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Security in Wisdom

Hear, (A)my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
When I was my father’s son,
(B)Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
(C)He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
(D)Keep my commands, and live.
(E)Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
(F)Love her, and she will keep you.
(G)Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
(H)Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head (I)an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
(J)And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have (K)taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, (L)your steps will not be hindered,
(M)And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.

14 (N)Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 (O)For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is [a]taken away unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.

18 (P)But the path of the just (Q)is like the shining [b]sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 (R)The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of (S)life.
24 Put away from you a [c]deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your (T)feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 4:16 Lit. robbed
  2. Proverbs 4:18 Lit. light
  3. Proverbs 4:24 devious

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

Listen, my sons,(A) to a father’s instruction;(B)
    pay attention and gain understanding.(C)
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(D) of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.(E)
Get wisdom,(F) get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;(G)
    love her, and she will watch over you.(H)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
    Though it cost all(I) you have,[b] get understanding.(J)
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.(K)
She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.(L)

10 Listen, my son,(M) accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.(N)
11 I instruct(O) you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.(P)
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.(Q)
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.(R)
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.(S)
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;(T)
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.(U)

18 The path of the righteous(V) is like the morning sun,(W)
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.(X)
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;(Y)
    they do not know what makes them stumble.(Z)

20 My son,(AA) pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.(AB)
21 Do not let them out of your sight,(AC)
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.(AD)
23 Above all else, guard(AE) your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.(AF)
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes(AG) look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet(AH)
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;(AI)
    keep your foot from evil.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 4:7 Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get
  2. Proverbs 4:7 Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level

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