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Proverbs 4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

A Father’s Example

Listen, sons, to a father’s discipline,
and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,
for I am giving you good instruction.
Don’t abandon my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender and precious to my mother,
he taught me and said:
“Your heart must hold on to my words.
Keep my commands and live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth.
Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you;
love her, and she will guard you.
Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom.
And whatever else you get, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
if you embrace her, she will honor you.
She will place a garland of favor on your head;
she will give you a crown of beauty.”

Two Ways of Life

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom;
I am guiding you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.
Guard it, for it is your life.
14 Keep off the path of the wicked;
don’t proceed on the way of evil ones.
15 Avoid it; don’t travel on it.
Turn away from it, and pass it by.
16 For they can’t sleep
unless they have done what is evil;
they are robbed of sleep
unless 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 light of dawn,
shining brighter and brighter until midday.
19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom;
they don’t know what makes them stumble.

The Straight Path

20 My son, pay attention to my words;
listen closely to my sayings.
21 Don’t lose sight of them;
keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else,[a]
for it is the source of life.
24 Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly,
and don’t let your lips talk deviously.
25 Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze[b] straight ahead.
26 Carefully consider the path[c] for your feet,
and all your ways will be established.
27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left;
keep your feet away from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:23 Or heart with all diligence
  2. 4:25 Lit eyelids
  3. 4:26 Or Clear a path
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Parental Advice

Listen, children, to a father’s instruction,
    and be attentive, that you may gain[a] insight;
for I give you good precepts:
    do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
    tender, and my mother’s favorite,
he taught me, and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away
    from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever else you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
    she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a fair garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

Admonition to Keep to the Right Path

10 Hear, my child, and accept my words,
    that the years of your life may be many.
11 I have taught you the way of wisdom;
    I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
    and if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what they stumble over.
20 My child, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Keep straight the path of your feet,
    and all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 4:1 Heb know
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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