Admonition to Follow Righteousness and Avoid Wickedness
1Listen, children, to a father’s instruction,
and pay attention so that you may gain discernment.
2Because I give you good instruction,
do not forsake my teaching.
3When I was a son to my father,
a tender only child before my mother,
4he taught me, and he said to me:
“Let your heart lay hold of my words;
keep my commands so that you will live.
5Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak.
6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will guard you.
7Wisdom is supreme – so acquire wisdom,
and whatever you acquire, acquire understanding!
8Esteem her highly and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9She will place a fair garland on your head;
she will bestow a beautiful crown on you.”
10Listen, my child, and accept my words,
so that the years of your life will be many.
11I will guide you in the way of wisdom
and I will lead you in upright paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be hampered,
and when you run, you will not stumble.
13Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
protect it, because it is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of those who are evil.
15Avoid it, do not go on it;
turn away from it, and go on.
16For they cannot sleep unless they cause harm;
they are robbed of sleep until they make someone stumble.
17For they eat bread gained from wickedness
and drink wine obtained from violence.
18But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light,
growing brighter and brighter until full day.
19The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness;
they do not know what causes them to stumble.
20My child, pay attention to my words;
listen attentively to my sayings.
21Do not let them depart from your sight,
guard them within your heart;
22for they are life to those who find them
and healing to one’s entire body.
23Guard your heart with all vigilance,
for from it are the sources of life.
24Remove perverse speech from your mouth;
keep devious talk far from your lips.
25Let your eyes look directly in front of you
and let your gaze look straight before you.
26Make the path for your feet level,
so that all your ways may be established.
27Do not turn to the right or to the left;
turn yourself away from evil.