A Father’s Instruction
1Hear, O children, the instruction of a father,
And pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment.
2For I give you good doctrine;
Do not turn away from my instruction.
3When I was a son with my father (David),
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother (Bathsheba),
4He taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live.
5Get [skillful and godly] wisdom! Acquire understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not turn away from her (Wisdom) and she will guard and protect you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
7The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]!
And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation].
8Prize wisdom [and exalt her], and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
9She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty and glory.”
10Hear, my son, and accept my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11I have instructed you in the way of [skillful and godly] wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be impeded [for your path will be clear and open];
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13Take hold of instruction; [actively seek it, grip it firmly and] do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not go the way of evil men.
15Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16For the wicked cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are deprived of sleep unless they make someone stumble and fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the just (righteous) is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day.
19The way of the wicked is like [deep] darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.
20My son, pay attention to my words and be willing to learn;
Open your ears to my sayings.
21Do not let them escape from your sight;
Keep them in the center of your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them,
And healing and health to all their flesh.
23Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24Put away from you a deceitful (lying, misleading) mouth,
And put devious lips far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly ahead [toward the path of moral courage]
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you [toward the path of integrity].
26Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be steadfast and sure.
27Do not turn away to the right nor to the left [where evil may lurk];
Turn your foot from [the path of] evil.