Common English Bible
4 Hear, children, fatherly instruction;
pay attention to gain understanding.
2 I’ll teach you well.
Don’t abandon my instruction.
3 When I was a son to my father,
tender and my mother’s favorite,
4 he taught me and said to me:
“Let your heart hold on to my words:
Keep my commands and live.
5 Get wisdom; get understanding.
Don’t forget and don’t turn away from my words.
6 Don’t abandon her, and she will guard you.
Love her, and she will protect you.
7 The beginning of wisdom:
Get understanding before anything else.
8 Highly esteem her, and she will exalt you.
She will honor you if you embrace her.
9 She will place a graceful wreath on your head;
she will give you a glorious crown.”
Stay on the path of wisdom
10 Listen, my son, and take in my speech,
then the years of your life will be many.
11 I teach you the path of wisdom.
I lead you in straight courses.
12 When you walk, you won’t be hindered;
when you run, you won’t stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; don’t slack off;
protect it, for it is your life.
14 Don’t go on the way of the wicked;
don’t walk on the path of evil people.
15 Avoid it! Don’t turn onto it;
stay off of it and keep going!
16 They don’t sleep unless they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of evil,
and they drink the wine of violence.
18 The way of the righteous is like morning light
that gets brighter and brighter till it is full day.
19 The path of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they don’t know where they will stumble.
Be careful about what you say
20 My son, pay attention to my words.
Bend your ear to my speech.
21 Don’t let them slip from your sight.
Guard them in your mind.
22 They are life to those who find them,
and healing for their entire body.
23 More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.
24 Have nothing to do with a corrupt mouth;
keep devious lips far from you.
25 Focus your eyes straight ahead;
keep your gaze on what is in front of you.
26 Watch your feet on the way,
and all your paths will be secure.
27 Don’t deviate a bit to the right or the left;
turn your feet away from evil.