1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.
2 For I give you sound teaching; do not abandon my directive.
3 When I was a son to my father, tender and the only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said, “Let your heart lay hold of my words; keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will guard you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; so acquire wisdom. And whatever you may acquire, gain understanding.
8 Prize her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head; she will present you with a crown of beauty.”
10 Listen, my son, and receive my words, and the years of your life will be many.
11 I will guide you in the way of wisdom; I will lead you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; do not let go. Guard it, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it; do not travel on it. Turn from it and pass on by.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; they are deprived of slumber until they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.
19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not lose sight of them; keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to the whole body.
23 Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.
24 Put away deception from your mouth; keep your lips from perverse speech.
25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.
26 Make a level path for your feet, and all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your feet away from evil.