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Proverbs 4 (New International Reader's Version)

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Wisdom Is Best

1 My children, listen to a father's teaching. Pay attention and gain understanding. 2 I give you good advice. So don't turn away from what I teach you. 3 I was once a young boy in my father's house. I was my mother's only child. 4 My father taught me. He said, "Hold on to my words with all your heart. Keep my commands. Then you will live. 5 Get wisdom. Get understanding. Don't forget my words. Don't turn away from them. 6 Stay close to wisdom, and she will keep you safe. Love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is best. So get wisdom. No matter what it costs, get understanding. 8 Value wisdom, and she will lift you up. Hold her close, and she will honor you. 9 She will set a beautiful crown on your head. She will give you a glorious crown." 10 My son, listen. Accept what I say. Then you will live for many years. 11 I guide you in the way of wisdom. I lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, nothing will slow you down. When you run, you won't trip and fall. 13 Hold on to my teaching. Don't let it go. Guard it well. It is your life. 14 Don't take the path of evil people. Don't live the way sinners do. 15 Stay away from their path. Don't travel on it. Turn away from it. Go on your way. 16 Sinners can't sleep until they do what is evil. They can't rest until they make someone fall. 17 They do evil just as easily as they eat food. They hurt others as easily as they drink wine. 18 The path of those who do what is right is like the first gleam of dawn. It shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day. 19 But the way of those who do what is wrong is like deep darkness. They don't know what makes them trip and fall. 20 My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. 21 Don't let them out of your sight. Keep them in your heart. 22 They are life to those who find them. They are health to your whole body. 23 Above everything else, guard your heart. It is where your life comes from. 24 Don't speak with twisted words. Keep evil talk away from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead. Keep looking right in front of you. 26 Make level paths for your feet to walk on. Only go on ways that are firm. 27 Don't turn to the right or left. Keep your feet from the path of evil.
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