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Proverbs 4 English Standard Version (ESV)

A Father's Wise Instruction

Hear, O sons, 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, the only one in the sight of my mother,
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, and do not 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 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 graceful garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

10 Hear, my son, 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 the evil.
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 over what they stumble.

20 My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their[b] 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 Ponder[c] the path of your feet;
    then 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 Hebrew know
  2. Proverbs 4:22 Hebrew his
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Proverbs 4 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Get wisdom at any cost

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
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.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: get[a] wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honour you.
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[c] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 4:7 Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get
  2. Proverbs 4:7 Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 4 American Standard Version (ASV)

Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father,
And attend to know understanding:
For I give you good doctrine;
Forsake ye not my [a]law.
For I was a son unto my father,
Tender and [b]only beloved in the sight of my mother.
And he taught me, and said unto me:
Let thy heart retain my words;
Keep my commandments, and live;
Get wisdom, get understanding;
Forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth;
Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee;
Love her, and she will keep thee.
[c]Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom;
Yea, with all [d]thy getting get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote thee;
She will bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her.
She will give to thy head a chaplet of grace;
A crown of [e]beauty will she deliver to thee.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings;
And the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom;
I have led thee in paths of uprightness.
12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened;
And if thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go:
Keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked,
And walk not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it;
Turn from it, and pass on.
16 For they sleep not, except they do evil;
And their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light,
That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness:
They know not at what they stumble.

20 My son, attend to my words;
Incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
Keep them in the midst of thy heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart [f]with all diligence;
For out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a wayward mouth,
And perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on,
And let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 [g]Make level the path of thy feet,
And let all thy ways be [h]established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
Remove thy foot from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 4:2 Or, teaching
  2. Proverbs 4:3 Hebrew an only one.
  3. Proverbs 4:7 Or, The beginning of wisdom is, Get wisdom
  4. Proverbs 4:7 Or, thou hast gotten
  5. Proverbs 4:9 Or, glory
  6. Proverbs 4:23 Or, above all that thou guardest
  7. Proverbs 4:26 Or, Weigh carefully
  8. Proverbs 4:26 Or, ordered aright
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