4 Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father,
And attend to know understanding:
2 For I give you good doctrine;
Forsake ye not my [a]law.
3 For I was a son unto my father,
Tender and [b]only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4 And he taught me, and said unto me:
Let thy heart retain my words;
Keep my commandments, and live;
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
Forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth;
6 Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee;
Love her, and she will keep thee.
7 [c]Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom;
Yea, with all [d]thy getting get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote thee;
She will bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her.
9 She will give to thy head a chaplet of grace;
A crown of [e]beauty will she deliver to thee.
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings;
And the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom;
I have led thee in paths of uprightness.
12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened;
And if thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go:
Keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked,
And walk not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it;
Turn from it, and pass on.
16 For they sleep not, except they do evil;
And their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light,
That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness:
They know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words;
Incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
Keep them in the midst of thy heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart [f]with all diligence;
For out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a wayward mouth,
And perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on,
And let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 [g]Make level the path of thy feet,
And let all thy ways be [h]established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
Remove thy foot from evil.
- Proverbs 4:2 Or, teaching
- Proverbs 4:3 Hebrew an only one.
- Proverbs 4:7 Or, The beginning of wisdom is, Get wisdom
- Proverbs 4:7 Or, thou hast gotten
- Proverbs 4:9 Or, glory
- Proverbs 4:23 Or, above all that thou guardest
- Proverbs 4:26 Or, Weigh carefully
- Proverbs 4:26 Or, ordered aright