections

If I read the last line first, “33But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil,” I realize that there is something in this that I want to heed and listen to. After all, who doesn’t want to dwell securely and confident without fear or dread of evil? So then I look back through to discover what actions on my part are required to attain that promise. If you look back at the scripture I posted in the beginning, you will see colored words. Basically, all the purple words are things I have to do in order to receive all the blue words. And if I do all the red words, then I will receive the green words.

So I have to: be in reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord, hear instruction of my earthly father and reject not nor forsake the teaching of my earthly mother (I guess that would be assuming they were Biblically based? I know some parents who drank, had affairs, were physically abusive – those are things we shouldn’t follow.). I have to not consent and restrain my foot when a sinner entices me. And I need to turn (repent) and give heed to and hearken unto Wisdom’s reproof  (I’m thinking that could come from consequences of choices or from other people.). When I do those things, then I will gain or have:

___ discernment or understanding or comprehension (John Gill – … give a right understanding of things; so that a man may be able to distinguish between … truth and error, right and wrong …)
___thoughtfulness as a way of living
___righteousness or justice as a way of living (does what is right or just or normal)
___integrity as a way of living (ISBE – simplicity, or sincerity of heart and intention, truthfulness, uprightness, being honest, sincere, genuine)
___prudence, shrewdness, craftiness, prudence, (Albert Barnes – “discretion,” or discernment, which sets a man on his guard, and keeps him from being duped by false advisers.)
___knowledge to the young
___discretion (a plan) to the young
___increase in learning, willingness to learn, easily acquire skills
___attain sound counsel, literally to steer (John Gill – sit as a pilot there, as the word may signify, and steer the ship aright in which he is; whether it be his family, or the church of God, or a city or corporation, or a kingdom: this book, rightly understood by him, will furnish him with rules to do all things well and wisely.)
___understanding and interpretation of the simile (as an adage, poem, discourse), parable, proverb. (John Gill – understanding of proverbial sayings, and to see into the “elegancy” (m), the eloquence and beauty of them, as the word signifies; and be able to interpret them to others in a clear, plain, way and manner;)
___Wisdom’s words will be known to me.

Honestly, I was just a bit confused when I first read through this and got to verse 23, my question was, “Who is I?” I is Wisdom, not Solomon, not God, but Wisdom (which comes from God, but it isn’t God directly doing these things). It says in verse 21: “She speaks,” she being Wisdom.

So, I know who to listen to, what I have to do, and what I get if I do it. But what are some things that would warn me that I am going in the wrong direction? (Ah, yes, the words in red.) Be simple or foolish, despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction and discipline (haven’t we all had a hard time with this one a time or two?), find-take-keep what isn’t mine, run to evil, set traps for others, ambush or pick on the innocent, be greedy of gain, be open to evil, ignore, not accept and despise reproof from wisdom, hate knowledge. I don’t think any of us will like admitting to doing any of these things, but if we can not admit them, then we are ignoring what we know is true. What happens if we do all this?

___Wisdom will laugh at our calamity (John Gill – By way of retaliation, measuring measure for measure) (Albert Barnes – The scorn and derision with which men look on pride and malice, baffled and put to shame, has something that answers to it in the Divine Judgment.)
___mock when the fear comes, as we are in terror, panic, distress and anguish. (John Gill – which is the same thing in different words (as laugh at calamity); for by “fear” is meant the dreadful calamity on which brought dread, terror, and consternation with it, and of which they had fearful apprehensions beforehand
___ Wisdom will not answer us and we will not be able to find it. (John 7:34)

Whoa! Wait a minute. Think about that. Basically if we ignore wisdom in the first place, then we won’t be able to find it when we are in a jam and really need it. Guess that is why so many people are stuck where they are. The only way they can get out of where they are then is found back in verse 7: The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge.”


Lord, I come to you with reverent and worshipful fear. I know that you are God. I know that you are all powerful. I know that I can not stand in your presence without being covered in the blood of Jesus Christ. I am in awe of You and tremble at the thought of standing before you without my Lord and Savior beside me. Lord, I thank You for Your wisdom. I thank you for the wise counselors you have placed in my life. I thank you for my mother and father who raised me in a Godly home with good instruction from my father and helpful teachings of my mother. I thank You that You have placed pastors and friends in my life who speak with wisdom and knowledge that comes from Your Spirit. Father, please forgive me for the times that they have spoke to me and I have chosen to be foolish, despising and ignoring their Godly wisdom. I thank You for Your discipline and reproof which has brought be back onto the correct path. Father, help me to restrain my feet when sinners entice me. Father, sometimes it is hard to steer in the right direction in the “heat of the moment,” so I will trust in Your Spirit to guide me through those times with discernment and understand that can only come from You.

Lord, I pray for those who are blind and don’t know that they are walking in foolish ways. I pray for those who were not brought up with good instructions from their father’s and teachings from their mother. I pray that their eyes will be open, there ears will hear, and their hearts will respond when You and Wisdom call out to them. Let Your will be done and Your ways be mine. In Jesus Name, Amen!

* Keywords taken from KJV translation. Definitions quoted from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries OR Thayer’s Greek Definitions

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