A Father’s Example
1Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline,a
and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,
2for I am giving you good instruction.b
Don’t abandon my teaching.
3When I was a son with my father,
tender and precious to my mother,
4he taught me and said:
“Your heart must hold on to my words.
Keep my commands and live.c
5Get wisdom, get understanding;d
don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you;
love her,e and she will guard you.
7Wisdom is supreme — so get wisdom.
And whatever else you get, get understanding.f
8Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
if you embrace her, she will honor you.g
9She will place a garland of grace on your head;
she will give you a crown of beauty.”h
Two Ways of Life
10Listen, my son. Accept my words,i
and you will live many years.j
11I am teaching you the way of wisdom;
I am guiding you on straight paths.k
12When you walk, your steps will not be hindered;l
when you run, you will not stumble.m
13Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.n
Guard it, for it is your life.
14Don’t set foot on the path of the wicked;o
don’t proceed in the way of evil ones.
15Avoid it; don’t travel on it.
Turn away from it, and pass it by.
16For they can’t sleep
unless they have done what is evil;
they are robbed of sleep
unless they make someone stumble.p
17They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,q
shining brighter and brighter until midday.
19But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom;r
they don’t know what makes them stumble.s
The Straight Path
20My son, pay attention to my words;
listen closely to my sayings.t
21Don’t lose sight of them;u
keep them within your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them,
and health to one’s whole body.
23Guard your heart above all else,v
for it is the source of life.w
24Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly,x
and don’t let your lips talk deviously.
25Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gazey straight ahead.z
26Carefully consider the pathaa for your feet,ab
and all your ways will be established.
27Don’t turn to the right or to the left;ac
keep your feet away from evil.
a. 4:1 Ps 34:11; Pr 1:8
b. 4:2 Jb 11:4
c. 4:4 Pr 3:1-2; 6:20-23; 7:1-2
d. 4:5 Pr 16:16
e. 4:6 2Th 2:10
f. 4:7 Pr 16:16
g. 4:8 1Sm 2:30
h. 4:9 Pr 1:9; 16:31
i. 4:10 Pr 2:1
j. 4:10 Pr 3:2
k. 4:11 1Sm 12:23
l. 4:12 Jb 18:7; Ps 18:36
m. 4:12 Pr 3:23
n. 4:13 Pr 3:18
o. 4:14 Ps 1:1; Pr 1:15
p. 4:16 Ps 36:4; Mc 2:1
q. 4:18 2Sm 23:4
r. 4:19 Is 59:9-10; Jr 23:12; Jn 12:35
s. 4:19 Pr 24:16; Jn 11:10
t. 4:20 Pr 5:1
u. 4:21 Pr 3:21
v. 4:23 Or heart with all diligence
w. 4:23 Mt 15:19; Mk 7:18-23
x. 4:24 Pr 6:12
y. 4:25 Lit eyelids
z. 4:25 Heb 12:2
aa. 4:26 Or Clear a path
ab. 4:26 Pr 5:6,21; Heb 12:13
ac. 4:27 Dt 5:32-33; 28:13-14; Jos 1:7; 23:6; 1Kg 15:5