4 My children, listen to your father’s teaching. Pay attention so you will understand. 2 What I am telling you is good. Do not forget what I teach you. 3 I was once a young boy in my father’s house. I was like an only child to my mother. 4 And my father taught me and said, “Hold on to my words with all your heart. Keep my commands and you will live. 5 Get wisdom and understanding. Don’t forget or ignore my words. 6 Use wisdom, and it will take care of you. Love wisdom, and it will keep you safe. 7 Wisdom is the most important thing. So get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding. 8 Believe in the value of wisdom, and it will make you great. Use it, and it will bring honor to you. 9 Like flowers in your hair, it will beautify your life. Like a crown, it will make you look beautiful.”
10 My child, listen and accept what I say. Then you will have a long life. 11 I am guiding you in wisdom. And I am leading you to do what is right. 12 Nothing will hold you back. You will not be overwhelmed. 13 Always remember what you have been taught. Don’t let go of it. Keep safe all that you have learned. It is the most important thing in your life. 14 Don’t follow the ways of the wicked. Don’t do what evil people do. 15 Avoid their ways. Don’t go near what they do. Stay away from them and keep on going. 16 They cannot sleep until they do evil. They cannot rest until they hurt someone. 17 They fill themselves with wickedness and cruelty as if they were eating bread and drinking wine.
18 The way of the good person is like the light of dawn. It grows brighter and brighter until it is full daylight. 19 But the wicked are like those who stumble in the dark. They can’t even see what has hurt them.
20 My child, pay attention to my words. Listen closely to what I say. 21 Don’t ever forget my words. Keep them deep within your heart. 22 These words are the secret to life for those who find them. They bring health to the whole body. 23 Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life. 24 Don’t use your mouth to tell lies. Don’t ever say things that are not true. 25 Keep your eyes focused on what is right. Keep looking straight ahead to what is good. 26 Be careful what you do. Always do what is right. 27 Do not do anything unless it is right. Stay away from evil.
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