8 My son, hear the instruction of your father,And do not forsake the law of your mother;9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,And chains about your neck.10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,[a]
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners. – Proverbs 1:8-19
The cajoling of the wicked can be strong. Solomon realizes this and in a few short verses highlights the words and actions of destructive people, and then explains what happens to them in due course.
These are people who desire the demise of less powerful people for their own gain. Hear out some of their desires: “Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause, (vs.11)” and “We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse. (vs. 13,14)”
Solomon cautions the reader before this that one should “hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck. (vs. 8,9)”
We often do not like rules and feel they constrict us, but the understanding here is that your parents’ instruction will protect you from the people Solomon goes on to describe.
(What are laws anyway? They help constrain our actions that hurt others. We should be glad for rules!)
Hear more about these thieves, “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. (vs.16)”, and they want you to join them in their efforts. They want your approval of their actions!
Solomon implores the reader to keep their feet from these killers’ path. Don’t follow where they are going! It leads to loss of life, as Solomon says in sombre conclusion; those who are “greedy for gain” will find their greed will take away their very lives. (vs.19)
Sin will catch up with evildoers one day, and if there has been no repentance, God will not save them. Amen