Proverbs 4
The Father’s Wisdom
1Children, listen to the instruction of a father,
and be attentive in order to know insight.
2For I have given you good instruction;
do not forsake my teaching.
3When I was a son to my father,
tender and alone before my mother,
4he taught me and said to me,
“May your heart hold fast to my words;
guard my commandments and live.
5Get wisdom and insight;
do not forget and do not turn from the sayings of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her—then she will guard you;
love her and she will keep you.
7The beginning of wisdom: Get wisdom!
With all that is in your possession, gain insight.
8Cherish her and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9She will give a garland for your head;
she shall bestow a crown of glory upon you.”
The Right Path
10Listen, my child, take my sayings,
and the years of your life shall be great.
11In the way of wisdom I have instructed you;
I have led you in the path of uprightness.
12When you walk,#Literally “In your walking” your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
13Seize the instruction! Do not let go!
Guard her, for she is your life.
14In the path of the wicked do not go;
do not walk in the way of those who do evil.
15Avoid it; do not transgress it;
turn away from it and pass by.
16For they will not sleep if they have not done wrong,
and they are robbed of their sleep if they do not cause stumbling.
17For they ate the bread of wickedness,
and they drank the wine of violence.
18But the path of the righteous ones is like the light of dawn,
leading and shining until the day is full.#Literally “is correct”
19The way of the wicked ones is like deep darkness;
they do not know what they stumble over.
Staying the Course
20My child, be attentive to my words;
to my sayings incline your ear.
21May they not escape from your sight;#Literally “eyes”
keep them in the midst of your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them
and healing to the entire body.#Literally “for all his flesh”
23With all vigilance, keep your heart,
for from it comes the source#Or “extremity” of life.
24Remove from yourself deceitful speech,#Literally “crookedness of mouth”
and abolish devious talk#Literally “deviousness of lips” from yourself.
25May your eyes look forward#Or “opposite”
and your gaze be straight before you.
26May the path of your foot be balanced
and all your ways be sure.
27Do not swerve right or left;
remove your foot from evil.
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