4 1HEAR, MY sons, the instruction of a father, and pay attention in order to gain and to know intelligent discernment, comprehension, and interpretation [of spiritual matters]. 2For I give you good doctrine [what is to be received]; do not forsake my teaching. 3When I [Solomon] was a son with my father [David], tender and the only son in the sight of my mother [Bathsheba], 4He taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live. 5Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth. 6Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you. 7The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation). 8Prize Wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you; she will bring you to honor when you embrace her. 9She shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory will she deliver to you. 10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many. 11I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness. 12When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble. 13Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15Avoid it, do not go on it; turn from it and pass on. 16For they cannot sleep unless they have caused trouble or vexation; their sleep is taken away unless they have caused someone to fall. 17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]. 19The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. 20My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. 21Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. 22For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. 23Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. 24Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you. 25Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. 26Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. 27Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.
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