Proverbs 4 (Holman Christian Standard)

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A Father's Example

1 Listen, [my] sons, to a father's discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding, 2 for I am giving you good instruction. Don't abandon my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother, 4 he taught me and said: "Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live.a 5 Get wisdom, get understanding;b don't forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Don't abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 Wisdom is supreme-so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.c 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you. 9 She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty."d

Two Ways of Life

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years. 11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction; don't let go. Guard it, for it is your life. 14 Don't set foot on the path of the wicked; don't proceed in the way of evil ones. 15 Avoid it; don't travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by. 16 For they can't sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. 19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don't know what makes them stumble.e

The Straight Path

20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings. 21 Don't lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one's whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else,f for it is the source of life.g 24 Don't let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don't let your lips talk deviously. 25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gazeh straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the pathi for your feet, and all your ways will be established.j 27 Don't turn to the right or to the left;k keep your feet away from evil.
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