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Chapter 4

1Listen, sons, to a father’s instruction.

Pay attention and know understanding;

2For I give you sound learning.

Don’t forsake my law.

3For I was a son to my father,

Tender and an only child in the sight of my mother.

4He taught me, and said to me:

“Let your heart retain my words.

Keep my commandments, and live.

5Get wisdom.

Get understanding.

Don’t forget, neither swerve from the words of my mouth.

6Don’t forsake her, and she will preserve you.

Love her, and she will keep you.

7Wisdom is supreme.

Get wisdom.

Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.

8Esteem her, and she will exalt you.

She will bring you to honor, when you embrace her.

9She will give to your head a garland of grace.

She will deliver a crown of splendor to you.”

10Listen, my son, and receive my sayings.

The years of your life will be many.

11I have taught you in the way of wisdom.

I have led you in straight paths.

12When you go, your steps will not be hampered.

When you run, you will not stumble.

13Take firm hold of instruction.

Don’t let her go.

Keep her, for she is your life.

14Don’t enter into the path of the wicked.

Don’t walk in the way of evil men.

15Avoid it, and don’t pass by it.

Turn from it, and pass on.

16For they don’t sleep, unless they do evil.

Their sleep is taken away, unless they make someone fall.

17For they eat the bread of wickedness,

And drink the wine of violence.

18But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light,

That shines more and more until the perfect day.

19The way of the wicked is like darkness.

They don’t know what they stumble over.

20My son, attend to my words.

Turn your ear to my sayings.

21Let them not depart from your eyes.

Keep them in the midst of your heart.

22For they are life to those who find them,

And health to their whole body.

23Keep your heart with all diligence,

For out of it is the wellspring of life.

24Put away from yourself a perverse mouth.

Put corrupt lips far from you.

25Let your eyes look straight ahead.

Fix your gaze directly before you.

26Make the path of your feet level.

Let all of your ways be established.

27Don’t turn to the right hand nor to the left.

Remove your foot from evil.

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