Proverbs, CHAPTER 4
THE TEACHER AS MODEL DISCIPLE
Hear, O children, a father’s instruction,
be attentive, that you may gain understanding!
Yes, excellent advice I give you;
my teaching do not forsake.
When I was my father’s child,
tender, the darling of my mother,
He taught me and said to me:
“Let your heart hold fast my words:
keep my commands, and live!
Get wisdom, get understanding!
Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
love her, and she will safeguard you;
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
whatever else you get, get understanding.
Extol her, and she will exalt you;
she will bring you honors if you embrace her;
She will put on your head a graceful diadem;
a glorious crown will she bestow on you.”
THE TWO WAYS
Hear, my son, and receive my words,
and the years of your life shall be many.
On the way of wisdom I direct you,
I lead you on straight paths.
When you walk, your step will not be impeded,
and should you run, you will not stumble.
Hold fast to instruction, never let it go;
keep it, for it is your life.
The path of the wicked do not enter,
nor walk in the way of the evil;
Shun it, do not cross it,
turn aside from it, pass on.
For they cannot rest unless they have done evil;
if they do not trip anyone they lose sleep.
For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just is like shining light,
that grows in brilliance till perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
they do not know on what they stumble.
WITH YOUR WHOLE BEING HEED MY WORDS AND LIVE
My son, to my words be attentive,
to my sayings incline your ear;
Let them not slip from your sight,
keep them within your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
bringing health to one’s whole being.
With all vigilance guard your heart,
for in it are the sources of life.
Dishonest mouth put away from you,
deceitful lips put far from you.
Let your eyes look straight ahead
and your gaze be focused forward.
Survey the path for your feet,
and all your ways will be sure.
Turn neither to right nor to left,
keep your foot far from evil.