Two issues in Prov 1:1–7 have not been adequately accounted for in the interpretation of the passage as a whole: (1) the grammatical agent(s) of the infinitives in Prov 1:2–4, 6; and (2) the intended audience of Prov 1:1–7. By attributing a distinct agent to 1:4, most interpreters include the “simpletons” and “youth” of 1:4 in the audience of Proverbs, sometimes adding an ideal audience indicated rhetorically in 1:5—the “wise one” who hears. I argue that Prov 1:1–7 casts the “wise” as the ideal, intended audience rather than the “simpletons” and “youth” of 1:4. By addressing pertinent grammatical and rhetorical factors in Prov 1:1–7 in a consistent fashion, I offer a coherent reading of Prov 1:1–7 that views this passage as a tightly knit structure and addresses a single, intended audience.

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