1My sons, listen to a father’s teaching. Pay attention and gain understanding.2I give you good advice. So don’t turn away from what I teach you.3I, too, was once a young boy in my father’s house. And my mother loved me deeply.4Then my father taught me. He said to me, ‘Take hold of my words with all your heart. Keep my commands, and you will live.5Get wisdom, and get understanding. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.6Stay close to wisdom, and she will keep you safe. Love her, and she will watch over you.7To start being wise you must first get wisdom. No matter what it costs, get understanding.8Value wisdom highly, and she will lift you up. Hold her close, and she will honour you.9She will set a beautiful crown on your head. She will give you a glorious crown.’10My son, listen. Accept what I say. Then you will live for many years.11I instruct you in the way of wisdom. I lead you along straight paths.12When you walk, nothing will slow you down. When you run, you won’t trip and fall.13Hold on to my teaching and don’t let it go. Guard it well, because it is your life.14Don’t take the path of evil people. Don’t live the way sinners do.15Stay away from their path and don’t travel on it. Turn away from it and go on your way.16Sinners can’t rest until they do what is evil. They can’t sleep until they make someone sin.17They do evil just as easily as they eat food. They hurt others as easily as they drink wine.18The path of those who do right is like the sun in the morning. It shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day.19But the way of those who do what is wrong is like deep darkness. They don’t know what makes them trip and fall.20My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words.21Don’t let them out of your sight. Keep them in your heart.22They are life to those who find them. They are health to a person’s whole body.23Above everything else, guard your heart. Everything you do comes from it.24Don’t speak with twisted words. Keep evil talk away from your lips.25Let your eyes look straight ahead. Keep looking right in front of you.26Think carefully about the paths that your feet walk on. Always choose the right ways.27Don’t turn to the right or left. Keep your feet from the path of evil.
English Standard Version
A Father’s Wise Instruction
1Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, (Ps 34:11; Pr 1:8; Pr 2:2; Pr 5:7; Pr 7:24; Pr 8:33)2for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. (Job 11:4)3When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, (1Ch 22:5; Zec 12:10)4he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. (Le 18:5; 1Ch 28:9; Pr 3:1; Pr 7:2; Isa 55:3; Eph 6:4)5Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. (Pr 2:2; Pr 4:1)6Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. (2Th 2:10)7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. (Pr 1:7; Pr 4:1)8Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. (1Sa 2:30; So 2:6)9She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” (Pr 1:9)10Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. (Pr 2:1; Pr 3:2; Pr 4:1)11I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. (1Sa 12:23)12When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. (Job 18:7; Ps 18:36; Ps 119:45; Pr 3:23)13Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. (Pr 3:18; Pr 4:22; Joh 1:4; 1Jo 5:12)14Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. (Ps 1:1; Pr 1:15)15Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.16For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. (Ps 36:4)17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. (Am 2:8)18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. (2Sa 23:4; Job 11:17; Job 22:28; Ps 84:7; Ps 97:11; Isa 60:3; Isa 62:1; Da 12:3; 1Jo 3:2)19The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. (1Sa 2:9; Job 18:5; Isa 59:9; Jer 23:12; Mt 6:23; Joh 11:10; Joh 12:35; 1Jo 2:10)20My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. (Pr 4:10)21Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. (Pr 2:1; Pr 3:21)22For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. (De 32:47; Pr 4:13; Pr 8:35; Pr 21:21; 1Ti 4:8)23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Ps 16:11; Mt 12:35)24Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. (Pr 2:15; Pr 6:12)25Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. (Heb 12:2)26Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. (Ps 119:5; Pr 5:6; Pr 5:21; Heb 12:13)27Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (De 5:32; De 28:14; Jos 1:7; 1Ki 15:5)