A Father’s Instruction
1Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may gain understanding,
2For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction.
3When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
4Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
5Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
7The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
8Prize 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.”
10Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
15Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.
20My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
23Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
27Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.