Proverbs 4:1-25

Proverbs 4:1-2-23-27 The Message (MSG)

Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live. I’m giving you good counsel; don’t let it go in one ear and out the other. When I was a boy at my father’s knee, the pride and joy of my mother, He would sit me down and drill me: “Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live! Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding! Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch! Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life; love her—she keeps her eye on you. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious. She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.” Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life. I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns. Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip. Guard it well—your life is at stake! Don’t take Wicked Bypass; don’t so much as set foot on that road. Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth. Make a detour and be on your way. Evil people are restless unless they’re making trouble; They can’t get a good night’s sleep unless they’ve made life miserable for somebody. Perversity is their food and drink, violence their drug of choice. The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker— travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces. Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.

Proverbs 4:1-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding, For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction. When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.” Hear, my son, and accept my sayings And the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

Proverbs 4:1-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child. My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you. She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.” My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble. They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence! The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over. My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

Proverbs 4:1-25 King James Version (KJV)

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Proverbs 4:1-25 New Century Version (NCV)

My children, listen to your father’s teaching; pay attention so you will understand. What I am telling you is good, so do not forget what I teach you. When I was a young boy in my father’s house and like an only child to my mother, my father taught me and said, “Hold on to my words with all your heart. Keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom and understanding. Don’t forget or ignore my words. Hold on to wisdom, and it will take care of you. Love it, and it will keep you safe. Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding. Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great; hold on to it, and it will bring you honor. It will be like flowers in your hair and like a beautiful crown on your head.” My child, listen and accept what I say. Then you will have a long life. I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path. Nothing will hold you back; you will not be overwhelmed. Always remember what you have been taught, and don’t let go of it. Keep all that you have learned; it is the most important thing in life. Don’t follow the ways of the wicked; don’t do what evil people do. Avoid their ways, and don’t follow them. Stay away from them and keep on going, because they cannot sleep until they do evil. They cannot rest until they harm someone. They feast on wickedness and cruelty as if they were eating bread and drinking wine. The way of the good person is like the light of dawn, growing brighter and brighter until full daylight. But the wicked walk around in the dark; they can’t even see what makes them stumble. My child, pay attention to my words; listen closely to what I say. Don’t ever forget my words; keep them always in mind. They are the key to life for those who find them; they bring health to the whole body. Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Don’t use your mouth to tell lies; don’t ever say things that are not true. Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good.

Proverbs 4:1-25 American Standard Version (ASV)

Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father, And attend to know understanding: For I give you good doctrine; Forsake ye not my law. For I was a son unto my father, Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. And he taught me, and said unto me: Let thy heart retain my words; Keep my commandments, and live; Get wisdom, get understanding; Forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth; Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee; Love her, and she will keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; Yea, with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote thee; She will bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She will give to thy head a chaplet of grace; A crown of beauty will she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; And the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in paths of uprightness. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; And if thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: Keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, And walk not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it; Turn from it, and pass on. For they sleep not, except they do evil; And their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; Incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; Keep them in the midst of thy heart. For they are life unto those that find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a wayward mouth, And perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, And let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Proverbs 4:1-25 New International Version (NIV)

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

PROVERBS 4:1-25 The Amplified Bible (AMP)

Hear, O children, the instruction of a father, And pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment. For I give you good doctrine; Do not turn away from my instruction. When I was a son with my father (David), Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother (Bathsheba), He taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live. Get [skillful and godly] wisdom! Acquire understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not turn away from her (Wisdom) and she will guard and protect you; Love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]! And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]. Prize wisdom [and exalt her], and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty and glory.” Hear, my son, and accept my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. I have instructed you in the way of [skillful and godly] wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded [for your path will be clear and open]; And when you run, you will not stumble. Take hold of instruction; [actively seek it, grip it firmly and] do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not go the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. For the wicked cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are deprived of sleep unless they make someone stumble and fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just (righteous) is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like [deep] darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. My son, pay attention to my words and be willing to learn; Open your ears to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; Keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, And healing and health to all their flesh. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful (lying, misleading) mouth, And put devious lips far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead [toward the path of moral courage] And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you [toward the path of integrity].

Proverbs 4:1-25 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Listen to my correction, my sons, for I speak to you as your father. Let discernment enter your heart and you will grow wise with the understanding I impart. My revelation-truth is a gift to you, so remain faithful to my instruction. For I, too, was once the delight of my father and cherished by my mother, their beloved child. Then my father taught me, saying, “Never forget my words. If you do everything that I teach you, you will reign in life.” So make wisdom your quest— search for the revelation of life’s meaning. Don’t let what I say go in one ear and out the other. Stick with wisdom and she will stick to you, protecting you throughout your days. She will rescue all those who passionately listen to her voice. Wisdom is the most valuable commodity—so buy it! Revelation knowledge is what you need—so invest in it! Wisdom will exalt you when you exalt her truth. She will lead you to honor and favor when you live your life by her insights. You will be adorned with beauty and grace, and wisdom’s glory will wrap itself around you, making you victorious in the race. My son, if you will take the time to stop and listen to me and embrace what I say, you will live a long and happy life full of understanding in every way. I have taken you by the hand in wisdom’s ways, pointing you to the path of integrity. Your progress will have no limits when you come along with me, and you will never stumble as you walk along the way. So receive my correction no matter how hard it is to swallow, for wisdom will snap you back into place— her words will be invigorating life to you. Do not detour into darkness or even set foot on that path. Stay away from it; don’t even go there! For troublemakers are restless if they are not involved in evil. They are not satisfied until they have brought someone harm. They feed on darkness and drink until they’re drunk on the wine of wickedness. But the lovers of God walk on the highway of light, and their way shines brighter and brighter until they bring forth the perfect day. But the wicked walk in thick darkness, like those who travel in fog, and yet don’t have a clue why they keep stumbling! Listen carefully, my dear child, to everything that I teach you, and pay attention to all that I have to say. Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life. Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words. Be free from using perverse words no matter what! Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions.

Proverbs 4:1-25 English Standard Version (ESV)

Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown." Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.