4 Listen, O sons, to the discipline of a father+ and pay attention, so as to know understanding.+ 2 For good instruction is what I certainly shall give to YOU.+ My law DO not leave.+ 3 For I proved to be a real son to my father,+ tender and the only one before my mother.+ 4 And he would instruct me+ and say to me: “May your heart+ keep fast hold of my words.+ Keep my commandments and continue living.+ 5 Acquire wisdom,+ acquire understanding.+ Do not forget, and do not turn aside from the sayings of my mouth.+ 6 Do not leave it,* and it will keep you. Love it, and it will safeguard you. 7 Wisdom is the prime thing.+ Acquire wisdom; and with all that you acquire, acquire understanding.+ 8 Highly esteem it, and it will exalt you.+ It will glorify you because you embrace it.+ 9 To your head it will give a wreath of charm;+ a crown of beauty it will bestow upon you.”+ 10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings.+ Then for you the years of life will become many.*+ 11 I will instruct you even in the way of wisdom;+ I will cause you to tread in the tracks of uprightness.+ 12 When you walk, your pace will not be cramped;+ and if you run, you will not stumble.+ 13 Take hold on discipline;+ do not let go.*+ Safeguard it,* for it itself is your life.+ 14 Into the path of the wicked ones do not enter,+ and do not walk straight on into the way of the bad ones.+ 15 Shun it,+ do not pass along by it;+ turn aside from it, and pass along.+ 16 For they do not sleep unless they do badness,+ and their sleep has been snatched away unless they cause someone to stumble.+ 17 For they have fed themselves with the bread of wickedness,+ and the wine of acts of violence is what they drink.+ 18 But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.+ 19 The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom;+ they have not known at what they keep stumbling.+ 20 My son, to my words do pay attention.+ To my sayings incline your ear.+ 21 May they not get away from your eyes.+ Keep them in the midst of your heart.+ 22 For they are life to those finding them+ and health to all their flesh.+ 23 More than all else that is to be guarded, safeguard your heart,+ for out of it are the sources of life.+ 24 Remove from yourself the crookedness of speech;*+ and the deviousness of lips put far away from yourself.+ 25 As for your eyes, straight ahead they should look,+ yes, your own beaming eyes should gaze straight in front of you.+ 26 Smooth out the course of your foot,*+ and may all your own ways be firmly established.+ 27 Do not incline to the right hand or to the left.+ Remove your foot from what is bad.+
^ Or, “her,” referring to “wisdom.”
^ Or, “And they [the sayings of mine] will become many for you during the years of life.”
^ Or, “do not let [it] alone.”
^ Or, “her.” See vs 6 ftn.
^ Lit., “mouth.”