Proverbs 4, A Father to his Children
1 Listen, my children, to a father's instruction; pay attention, and learn what understanding is.
2 What I am offering you is sound doctrine: do not forsake my teaching.
3 I too was once a child with a father, in my mother's eyes a tender child, unique.
4 This was what he used to teach me, 'Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles and you will live;
5 acquire wisdom, acquire understanding, never forget her, never deviate from my words.
6 Do not desert her, she will keep you safe; love her, she will watch over you.
7 The first principle of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; at the cost of all you have, acquire understanding!
8 Hold her close, and she will make you great; embrace her, and she will be your pride;
9 she will provide a graceful garland for your head, bestow a crown of honour on you.'
10 Listen, my child, take my words to heart, and the years of your life will be multiplied.
11 I have educated you in the ways of wisdom, I have guided you along the path of honesty.
12 When you walk, your going will be unhindered, if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold fast to discipline, never let her go, keep your eyes on her, she is your life.
14 Do not follow the path of the wicked, do not walk the way that the evil go.
15 Avoid it, do not take it, turn your back on it, pass it by.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have first done wrong, they miss their sleep if they have not made someone stumble;
17 for the bread of wickedness is what they eat, and the wine of violence is what they drink.
18 The path of the upright is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the fullness of day;
19 the way of the wicked is as dark as night, they cannot tell the obstacles they stumble over.
20 My child, pay attention to what I am telling you, listen carefully to my words;
21 do not let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them and health to all humanity.
23 More than all else, keep watch over your heart, since here are the wellsprings of life.
24 Turn your back on the mouth that misleads, keep your distance from lips that deceive.
25 Let your eyes be fixed ahead, your gaze be straight before you.
26 Let the path you tread be level and all your ways be firm.
27 Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot clear of evil.
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