Proverbs 4:20-22

20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.

Proverbs 4:20 in Other Translations

KJV
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
ESV
20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
NLT
20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.
MSG
20 Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice.
CSB
20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings.

Proverbs 4:20-22 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 4

In this chapter Solomon advises to seek after wisdom, to avoid bad company, and to continue in the right paths of goodness and truth: he excites attention to what he had to say, from the relation he stood in to the persons addressed; from the nature of his instructions, which were good and profitable; and from his own example, in attending to those his parents gave him, Pr 4:1-4; He exhorts above all things to get wisdom, from the superior excellency of it, and from the preservation, promotion, and honour, to be had by it, Pr 4:5-9; and he further enforces big exhortations, from their being the means of a comfortable life, and of the prolongation of it, and of leading in a right way without straitness or stumbling, Pr 4:10-13. And then proceeds to caution against bad company, and going into a bad way of life; which is enforced from the mischief done by those that walk in it, and from the darkness of it, to which the path of the just is opposed, Pr 4:14-19. And the exhortation to attend to and observe his instructions, and keep them, is repeated, from the consideration of their being life and health to them, Pr 4:20-22; and that they might be preserved, and not departed from, direction's are given about ordering the heart, mouth, lips, eyes, and feet, Pr 4:23-27.

Proverbs 4:20-22 In-Context

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Psalms 34:11-16; Proverbs 1:8-9
  • 2. Proverbs 5:1
  • 3. Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 7:1-2
  • 4. S Proverbs 3:8; Proverbs 12:18
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