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A Father’s Wise Instruction

Hear, O sons, the (A)discipline of a father,
And (B)pay attention that you may know understanding,
For I give you [a]sound (C)learning;
(D)Do not forsake my [b]instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
(E)Tender and (F)the only son before my mother,
Then he (G)instructed me and said to me,
“Let your heart (H)hold fast my words;
(I)Keep my commandments and live;
(J)Acquire wisdom! (K)Acquire understanding!
Do not forget and do not turn away from the sayings of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
(L)Love her, and she will guard you.
[c](M)The beginning of wisdom is: (N)Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, acquire understanding.
(O)Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will give (P)for your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Hear, my son, and (Q)receive my sayings
And the (R)years of your life will be many.
11 I have (S)instructed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright tracks.
12 When you walk, your (T)steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you (U)will not stumble.
13 (V)Seize discipline; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your (W)life.
14 (X)Do not enter the path of wicked men
And do not step into the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
(Y)Stray from it and pass on.
16 For they (Z)do not sleep unless they do evil;
And [d]they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they (AA)eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the (AB)path of the righteous is like the (AC)light of dawn,
That (AD)shines brighter and brighter until the (AE)fullness of day.
19 The (AF)way of the wicked is like thick darkness;
They do not know over what they [e](AG)stumble.

20 My son, (AH)pay attention to my words;
(AI)Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 (AJ)Do not let them deviate from your eyes;
(AK)Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are (AL)life to those who find them
And (AM)healing to all his flesh.
23 Guard your heart with all diligence,
For (AN)from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you a (AO)perverse mouth
And (AP)put devious lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead
And even let your eyelids be fixed straight in front of you.
26 (AQ)Watch the track of your feet
And all your (AR)ways will be established.
27 (AS)Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
(AT)Turn your foot from evil.


  1. Proverbs 4:2 Lit good
  2. Proverbs 4:2 Or law
  3. Proverbs 4:7 Or The primary thing is wisdom
  4. Proverbs 4:16 Lit their sleep is robbed
  5. Proverbs 4:19 Or may stumble