A Father's Instruction

1 Hear, O sons, the 1instruction of a father, And 2give attention that you may gain understanding,

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2 For I give you sound 3teaching; 4Do not abandon my instruction.

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3 When I was a son to my father, 5Tender and 6the only son in the sight of my mother,

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4 Then he 7taught me and said to me, "Let your heart 8hold fast my words; 9Keep my commandments and live;

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5 10Acquire wisdom! 11Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

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6 "Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; 12Love her, and she will watch over you.

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7 "13The beginning of wisdom is: 14Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

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    • d 4:7 - Or "the primary thing is wisdom"
      8 "15Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her.

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      9 "She will place 16on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty."

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      10 Hear, my son, and 17accept my sayings And the 18years of your life will be many.

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      11 I have 19directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths.

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      12 When you walk, your 20steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you 21will not stumble.

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      13 22Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your 23life.

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      14 24Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men.

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      15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.
      16 For they 25cannot sleep unless * they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless * they make someone stumble.

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        • e 4:16 - Lit "their sleep is robbed"
          17 For they 26eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of violence.

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          18 But the 27path of the righteous is like the 28light of dawn, That 29shines brighter and brighter until the 30full day.

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          19 The 31way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they 32stumble.

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          20 My son, 33give attention to my words; 34Incline your ear to my sayings.

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          21 35Do not let them depart from your sight; 36Keep them in the midst of your heart.

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          22 For they are 37life to those who find them And 38health to all their body.

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          23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For 39from it flow the springs of life.

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          24 Put away from you a 40deceitful mouth And 41put devious speech far from you.

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          25 Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

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            • i 4:25 - Or "eyelids"
              26 42Watch the path of your feet And all your 43ways will be established.

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              27 44Do not turn to the right nor to the left; 45Turn your foot from evil.

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