Proverbs 4 Amplified Bible (AMP)
A Father’s Instruction
4 Hear, O children, the instruction of a father,
And pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment.
For I give you good doctrine;
Do not turn away from my instruction.
When I was a son with my father (David),
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother (Bathsheba),
He taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live.
“Get [skillful and godly] wisdom! Acquire understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
“Do not turn away from her (Wisdom) and she will guard and protect you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
“The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]!
And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation].
“Prize wisdom [and exalt her], and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty and glory.”
Hear, my son, and accept my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
I have instructed you in the way of [skillful and godly] wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be impeded [for your path will be clear and open];
And when you run, you will not stumble.
Take hold of instruction; [actively seek it, grip it firmly and] do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not go the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
For the wicked cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are deprived of sleep unless they make someone stumble and fall.
For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just (righteous) is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like [deep] darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.
My son, pay attention to my words and be willing to learn;
Open your ears to my sayings.
Do not let them escape from your sight;
Keep them in the center of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
And healing and health to all their flesh.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you a deceitful (lying, misleading) mouth,
And put devious lips far from you.
Let your eyes look directly ahead [toward the path of moral courage]
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you [toward the path of integrity].
Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be steadfast and sure.
Do not turn away to the right nor to the left [where evil may lurk];
Turn your foot from [the path of] evil.
Proverbs 4 New International Version (NIV)
Get Wisdom at Any Cost
4 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
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 one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.