1Listen, children, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention, in order to gain insight;
2for I am giving you good advice;
so don’t abandon my teaching.
3For I too was once a child to my father;
and my mother, too, thought of me as her special darling.
4He too taught me; he said to me,
“Let your heart treasure my words;
keep my commands, and live;
5gain wisdom, gain insight;
don’t forget or turn from the words I am saying.
6Don’t abandon [wisdom]; then she will preserve you;
love her, and she will protect you.
7The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom!
And along with all your getting, get insight!
8Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will bring you honor;
9she will give your head a garland of grace,
bestow on you a crown of glory.”
10Listen, my son, receive what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11I’m directing you on the way of wisdom,
guiding you in paths of uprightness;
12when you walk, your step won’t be hindered;
and if you run, you won’t stumble.
13Hold fast to discipline, don’t let it go;
guard it, for it is your life.
14Don’t follow the path of the wicked
or walk on the way of evildoers.
15Avoid it, don’t go on it,
turn away from it, and pass on.
16For they can’t sleep if they haven’t done evil,
they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
shining ever brighter until full daylight.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness;
they don’t even know what makes them stumble.
20My son, pay attention to what I am saying;
incline your ear to my words.
21Don’t let them out of your sight,
keep them deep in your heart;
22for they are life to those who find them
and health to their whole being.
23Above everything else, guard your heart;
for it is the source of life’s consequences.
24Keep crooked speech out of your mouth,
banish deceit from your lips.
25Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze on what lies in front of you.
26Level the path for your feet,
let all your ways be properly prepared;
27then deviate neither right nor left;
and keep your foot far from evil.