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