Proverbs 4 NIV

Wisdom Is Supreme

1 Listen, my sons,1 to a father's instruction;2 pay attention and gain understanding.3

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2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said, "Lay hold4 of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.5

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5 Get wisdom,6 get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.

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6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;7 love her, and she will watch over you.8

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7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all9 you have,a get understanding.10

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    • a 4:7 - Or "Whatever else you get"
      8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.11

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      9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.12"

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      10 Listen, my son,13 accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.14

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      11 I guide15 you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.16

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      12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.17

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      13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.18

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      14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.19

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      15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.
      16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;20 they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.

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      17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.21

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      18 The path of the righteous22 is like the first gleam of dawn,23 shining ever brighter till the full light of day.24

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      19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;25 they do not know what makes them stumble.26

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      20 My son,27 pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.28

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      21 Do not let them out of your sight,29 keep them within your heart;

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      22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.30

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      23 Above all else, guard31 your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.32

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      24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
      25 Let your eyes33 look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.

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      26 Make levelb paths for your feet34 and take only ways that are firm.

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        • b 4:26 - Or "Consider the"
          27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;35 keep your foot from evil.

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