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Proverbs 4-6 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

My sons, listen to a father’s teaching.
    Pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you good advice.
    So don’t turn away from what I teach you.
I, too, was once a young boy in my father’s house.
    And my mother loved me deeply.
Then my father taught me.
    He said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart.
    Keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, and get understanding.
    Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
Stay close to wisdom, and she will keep you safe.
    Love her, and she will watch over you.
To start being wise you must first get wisdom.
    No matter what it costs, get understanding.
Value wisdom highly, and she will lift you up.
    Hold her close, and she will honor you.
She will set a beautiful crown on your head.
    She will give you a glorious crown.”

10 My son, listen. Accept what I say.
    Then you will live for many years.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom.
    I lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, nothing will slow you down.
    When you run, you won’t trip and fall.
13 Hold on to my teaching and don’t let it go.
    Guard it well, because it is your life.
14 Don’t take the path of evil people.
    Don’t live the way sinners do.
15 Stay away from their path and don’t travel on it.
    Turn away from it and go on your way.
16 Sinners can’t rest until they do what is evil.
    They can’t sleep until they make someone sin.
17 They do evil just as easily as they eat food.
    They hurt others as easily as they drink wine.

18 The path of those who do right is like the sun in the morning.
    It shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day.
19 But the way of those who do what is wrong is like deep darkness.
    They don’t know what makes them trip and fall.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen closely to my words.
21 Don’t let them out of your sight.
    Keep them in your heart.
22 They are life to those who find them.
    They are health to a person’s whole body.
23 Above everything else, guard your heart.
    Everything you do comes from it.
24 Don’t speak with twisted words.
    Keep evil talk away from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead.
    Keep looking right in front of you.
26 Think carefully about the paths that your feet walk on.
    Always choose the right ways.
27 Don’t turn to the right or left.
    Keep your feet from the path of evil.

A Warning Against Committing Adultery

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
    Listen carefully to my wise sayings.
Then you will continue to have good sense.
    Your lips will keep on speaking words of knowledge.
A woman who commits adultery has lips that drip honey.
    What she says is smoother than olive oil.
But in the end she is like bitter poison.
    She cuts like a sword that has two edges.
Her feet go down to death.
    Her steps lead straight to the grave.
She doesn’t give any thought to her way of life.
    Her paths have no direction, but she doesn’t realize it.

My sons, listen to me.
    Don’t turn away from what I say.
Stay on a path far away from that evil woman.
    Don’t even go near the door of her house.
If you do, you will lose your honor to other people.
    You will give your self-respect to someone who is mean.
10 Strangers will use up all your wealth.
    Your hard work will make someone else rich.
11 At the end of your life you will groan.
    Your skin and your body will be worn out.
12 You will say, “How I hated to take advice!
    How my heart refused to be corrected!
13 I would not obey my teachers.
    I wouldn’t listen to those who taught me.
14 I was soon in deep trouble.
    It happened right in front of the whole assembly of God’s people.”

15 Drink water from your own well.
    Drink running water from your own spring.
16 Should your springs pour out into the streets?
    Should your streams of water pour out in public places?
17 No! Let them belong to you alone.
    Never share them with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed.
    May the wife you married when you were young make you happy.
19 She is like a loving doe, a graceful deer.
    May her breasts always satisfy you.
    May you always be captured by her love.
20 My son, why be captured by another man’s wife?
    Why hug a woman who has gone astray?

21 The Lord watches your ways.
    He studies all your paths.
22 Sinners are trapped by their own evil acts.
    They are held tight by the ropes of their sins.
23 They will die because they refused to be corrected.
    Their sins will capture them because they were very foolish.

Warnings Against Foolish Acts

My son, don’t promise to pay for what your neighbor owes.
    Don’t agree to pay a stranger’s bill.
Don’t be trapped by what you have said.
    Don’t be caught by the words of your mouth.
Instead, my son, do something to free yourself.
    Don’t fall into your neighbor’s hands.
Go until you can’t go anymore.
    Don’t let your neighbor rest.
Don’t let your eyes go to sleep.
    Don’t let your eyelids close.
As a deer frees itself from a hunter, free yourself.
    As a bird frees itself from a trapper, free yourself.

You people who don’t want to work, think about the ant!
    Consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander.
    It has no leader or ruler.
But it stores up its food in summer.
    It gathers its food at harvest time.

You lazy people, how long will you lie there?
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 You might sleep a little or take a little nap.
    You might even fold your hands and rest.
11 Then you would be poor, as if someone had robbed you.
    You would have little, as if someone had stolen from you.

12 An evil troublemaker
    goes around saying twisted things with his mouth.
13     He winks with his eyes.
    He makes signals with his feet.
    He motions with his fingers.
14     His plans are evil, and he has lies in his heart.
    He is always stirring up fights.
15 Trouble will catch up with him in an instant.
    He will suddenly be destroyed, and nothing can save him.

16 There are six things the Lord hates.

In fact, he hates seven things.

17 The Lord hates proud eyes,

a lying tongue,

and hands that kill those who aren’t guilty.

18 He also hates hearts that make evil plans

and feet that are quick to do evil.

19 He hates any witness who pours out lies

and anyone who stirs up conflict in the community.

A Warning Against Committing Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command.
    Don’t turn away from your mother’s teaching.
21 Always tie them on your heart.
    Put them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you.
    When you sleep, they will watch over you.
    When you wake up, they will speak to you.
23 Your father’s command is like a lamp.
    Your mother’s teaching is like a light.
And whatever instructs and corrects you
    leads to life.
24 It keeps you from your neighbor’s wife.
    It keeps you from the smooth talk of a woman who commits adultery.
25 Don’t hunger in your heart after her beauty.
    Don’t let her eyes capture you.
26 A prostitute can be bought for only a loaf of bread.
    But another man’s wife hunts your very life.
27 You can’t shovel fire into your lap
    without burning your clothes.
28 You can’t walk on hot coals
    without burning your feet.
29 It’s the same for anyone who has sex with another man’s wife.
    Anyone who touches her will be punished.

30 People don’t hate a thief who steals
    to fill his empty stomach.
31 But when he is caught, he must pay seven times as much as he stole.
    It may even cost him everything he has.
32 A man who commits adultery has no sense.
    Anyone who does it destroys himself.
33 He will be beaten up and dishonored.
    His shame will never be wiped away.
34 Jealousy stirs up a husband’s anger.
    He will show no mercy when he gets even.
35 He won’t accept any payment.
    He won’t take any money, no matter how much he is offered.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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