Admonition to Follow Righteousness and Avoid Wickedness
4:1 Listen, children, to a father’s instruction,
and pay attention so that you may gain discernment.
4:2 Because I give you good instruction,
do not forsake my teaching.
4:3 When I was a son to my father,
a tender only child before my mother,
4:4 he taught me, and he said to me:
“Let your heart lay hold of my words;
keep my commands so that you will live.
4:5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak.
4:6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will guard you.
4:7 Wisdom is supreme –
so acquire wisdom,
and whatever you acquire, acquire understanding!
4:8 Esteem her highly and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
4:9 She will place a fair garland on your head;
she will bestow a beautiful crown on you.”
4:10 Listen, my child, and accept my words,
so that the years of your life will be many.
4:11 I will guide you in the way of wisdom
and I will lead you in upright paths.
4:12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered,
and when you run, you will not stumble.
4:13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
protect it, because it is your life.
4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of those who are evil.
4:15 Avoid it, do not go on it;
turn away from it, and go on.
4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they cause harm;
they are robbed of sleep until they make someone stumble.
4:17 For they eat bread gained from wickedness
and drink wine obtained from violence.
4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light,
growing brighter and brighter until full day.
4:19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness;
they do not know what causes them to stumble.
4:20 My child, pay attention to my words;
listen attentively to my sayings.
4:21 Do not let them depart from your sight,
guard them within your heart;
4:22 for they are life to those who find them
and healing to one’s entire body.
4:23 Guard your heart with all vigilance,
for from it are the sources of life.
4:24 Remove perverse speech from your mouth;
keep devious talk far from your lips.
4:25 Let your eyes look directly in front of you
and let your gaze look straight before you.
4:26 Make the path for your feet level,
so that all your ways may be established.
4:27 Do not turn to the right or to the left;
turn yourself away from evil.