Proverbs 4

Choose what is good and right

1 My children, listen to what your father teaches you. Listen carefully so that you understand what is right. 2 My teaching will help you, so do not refuse it.

3-4 My father taught me when I was a little boy. My mother loved me as her only child. My father said to me,

‘Think carefully about what I tell you.

If you obey my commands, you will live well.

5 Learn to be wise and to understand things properly.

Do not forget my teaching or turn away from it.

6 If you keep hold of wisdom, she will keep you safe.

She will protect you if you love her.

4:6‘She’. In the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is like a woman. See Proverbs 1:20.

7 Learn to be wise, because wisdom is the most important thing to have.

Make sure that you learn to understand things well.

8 Respect wisdom as very valuable, then she will make you great.

If you make her your friend, she will give you honour.

9 Wisdom will bless you, as if you are wearing a beautiful crown on your head.’

10 So listen to me, my child, and accept my teaching. If you do, the years of your life will be many.

11 I am teaching you to be wise, so that you will know the right way to live. 12 As you walk through life, nothing will stop you. Even when you run, you will not fall.

13 Keep hold of my teaching. Do not forget it. Keep it safe because it will give you a good life.

14 Do not join with wicked or evil people. Do not do the things that they do. 15 Keep away from them! Be sure to keep to your own good way of life.

16 Wicked people have to do evil things. They cannot go to sleep unless they have been cruel to someone that day. 17 Evil acts are their food. Violence is their drink.

18 The life of righteous people is like the sun at dawn. It gets brighter and brighter until midday. 19 But the life of wicked people is like a very dark road. They cannot even see what causes them to fall.

20 My child, listen carefully to my teaching and to everything that I tell you. 21 Never forget my words. Keep them safe in your mind. 22 They will give true life to anyone who takes hold of them. They will give health to your whole body.

23 Be very careful to keep your mind safe. The thoughts that you think make you the person that you are.

24 Never tell lies or try to deceive other people.

25 Look straight in front of you to see clearly where you are going. 26 Decide carefully where you are going in life. Then you will be on a good, safe path. 27 Do not walk off your path, to the right side or the left side. Keep away from everything that is evil.