Bible in Basic English

Solomon, son of David

    1.1   THE Wise sayings of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel. 2 To have knowledge of wise teaching ; to be clear about the words of reason : 3 To be trained in the ways of wisdom, in righteousness and judging truly and straight behaviour : 4 To make the simple-minded sharp, and to give the young man knowledge, and serious purpose : 5 (The wise man, hearing, will get greater learning, and the acts of the man of good sense will be wisely guided:) 6 To get the sense of wise sayings and secrets, and of the words of the wise and their dark sayings.
    1:7   The fear of the Lord is the start of knowledge : but the foolish have no use for wisdom and teaching.
    1:8   My son, give ear to the training of your father, and do not give up the teaching of your mother : 9 For they will be a crown of grace for your head, and chain-ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners would take you out of the right way, do not go with them. 11 If they say, Come with us ; let us make designs against the good, waiting secretly for the upright, without cause ; 12 Let us overcome them living, like the underworld, and in their strength, as those who go down to death; 13 Goods of great price will be ours, our houses will be full of wealth ; 14 Take your chance with us, and we will all have one money-bag : 15 My son, do not go with them; keep your feet from their ways: 16 For their feet are running after evil, and they are quick to take a man's life. 17 Truly, to no purpose is the net stretched out before the eyes of the bird: 18 And they are secretly waiting for their blood and making ready destruction for themselves. 19 Such is the fate of everyone who goes in search of profit ; it takes away the life of its owners.
    1:20   Wisdom is crying out in the street ; her voice is loud in the open places; 21 Her words are sounding in the meeting-places, and in the doorways of the town: 22 How long, you simple ones, will foolish things be dear to you ? and pride a delight to the haters of authority ? how long will the foolish go on hating knowledge ? 23 Be turned again by my sharp words: see, I will send the flow of my spirit on you, and make my words clear to you. 24 Because your ears were shut to my voice ; no one gave attention to my out-stretched hand; 25 You were not controlled by my guiding, and would have nothing to do with my sharp words: 26 So in the day of your trouble I will be laughing ; I will make sport of your fear; 27 When your fear comes on you like a storm, and your trouble like a rushing wind ; when pain and sorrow come on you. 28 Then I will give no answer to their cries; searching for me early, they will not see me: 29 For they were haters of knowledge, and did not give their hearts to the fear of the Lord: 30 They had no desire for my teaching, and my words of protest were as nothing to them. 31 So the fruit of their way will be their food, and with the designs of their hearts they will be made full. 32 For the turning back of the simple from teaching will be the cause of their death, and the peace of the foolish will be their destruction. 33 But whoever gives ear to me will take his rest safely, living in peace without fear of evil.

Reward of seeking wisdom

    2.1   MY Son, if you will take my words to your heart, storing up my laws in your mind : 2 So that your ear gives attention to wisdom, and your heart is turned to knowledge ; 3 Truly, if you are crying out for good sense, and your request is for knowledge ; 4 If you are looking for her as for silver, and searching for her as for stored-up wealth ; 5 Then the fear of the Lord will be clear to you, and knowledge of God will be yours. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom ; out of his mouth come knowledge and reason : 7 He has salvation stored up for the upright, he is a breastplate to those in whom there is no evil ; 8 He keeps watch on the ways which are right, and takes care of those who have the fear of him. 9 Then you will have knowledge of righteousness and right acting, and upright behaviour, even of every good way. 10 For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasing to your soul ; 11 Wise purposes will be watching over you, and knowledge will keep you ; 12 Giving you salvation from the evil man, from those whose words are false ; 13 Who give up the way of righteousness, to go by dark roads ; 14 Who take pleasure in wrongdoing, and have joy in the evil designs of the sinner ; 15 Whose ways are not straight, and whose footsteps are turned to evil:
    2:16   To take you out of the power of the strange woman, who says smooth words with her tongue; 17 Who is false to the husband of her early years, and does not keep the agreement of her God in mind: 18 For her house is on the way down to death ; her footsteps go down to the shades: 19 Those who go to her do not come back again ; their feet do not keep in the ways of life:
    2:20   So that you may go in the way of good men, and keep in the footsteps of the upright. 21 For the upright will be living in the land, and the good will have it for their heritage. 22 But sinners will be cut off from the land, and those whose acts are false will be uprooted.

Exhortations to obey God

    3.1   MY Son, keep my teaching in your memory, and my rules in your heart: 2 For they will give you increase of days, years of life, and peace.
    3:3   Let not mercy and good faith go from you; let them be hanging round your neck, recorded on your heart ; 4 So you will have grace and a good name in the eyes of God and men.
    3:5   Put all your hope in God, not looking to your reason for support. 6 In all your ways give ear to him, and he will make straight your footsteps. 7 Put no high value on your wisdom : let the fear of the Lord be before you, and keep yourself from evil : 8 This will give strength to your flesh, and new life to your bones.
    3:9   Give honour to the Lord with your wealth, and with the first-fruits of all your increase: 10 So your store-houses will be full of grain, and your vessels overflowing with new wine. 11 My son, do not make your heart hard against the Lord's teaching; do not be made angry by his training: 12 For to those who are dear to him the Lord says sharp words, and makes the son in whom he has delight undergo pain.
    3:13   Happy is the man who makes discovery of wisdom, and he who gets knowledge. 14 For trading in it is better than trading in silver, and its profit greater than bright gold. 15 She is of more value than jewels, and nothing for which you may have a desire is fair in comparison with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand, and in her left are wealth and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of delight, and all her goings are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to all who take her in their hands, and happy is everyone who keeps her.
    3:19 The Lord by wisdom put in position the bases of the earth; by reason he put the heavens in their place. 20 By his knowledge the deep was parted, and dew came dropping from the skies.
    3:21   My son, keep good sense, and do not let wise purpose go from your eyes. 22 So they will be life for your soul, and grace for your neck. 23 Then you will go safely on your way, and your feet will have no cause for slipping. 24 When you take your rest you will have no fear, and on your bed sleep will be sweet to you. 25 Have no fear of sudden danger, or of the storm which will come on evil-doers : 26 For the Lord will be your hope, and will keep your foot from being taken in the net. 27 Do not keep back good from those who have a right to it, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
    3:28   Say not to your neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when you have it by you at the time. 29 Do not make evil designs against your neighbour, when he is living with you without fear. 30 Do not take up a cause at law against a man for nothing, if he has done you no wrong. 31 Have no envy of the violent man, or take any of his ways as an example. 32 For the wrong-hearted man is hated by the Lord, but he is a friend to the upright. 33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the evil-doer, but his blessing is on the tent of the upright. 34 He makes sport of the men of pride, but he gives grace to the gentle-hearted. 35 The wise will have glory for their heritage, but shame will be the reward of the foolish.

Get wisdom

    4.1   GIVE Ear, my sons, to the teaching of a father ; give attention so that you may have knowledge : 2 For I give you good teaching ; do not give up the knowledge you are getting from me. 3 For I was a son to my father, a gentle and an only one to my mother. 4 And he gave me teaching, saying to me, Keep my words in your heart ; keep my rules so that you may have life : 5 Get wisdom, get true knowledge ; keep it in memory, do not be turned away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not give her up, and she will keep you ; give her your love, and she will make you safe. 7 The first sign of wisdom is to get wisdom; go, give all you have to get true knowledge. 8 Put her in a high place, and you will be lifted up by her ; she will give you honour, when you give her your love. 9 She will put a crown of grace on your head, giving you a head-dress of glory.
    4:10   Give ear, O my son, and let your heart be open to my sayings ; and long life will be yours. 11 I have given you teaching in the way of wisdom, guiding your steps in the straight way. 12 When you go, your way will not be narrow, and in running you will not have a fall. 13 Take learning in your hands, do not let her go : keep her, for she is your life. 14 Do not go in the road of sinners, or be walking in the way of evil men. 15 Keep far from it, do not go near ; be turned from it, and go on your way. 16 For they take no rest till they have done evil; their sleep is taken away if they have not been the cause of someone's fall. 17 The bread of evil-doing is their food, the wine of violent acts their drink. 18 But the way of the upright is like the light of early morning, getting brighter and brighter till the full day. 19 The way of sinners is dark ; they see not the cause of their fall.
    4:20   My son, give attention to my words ; let your ear be turned to my sayings. 21 Let them not go from your eyes ; keep them deep in your heart. 22 For they are life to him who gets them, and strength to all his flesh. 23 And keep watch over your heart with all care; so you will have life. 24 Put away from you an evil tongue, and let false lips be far from you. 25 Keep your eyes on what is in front of you, looking straight before you. 26 Keep a watch on your behaviour ; let all your ways be rightly ordered. 27 Let there be no turning to the right or to the left, keep your feet from evil.

Warning against unchastity

    5.1   MY Son, be attentive to my wisdom ; let your ear be turned to my teaching : 2 So that you may be ruled by a wise purpose, and your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For honey is dropping from the lips of the strange woman, and her mouth is smoother than oil ; 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword ; 5 Her feet go down to death, and her steps to the underworld ; 6 She never keeps her mind on the road of life ; her ways are uncertain, she has no knowledge.
    5:7 Give ear to me then, my sons, and do not put away my words from you. 8 Go far away from her, do not come near the door of her house ; 9 For fear that you may give your honour to others, and your wealth to strange men : 10 And strange men may be full of your wealth, and the fruit of your work go to the house of others ; 11 And you will be full of grief at the end of your life, when your flesh and your body are wasted; 12 And you will say, How was teaching hated by me, and my heart put no value on training; 13 I did not give attention to the voice of my teachers, my ear was not turned to those who were guiding me ! 14 I was in almost all evil in the company of the people. 15 Let water from your store and not that of others be your drink, and running water from your fountain. 16 Let not your springs be flowing in the streets, or your streams of water in the open places. 17 Let them be for yourself only, not for other men with you. 18 Let blessing be on your fountain ; have joy in the wife of your early years. 19 As a loving hind and a gentle doe, let her breasts ever give you rapture ; let your passion at all times be moved by her love. 20 Why let yourself, my son, go out of the way with a strange woman, and take another woman in your arms ? 21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he puts all his goings in the scales. 22 The evil-doer will be taken in the net of his crimes, and prisoned in the cords of his sin. 23 He will come to his end for need of teaching ; he is so foolish that he will go wandering from the right way.

Idleness and lies

    6.1   MY Son, if you have made yourself responsible for your neighbour, or given your word for another, 2 You are taken as in a net by the words of your mouth, the sayings of your lips have overcome you. 3 Do this, my son, and make yourself free, because you have come into the power of your neighbour ; go without waiting, and make a strong request to your neighbour. 4 Give no sleep to your eyes, or rest to them ; 5 Make yourself free, like the roe from the hand of the archer, and the bird from him who puts a net for her.
    6:6 Go to the ant, you hater of work ; give thought to her ways and be wise : 7 Having no chief, overseer, or ruler, 8 She gets her meat in the summer, storing up food at the time of the grain-cutting. 9 How long will you be sleeping, O hater of work ? when will you get up from your sleep ? 10 A little sleep, a little rest, a little folding of the hands in sleep : 11 Then loss will come on you like an outlaw, and your need like an armed man
    6:12 A good-for-nothing man is an evil-doer ; he goes on his way causing trouble with false words ; 13 Making signs with his eyes, rubbing with his feet, and giving news with his fingers ; 14 His mind is ever designing evil : he lets loose violent acts. 15 For this cause his downfall will be sudden ; quickly he will be broken, and there will be no help for him. 16 Six things are hated by the Lord ; seven things are disgusting to him: 17 Eyes of pride, a false tongue, hands which take life without cause ; 18 A heart full of evil designs, feet which are quick in running after sin ; 19 A false witness, breathing out untrue words, and one who lets loose violent acts among brothers.
    6:20 My son, keep the rule of your father, and have in memory the teaching of your mother : 21 Keep them ever folded in your heart, and have them hanging round your neck. 22 In your walking, it will be your guide ; when you are sleeping, it will keep watch over you ; when you are awake, it will have talk with you. 23 For the rule is a light, and the teaching a shining light ; and the guiding words of training are the way of life. 24 They will keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the strange woman. 25 Let not your heart's desire go after her fair body ; let not her eyes take you prisoner. 26 For a loose woman is looking for a cake of bread, but another man's wife goes after one's very life. 27 May a man take fire to his breast without burning his clothing ? 28 Or may one go on lighted coals, and his feet not be burned ? 29 So it is with him who goes in to his neighbour's wife ; he who has anything to do with her will not go free from punishment. 30 Men do not have a low opinion of a thief who takes food when he is in need of it : 31 But if he is taken in the act he will have to give back seven times as much, giving up all his property which is in his house. 32 He who takes another man's wife is without all sense: he who does it is the cause of destruction to his soul. 33 Wounds will be his and loss of honour, and his shame may not be washed away. 34 For bitter is the wrath of an angry husband ; in the day of punishment he will have no mercy. 35 He will not take any payment ; and he will not make peace with you though your money offerings are increased.

Warning against adultery

    7.1   MY Son, keep my sayings, and let my rules be stored up with you. 2 Keep my rules and you will have life ; let my teaching be to you as the light of your eyes; 3 Let them be fixed to your fingers, and recorded in your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, You are my sister ; let knowledge be named your special friend: 5 So that they may keep you from the strange woman, even from her whose words are smooth.
    7:6 Looking out from my house, and watching through the window, 7 I saw among the young men one without sense, 8 Walking in the street near the turn of her road, going on the way to her house, 9 At nightfall, in the evening of the day, in the black dark of the night.
    7:10 And the woman came out to him, in the dress of a loose woman, with a designing heart ; 11 She is full of noise and uncontrolled ; her feet keep not in her house. 12 Now she is in the street, now in the open spaces, waiting at every turning of the road. 13 So she took him by his hand, kissing him, and without a sign of shame she said to him : 14 I have a feast of peace-offerings, for today my oaths have been effected. 15 So I came out in the hope of meeting you, looking for you with care, and now I have you. 16 My bed is covered with cushions of needlework, with coloured cloths of the cotton thread of Egypt; 17 I have made my bed sweet with perfumes and spices. 18 Come, let us take our pleasure in love till the morning, having joy in love's delights. 19 For the master of the house is away on a long journey : 20 He has taken a bag of money with him ; he is coming back at the full moon.
    7:21 With her fair words she overcame him, forcing him with her smooth lips. 22 The simple man goes after her, like an ox going to its death, like a roe pulled by a cord ; 23 Like a bird falling into a net ; with no thought that his life is in danger, till an arrow goes into his side.
    7:24 So now, my sons, give ear to me ; give attention to the sayings of my mouth; 25 Let not your heart be turned to her ways, do not go wandering in her footsteps. 26 For those wounded and made low by her are great in number ; and all those who have come to their death through her are a great army. 27 Her house is the way to the underworld, going down to the rooms of death.

Eternity of wisdom

    8.1   IS Not wisdom crying out, and the voice of knowledge sounding? 2 At the top of the highways, at the meeting of the roads, she takes her place ; 3 Where the roads go into the town her cry goes out, at the doorways her voice is loud : 4 I am crying out to you, O men ; my voice comes to the sons of men. 5 Become expert in reason, O you simple ones ; you foolish ones, take training to heart. 6 Give ear, for my words are true, and my lips are open to give out what is upright. 7 For good faith goes out of my mouth, and false lips are disgusting to me. 8 All the words of my mouth are righteousness ; there is nothing false or twisted in them. 9 They are all true to him whose mind is awake, and straightforward to those who get knowledge. 10 Take my teaching, and not silver ; get knowledge in place of the best gold. 11 For wisdom is better than jewels, and all things which may be desired are nothing in comparison with her. 12 I, wisdom, have made wise behaviour my near relation ; I am seen to be the special friend of wise purposes. 13 The fear of the Lord is seen in hating evil : pride, a high opinion of oneself, the evil way, and the false tongue, are unpleasing to me. 14 Wise design and good sense are mine ; reason and strength are mine. 15 Through me kings have their power, and rulers give right decisions. 16 Through me chiefs have authority, and the noble ones are judging in righteousness. 17 Those who have given me their love are loved by me, and those who make search for me with care will get me. 18 Wealth and honour are in my hands, even wealth without equal and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, even than the best gold ; and my increase is more to be desired than silver. 20 I go in the road of righteousness, in the way of right judging : 21 So that I may give my lovers wealth for their heritage, making their store-houses full.
    8:22 The Lord made me as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past. 23 From eternal days I was given my place, from the birth of time, before the earth was. 24 When there was no deep I was given birth, when there were no fountains flowing with water. 25 Before the mountains were put in their places, before the hills was my birth : 26 When he had not made the earth or the fields or the dust of the world. 27 When he made ready the heavens I was there : when he put an arch over the face of the deep : 28 When he made strong the skies overhead : when the fountains of the deep were fixed: 29 When he put a limit to the sea, so that the waters might not go against his word : when he put in position the bases of the earth : 30 Then I was by his side, as a master workman : and I was his delight from day to day, playing before him at all times ; 31 Playing in his earth ; and my delight was with the sons of men.
    8:32 Give ear to me then, my sons : for happy are those who keep my ways. 33 Take my teaching and be wise ; do not let it go. 34 Happy is the man who gives ear to me, watching at my doors day by day, keeping his place by the pillars of my house. 35 For whoever gets me gets life, and grace from the Lord will come to him. 36 But he who does evil to me, does wrong to his soul : all my haters are in love with death.

< Psalms 1-50 , 51-100 , 101-150   |   BBE   |   Ecclesiastes >