A Father’s Advice About Wisdom
1 Children, listen to your father’s teaching. Pay attention and you will learn how to learn. 2 The advice I give is good, so don’t ever forget what I teach you.
3 When I was my father’s little boy and my mother’s dear son,* dear son Or “only son.” 4 my father taught me this: “Pay attention to what I say. Obey my commands and you will have a good life. 5 Try to get wisdom and understanding. Don’t forget my teaching or ignore what I say. 6 Don’t turn away from wisdom, and she will protect you. Love her, and she will keep you safe.
7 “The first step to becoming wise is to look for wisdom, so use everything you have to get understanding. 8 Love wisdom, and she will make you great. Hold on to wisdom, and she will bring you honor. 9 Wisdom will reward you with a crown of honor and glory.”
10 Son, listen to me. Do what I say, and you will live a long time. 11 I am teaching you about wisdom and guiding you on the right path. 12 As you walk on it, you will not step into a trap. Even if you run, you will not trip and fall. 13 Always remember this teaching. Don’t forget it. It is the key to life, so guard it well.
14 Don’t take the path of the wicked; don’t follow those who do evil. 15 Stay away from that path; don’t even go near it. Turn around and go another way. 16 The wicked cannot sleep until they have done something evil. They will not rest until they bring someone down. 17 Evil and violence are their food and drink.
18 The path of those who live right is like the early morning light. It gets brighter and brighter until the full light of day. 19 But the path of the wicked is like a dark night. They trip and fall over what they cannot see.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. 21 Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. 22 These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them. 23 Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.
24 Don’t bend the truth or say things that you know are not right. 25 Keep your eyes on the path, and look straight ahead. 26 Make sure you are going the right way, and nothing will make you fall. 27 Don’t go to the right or to the left, and you will stay away from evil.
*4:3 dear son Or “only son.”