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Proverbs 4Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

A Father’s Example

Listen, my 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 of 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 grace 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 Don’t set foot on the path of the wicked;
don’t proceed in 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. Proverbs 4:23 Or heart with all diligence
  2. Proverbs 4:25 Lit eyelids
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Clear a path

Proverbs 4New International Version (NIV)

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 honor 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 (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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