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A Father’s Lesson: Get Wisdom!

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction.
Pay attention, to gain understanding.
For I give you sound learning—
do not forsake my instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
tender and special to my mother,
he taught me and said to me:
    “Lay hold of my words in your heart,
    keep my commands and you will live!
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you.
    Love her, and she will watch over you.
Wisdom is supreme—acquire wisdom!
    With all your acquisitions, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you.
    She will honor you when you embrace her.
She will set a garland of grace on your head.
    She will give you a crown of glory.”

Ways of Wisdom and Wickedness

10 Listen, my son, and accept my words,
so the years of your life will be many.
11 I instructed you in the way of wisdom.
I have guided you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your step will not be hindered,
and when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on tightly to instruction, do not let it go—
guard it, for it is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evil people.
15 Avoid it—do not travel on it—
turn away from it and pass by.
16 For they cannot sleep until they do evil.
They are robbed of sleep until they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
shining brighter and brighter until the full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness.
They do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to my words—
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them
and health to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart diligently,
for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth,
and keep devious lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead,
and fix your gaze straight in front of you.
26 Clear a level path for your feet,
so all your ways will be firm.
27 Do not turn to the right or to the left.
Divert your foot from evil.