A Father’s Instruction
1Listen, my sons, to the instruction of a father,
And pay attention so that you may Lit knowgain understanding,
2For I give you good teaching;
Do not abandon my Or lawinstruction.
3When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
4He taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart take hold of my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
5Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not abandon her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
7The Or primary thing is wisdombeginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your possessions, acquire understanding.
8Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
9She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”
10Listen, my son, and accept my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11I have instructed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil people.
15Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And Lit their sleep is robbedthey are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they Or may stumblestumble.
20My son, pay attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21They are not to escape from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them,
And healing to all Lit histheir body.
23Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24Rid yourself of a deceitful mouth
And keep devious Or lipsspeech far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your Or eyelidsgaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 I.e., prob. stay on the path Watch the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be established.
27Do not turn to the right or to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.