A Father’s Instruction

Listen, my sons, to the (A)instruction of a father,
And (B)pay attention so that you may [a]gain understanding,
For I give you good (C)teaching;
(D)Do not abandon my [b]instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
(E)Tender and (F)the only son in the sight of my mother,
He (G)taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart (H)take hold of my words;
(I)Keep my commandments and live;
(J)Acquire wisdom! (K)Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not abandon her, and she will guard you;
(L)Love her, and she will watch over you.
(M)The [c]beginning of wisdom is: (N)Acquire wisdom;
And with all your possessions, acquire understanding.
(O)Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place (P)on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Listen, my son, and (Q)accept 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 paths.
12 When you walk, your (T)steps will not be hampered;
And if you run, you (U)will not stumble.
13 (V)Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your (W)life.
14 (X)Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil people.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they (Y)cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And [d]they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they (Z)eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the (AA)path of the righteous is like the (AB)light of dawn
That (AC)shines brighter and brighter until the (AD)full day.
19 The (AE)way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they [e](AF)stumble.

20 My son, (AG)pay attention to my words;
(AH)Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 (AI)They are not to escape from your sight;
(AJ)Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are (AK)life to those who find them,
And (AL)healing to all [f]their body.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For (AM)from it flow the springs of life.
24 Rid yourself of a (AN)deceitful mouth
And (AO)keep devious [g]speech far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your [h]gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 (AP)[i]Watch the path of your feet,
And all your (AQ)ways will be established.
27 (AR)Do not turn to the right or to the left;
(AS)Turn your foot from evil.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 4:1 Lit know
  2. Proverbs 4:2 Or law
  3. Proverbs 4:7 Or primary thing is wisdom
  4. Proverbs 4:16 Lit their sleep is robbed
  5. Proverbs 4:19 Or may stumble
  6. Proverbs 4:22 Lit his
  7. Proverbs 4:24 Or lips
  8. Proverbs 4:25 Or eyelids
  9. Proverbs 4:26 I.e., prob. stay on the path

Pitfalls of Immorality

My son, (A)pay attention to my wisdom,
(B)Incline your ear to my understanding,
So that you may (C)maintain discretion
And your (D)lips may comply with knowledge.
For the lips of an [a](E)adulteress (F)drip honey,
And her [b]speech is (G)smoother than oil;
But in the end she is (H)bitter as wormwood,
(I)Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet (J)go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.
[c]She does not ponder the (K)path of life;
Her ways are (L)unstable, she (M)does not know it.

(N)Now then, my sons, listen to me
And (O)do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
(P)Keep your way far from her,
And do not go near the (Q)door of her house,
Otherwise you will give your vigor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10 And strangers will be filled with your strength,
And your hard-earned possessions will go to the house of a foreigner;
11 And you will groan [d]in [e]the end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
12 And you say, “How I (R)hated instruction!
And my heart (S)disdainfully rejected rebuke!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my (T)teachers,
Nor incline my ear to my instructors!
14 I was almost in total ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And [f]fresh water from your own well.
16 Should your (U)springs overflow into the street,
Streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your (V)fountain be blessed,
And (W)rejoice in the (X)wife of your youth.
19 Like a loving (Y)doe and a graceful mountain goat,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be [g]exhilarated always with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an [h](Z)adulteress,
And embrace the breasts of a (AA)foreigner?
21 For the (AB)ways of everyone are before the eyes of the Lord,
And He (AC)observes all his paths.
22 His (AD)own wrongdoings will trap the wicked,
And he will be held by the ropes of his sin.
23 He will (AE)die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his foolishness he will go astray.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 5:3 Lit strange woman
  2. Proverbs 5:3 Lit palate
  3. Proverbs 5:6 Lit That she not watch
  4. Proverbs 5:11 Or at
  5. Proverbs 5:11 Lit your end
  6. Proverbs 5:15 Lit flowing
  7. Proverbs 5:19 Lit intoxicated
  8. Proverbs 5:20 Lit strange woman

Parental Counsel

My son, if you have become a (A)guarantor for your neighbor,
Or have given a handshake for a stranger,
If you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth,
Or caught by the words of your mouth,
Then do this, my son, and save yourself:
Since you have come into the [a]hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and be urgent with your neighbor to free yourself.
Give no (B)sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;
Save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand,
And like a (C)bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the (D)ant, you [b](E)lazy one,
Observe its ways and be wise,
Which, having (F)no chief,
Officer, or ruler,
Prepares its food (G)in the summer
And gathers its provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, you [c]lazy one?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 (H)A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to [d]rest,”
11 (I)Then your poverty will come in like a [e]drifter,
And your need like [f]an armed man.

12 A (J)worthless person, a wicked man,
Is one who walks with a (K)perverse mouth,
13 Who (L)winks with his eyes, who [g]signals with his feet,
Who [h]points with his fingers;
14 Who, with (M)perversion in his heart, continually (N)devises evil,
Who [i](O)spreads strife.
15 Therefore (P)his disaster will come suddenly;
(Q)Instantly he will be broken and there will be (R)no healing.

16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
Seven that are an abomination [j]to Him:
17 (S)Haughty eyes, a (T)lying tongue,
And hands that (U)shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises (V)wicked plans,
(W)Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A (X)false witness who declares lies,
And one who [k](Y)spreads strife among brothers.

20 (Z)My son, comply with the commandment of your father,
And do not ignore the [l]teaching of your mother;
21 (AA)Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you (AB)walk, [m]they will guide you;
When you sleep, [n]they will watch over you;
And when you awake, [o]they will talk to you.
23 For (AC)the commandment is a lamp and the [p]teaching is light;
And rebukes for discipline are the way of life
24 To (AD)keep you from the evil woman,
From the smooth tongue of the foreign woman.
25 (AE)Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her capture you with her (AF)eyelids.
26 For (AG)the price of a prostitute reduces one to a loaf of bread,
And [q]an adulteress (AH)hunts for a precious life.
27 Can anyone take fire in his lap
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can a person walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?
29 So is the one who (AI)goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her (AJ)will not [r]go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
To (AK)satisfy [s]himself when he is hungry;
31 But when he is found, he must (AL)repay seven times as much;
He must give up all the property of his house.
32 One who commits adultery with a woman is (AM)lacking [t]sense;
He who would (AN)destroy [u]himself commits it.
33 He will find wounds and disgrace,
And his shame will not be removed.
34 For (AO)jealousy [v]enrages a man,
And he will not have compassion on the (AP)day of vengeance.
35 He will not [w]accept any settlement,
Nor will he be [x]satisfied though you make it a large gift.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 6:3 Lit palm
  2. Proverbs 6:6 Lit idle one
  3. Proverbs 6:9 Lit idle one
  4. Proverbs 6:10 Lit lie down
  5. Proverbs 6:11 Lit one who moves about
  6. Proverbs 6:11 Lit a man with a shield
  7. Proverbs 6:13 Lit scrapes
  8. Proverbs 6:13 Lit instructs with
  9. Proverbs 6:14 Lit sends out
  10. Proverbs 6:16 Lit of His soul
  11. Proverbs 6:19 Lit sends out
  12. Proverbs 6:20 Or law
  13. Proverbs 6:22 Lit she
  14. Proverbs 6:22 Lit she
  15. Proverbs 6:22 Lit she
  16. Proverbs 6:23 Or law
  17. Proverbs 6:26 Lit a man’s wife
  18. Proverbs 6:29 Lit be innocent
  19. Proverbs 6:30 Lit his soul
  20. Proverbs 6:32 Lit heart
  21. Proverbs 6:32 Lit his soul
  22. Proverbs 6:34 Lit is the rage of
  23. Proverbs 6:35 Lit lift up the face of any
  24. Proverbs 6:35 Lit willing