Chapter 1, Proverbs of Solomon, NMB

This is a foretaste of the Proverbs in the New Matthew Bible.

The Book of Proverbs is incredibly clear and easy to understand in the original 1537 Matthew Bible. Here we have updated only obsolete grammar and a few obvious obsolete words. This is not the final version, but it is obvious that the final version will be so close to this, we want to share it with you now.

The Scripture translation is Myles Coverdale’s. He used German Bibles (strong influence of Martin Luther) as his base, and first published this in 1537. John Rogers took it into the Matthew Bible, and wrote the chapter summaries and notes. He had various sources for his notes, which I explained in my book, “The Story of the Matthew Bible.”

Here is chapter 1 of this book of wisdom:

The Proverbs of Solomon

Chapter 1

The praise of wisdom. We may not hearken unto the voluptuous provocations and enticings of sinners. Wisdom complains her to be despised of all men, and prophesies destruction unto her despisers.

THE PROVERBS of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2to learn wisdom, instruction,a understanding, 3prudence, righteousness, judgement, and equity. 4That the very babes might have wit, and that young men might have knowledge and understanding. 5By hearing, the wise man shall come by more wisdom, 6and by experience he shall be more apt to understand a parable and the interpretation thereof, the words of the wise, and the dark speeches of the same.

 7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but foolsb despise wisdom and instruction.

8My son, hear your father’s doctrine, and forsake not the law of your mother, 9for that shall bring grace unto your head,c and shall be a chain about your neck. 10My son, consent not to sinners, 11if they entice you and say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood,d and lurk privily for the innocent without a cause; 12let us swallow them up like the hell; let us devour them quick and whole, as those that go down into the pit. 13So shall we find all manner of costly riches, and fill our houses with spoils. 14Cast in your lot among us, we shall have all one purse.

15My son, walk not with them. Refrain thy foot from their ways. 16For their feet run to evil, and are hasty to shed blood. 17But in vain is the net laid forth before the bird’s eyes.e 18Yea they themselves lay wait one for another’s blood, and one of them would slay another. 19These are the ways of all such as be covetous, that one would ravish another’s life.

20Wisdom cries without, and puts forth her voice in the streets. 21She calls before the congregation in the open gates, and shows her words through the city, saying, 22O ye children, how long will you love childishness? How long will the scornersf delight in scorning, and the unwise be enemies unto knowledge? 23O turn ye, to my correction; lo, I will express my mind to you, and make you understand my words.

24Seeing then that I have called, and you refused it – I have stretched out my hand, and no one regarded it, 25but all my counsels you have despised, and set my corrections at naught – 26therefore shall I also laugh in your destruction, and mock you when the thing that you fear comes upon you: 27even when the thing that you are afraid of falls in suddenly like a storm, and your misery like a tempest; yea when trouble and heaviness come upon you. 28Then will they call upon me, but I will not hear. They will seek me early, but they shall not find me; 29and that because they hated knowledge, and received not the fear of the Lord, 30but abhorred my counsel, and despised my correction.

31Therefore they shall eat the fruits of their own way, and be filled with their own counsels. 32For the turning away of the unwise shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall be their own destruction. 33But whosoever hearkens unto me shall dwell safely, and have enough, without any fear of evil.


The Notes (by John Rogers)

  1. a) 1:1 ‘Instruction’ is that which the scholar learns under his master, whether it be knowledge or manners.
  2. b) 1:7 What ‘fool’ commonly signifies in the Proverbs, see in chapter 12.
  3. c) 1:9 Grace for crown.
  4. d) 1:11 Of this in Micah.vii.a. (To labour to shed blood, or to lie in wait for blood, is to make people’s lives laborious and miserable, by threatenings, murder, and violence. Proverbs 1.b.)
  5. e) 1:17 In vain is the net laid, etc; that is, it is a vain thing to lie in wait for they whom God defends, since those who lie in wait shall rather perish than they.
  6. f) 1:22 How and in what signification to take “scorners” in the Proverbs, is explained after in the ix,d. (c9, note (b): Scornful or mocking persons, according to David Kymhi, are those who are subtle and crafty to hurt others, and who are ready to defame others, and to reveal and tell secrets, and so to break concord and unity. And those also who make a mock at the word of God and despise it, and who repute it for foolishness, as after in the xiiii,a. xix,d. & xxii,b.)