4 Hear, sons, a father’s tuition,and listen to knowledge of discretion, 2 Because I have given you good doctrine;do not abandon my instructions. 3 For I was a son of my father’s,a tender only child before my mother, 4 And he instructed me and said to me“Let your heart take up my words;keep my commands and live. 5 Get wisdom, get discretion;do not forget and do not deviate from the words of my mouth; 6 Do not abandon her but keep her;love her and she will guard you. 7 The first thing in wisdom is—Get wisdom!and pay all your assets for discretion. 8 Prize her and she will exalt you,she will bring you to honor when you embrace her. 9 She will give your head a garland of grace,will deliver to you a crown of grandeur.” 10 Hear, son, and receive what I sayand it will make your years of life many. 11 I have directed you on the course of wisdomand set you on level roads: 12 In your walking your steps will not be cramped,and if you run you will not stumble. 13 Hold fast to discipline, do not let go;keep her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of wrong-doersnor tread the course of wicked men. 15 Disregard it, do not pass along it,sheer off from it and go past, 16 * Because they do not get to sleep unless they have done something badand are robbed of their sleep if they do not do an injury; 17 * For they feed on wrong-doing for breadand drink outrages for their wine. 18 * But right-doers’ path is like the rays of light,growing lighter and lighter till it is settled day. 19 Wrong-doers’ course is like murky gloom:they do not know what they will stumble over. 20 My son, listen to my words;bend your ear to my sayings; 21 Do not let them get away from your eyes;guard them in the core of your heart, 22 ** Because they are life for him who finds themand soundness for all his flesh. 23 Beyond everything that you take care of keep your heart,for out of it come springs of life. 24 * Keep crookedness aloof from your mouthand shiftiness far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look right onwardand your gaze be directed straight before you, 26 See to the road for your feetand let all your courses be steady, 27 Do not turn off to right or left;Keep your feet aloof from what is bad.
^ 4:16 Lit. do not cause a stumble
^ 4:17 Lit. feed on bread of wrong-doing and drink wine of outrages
^ 4:18 Conj. that verse 18 belongs after verse 19
^ 4:22 Codd. those who find (but his in next line)
^ 4:22 Lit. and healing for
^ 4:24 Lit. Keep crookedness of mouth aloof from you and shiftiness of lips far from you