Proverbs 4

Admonition to Follow Righteousness and Avoid Wickedness1

4:1 Listen, children,2 to a father’s instruction,3

and pay attention so that4 you may gain5 discernment.

4:2 Because I give6 you good instruction,7

do not forsake my teaching.

4:3 When I was a son to my father,8

a tender only child9 before my mother,

4:4 he taught me, and he said to me:

“Let your heart lay hold of my words;

keep my commands so that10 you will live.

4:5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;

do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak.11

4:6 Do not forsake wisdom,12 and she will protect you;

love her, and she will guard you.

4:7 Wisdom is supreme13 – so14 acquire wisdom,

and whatever you acquire,15 acquire understanding!16

4:8 Esteem her highly17 and she will exalt you;

she will honor you if you embrace her.

4:9 She will place a fair18 garland on your head;

she will bestow19 a beautiful crown20 on you.”

4:10 Listen, my child,21 and accept my words,

so that22 the years of your life will be many.23

4:11 I will guide you24 in the way of wisdom

and I will lead you in upright paths.25

4:12 When you walk, your steps26 will not be hampered,27

and when you run,28 you will not stumble.

4:13 Hold on to instruction,29 do not let it go;

protect it,30 because it is your life.

4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked

or walk31 in the way of those who are evil.

4:15 Avoid it, do not go on it;

turn away from it, and go on.32

4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they cause harm;33

they are robbed of sleep34 until they make someone stumble.35

4:17 For they eat bread36 gained from wickedness37

and drink wine obtained from violence.38

4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light,39

growing brighter and brighter40 until full day.41

4:19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness;42

they do not know what causes them to stumble.43

4:20 My child, pay attention to my words;

listen attentively44 to my sayings.

4:21 Do not let them depart45 from your sight,

guard46 them within your heart;47

4:22 for they are life to those who find them

and healing to one’s entire body.48

4:23 Guard your heart with all vigilance,49

for from it are the sources50 of life.

4:24 Remove perverse speech51 from your mouth;52

keep devious talk far from your lips.53

4:25 Let your eyes look directly54 in front of you

and let your gaze55 look straight before you.

4:26 Make the path for your feet56 level,57

so that58 all your ways may be established.59

4:27 Do not turn60 to the right or to the left;

turn yourself61 away from evil.62

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