Proverbs (DSS)

Proverbs Dead Sea Scrolls

4Q102 Proverbsa

Language: Hebrew

Date: 30 B.C. - 68 A.D.

Location: Qumran Cave 4

Contents: Proverbs 1:27-2:1


Proverbs 1

27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,

when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind;

when distress and anguish come on you.

28 Then will they call on me, but I will not answer.

They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;

29 because they hated knowledge,

and didn’t choose the fear of Yahweh.

30 They wanted none of my counsel.

They despised all my reproof.

31 Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way,

and be filled with their own schemes.

32 For the backsliding of the simple will kill them.

The careless ease of fools will destroy them.

33 But whoever listens to me will dwell securely,

and will be at ease, without fear of harm.”


Proverbs 2

1 My son, if you will receive my words,

and store up my commandments within you;


4Q103 Proverbsb

Language: Hebrew

Date: 30 - 68 A.D.

Location: Qumran Cave 4

Contents: Proverbs 7:9, 11; 13:6-9; 14:5, 7-8, 10, 12-13, 31-35; 15:1-8, 19-31


Proverbs 7

9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day,

in the middle of the night and in the darkness.


11 She is loud and defiant[1].

Her feet don’t stay in her house.


Proverbs 13

6 Righteousness guards the way of integrity,

but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

7 There are some who pretend to be rich, yet have nothing.

There are some who pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.

8 The ransom of a man’s life is his riches,

but the poor hear no threats.

9 The light of the righteous shines brightly,

but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.


Proverbs 14

5 A truthful witness will not lie,

but a false witness pours out lies.


7 Stay away from a foolish man,

for you won’t find knowledge on his lips.

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to think about his way,

but the folly of fools is deceit.


10 The heart knows its own bitterness and joy;

he will not share these with a stranger.


12 There is a way which seems right to a man,

but in the end it leads to death.

13 Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful,

and mirth may end in heaviness.


31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker,

but he who is kind to the needy honors him.

32 The wicked is brought down in his calamity,

but in death, the righteous has a refuge.

33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding,

and is even made known in the inward part of fools.

34 Righteousness exalts a nation,

but sin is a disgrace diminishes[2] to any people.

35 The king’s favor is toward a servant who deals wisely,

but his wrath is toward one who causes shame.


Proverbs 15

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,

but the mouth of fools gush out folly.

3 Yahweh’s eyes are everywhere,

keeping watch on the evil and the good.

4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,

but deceit in it crushes the spirit.

5 A fool despises his father’s correction,

but he who heeds reproof shows prudence.

6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure,

but the income of the wicked brings trouble.

7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;

not so with the heart of fools.

8 The sacrifice made by the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh,

but the prayer of the upright is his delight.


19 The way of the sluggard is like a thorn patch,

but the path of the upright is a highway.

20 A wise son makes a father glad,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21 Folly is joy to one who is void of wisdom,

but a man of understanding keeps his way straight.

22 Where there is no counsel, plans fail;

but in a multitude of counselors they are established.

23 Joy comes to a man with the reply of his mouth.

How good is a word at the right time!

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise,

to keep him from going downward to Sheol.

25 Yahweh will uproot the house of the proud,

but he will keep the widow’s borders intact.

26 Yahweh detests the thoughts of the wicked,

but the thoughts of the pure are pleasing.

27 He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house,

but he who hates bribes will live.

28 The heart of the righteous weighs[3] answers,

but the mouth of the wicked gushes out evil.

29 Yahweh is far from the wicked,

but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.

Good news gives health to the bones.

31 The ear that listens to reproof lives,

and will be at home among the wise.



[1] The Hebrew letters involved (bet and resh) look similar in the Paelo-Hebrew script

[2] Reading matches the LXX. There is a one letter difference from the MT, and the letters look alike (dalet and resh).

[3] The Hebrew word is absent from the scroll, but implicit.