4 My children, listen to your father’s teaching; pay attention so you will understand. 2 What I am telling you is good, so do not forget what I teach you. 3 When I was a young boy in my father’s house and like an only child to my mother, 4 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 Hold on to wisdom, and it will take care of you. Love it, 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 Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great; hold on to it, and it will bring you honor. 9 It will be like flowers in your hair and like a beautiful crown on your head.”
10 My child, listen and accept what I say. Then you will have a long life. 11 I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path. 12 Nothing will hold you back; you will not be overwhelmed. 13 Always remember what you have been taught, and don’t let go of it. Keep all that you have learned; it is the most important thing in life. 14 Don’t follow the ways of the wicked; don’t do what evil people do. 15 Avoid their ways, and don’t follow them. Stay away from them and keep on going, 16 because they cannot sleep until they do evil. They cannot rest until they harm someone. 17 They feast on 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, growing brighter and brighter until full daylight. 19 But the wicked walk around in the dark; they can’t even see what makes them stumble.
20 My child, pay attention to my words; listen closely to what I say. 21 Don’t ever forget my words; keep them always in mind. 22 They are the key to life for those who find them; they bring health to the whole body. 23 Be careful what you think, because 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, and look straight ahead to what is good. 26 Be careful what you do, and always do what is right. 27 Don’t turn off the road of goodness; keep away from evil paths.
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