4 Hear, sons, a father’s tuition,
and listen to knowledge of discretion,
2 Because I have given you good doctrine;
do not abandon my instructions.
3 For I was a son of my father’s,
a tender only child before my mother,
4 And he instructed me and said to me
“Let your heart take up my words;
keep my commands and live.
5 Get wisdom, get discretion;
do not forget and do not deviate from the words of my mouth;
6 Do not abandon her but keep her;
love her and she will guard you.
7 The first thing in wisdom is—Get wisdom!
and pay all your assets for discretion.
8 Prize her and she will exalt you,
she will bring you to honor when you embrace her.
9 She will give your head a garland of grace,
will deliver to you a crown of grandeur.”
10 Hear, son, and receive what I say
and it will make your years of life many.
11 I have directed you on the course of wisdom
and set you on level roads:
12 In your walking your steps will not be cramped,
and if you run you will not stumble.
13 Hold fast to discipline, do not let go;
keep her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of wrong-doers
nor tread the course of wicked men.
15 Disregard it, do not pass along it,
sheer off from it and go past,
and are robbed of their sleep if they do not do an injury;
growing lighter and lighter till it is settled day.
19 Wrong-doers’ course is like murky gloom:
they do not know what they will stumble over.
20 My son, listen to my words;
bend your ear to my sayings;
21 Do not let them get away from your eyes;
guard them in the core of your heart,
23 Beyond everything that you take care of keep your heart,
for out of it come springs of life.
25 Let your eyes look right onward
and your gaze be directed straight before you,
26 See to the road for your feet
and let all your courses be steady,
27 Do not turn off to right or left;
Keep your feet aloof from what is bad.