7 The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and discipline.
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ז יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה רֵאשִׁית דָּעַת חָכְמָה וּמוּסָר אֱוִילִים בָּזוּ׃
1:7 The fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge
Sefer Mishlei contains the collected wisdom of Shlomo, the wisest king to sit on the throne in Israel. This verse sets the tone for the entire book of Mishlei. Once King Solomon has set out his purpose — to impart wisdom — in writing, he begins by identifying fear of Hashem as the root of that wisdom. Without awe of God, knowledge is empty and can be twisted for any number of negative purposes.