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Proverbs 4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

A Father’s Instruction

Listen, my sons, to the instruction of a father,
And pay attention so that you may [a]gain understanding,
For I give you good teaching;
Do not abandon my [b]instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
He taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart take hold of my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not abandon her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The [c]beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your possessions, acquire understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Listen, my son, and accept my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have instructed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil people.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And [d]they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they [e]stumble.

20 My son, pay attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 They are not to escape from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And healing to all [f]their body.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24 Rid yourself of a deceitful mouth
And keep devious [g]speech far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your [h]gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 [i]Watch the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 4:1 Lit know
  2. Proverbs 4:2 Or law
  3. Proverbs 4:7 Or primary thing is wisdom
  4. Proverbs 4:16 Lit their sleep is robbed
  5. Proverbs 4:19 Or may stumble
  6. Proverbs 4:22 Lit his
  7. Proverbs 4:24 Or lips
  8. Proverbs 4:25 Or eyelids
  9. Proverbs 4:26 I.e., prob. stay on the path
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 4 King James Version (KJV)

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

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