CHAPTER 4 The Teacher as Model Disciple[Y] 4 1Hear, O children, a father’s instruction, be attentive, that you may gain understanding! 2Yes, excellent advice I give you; my teaching do not forsake. 3When I was my father’s child, tender, the darling of my mother, 4He taught me and said to me: “Let your heart hold fast my words: keep my commands, and live! 5Get wisdom,[Z] get understanding! Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth. 6Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will safeguard you; 7The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom; whatever else you get, get understanding. 8Extol her, and she will exalt you; she will bring you honors if you embrace her; 9She will put on your head a graceful diadem; a glorious crown will she bestow on you.” The Two Ways[A] 10Hear, my son, and receive my words, and the years of your life shall be many. 11On the way of wisdom I direct you, I lead you on straight paths. 12When you walk, your step will not be impeded, and should you run, you will not stumble. 13Hold fast to instruction, never let it go; keep it, for it is your life. 14[B] The path of the wicked do not enter, nor walk in the way of the evil; 15Shun it, do not cross it, turn aside from it, pass on. 16For they cannot rest unless they have done evil; if they do not trip anyone they lose sleep. 17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18But the path of the just is like shining light, that grows in brilliance till perfect day.[C] 19The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know on what they stumble. With Your Whole Being Heed My Words and Live[D] 20My son, to my words be attentive, to my sayings incline your ear; 21Let them not slip from your sight, keep them within your heart; 22For they are life to those who find them, bringing health to one’s whole being. 23With all vigilance guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life. 24[E] Dishonest mouth put away from you, deceitful lips put far from you. 25Let your eyes look straight ahead and your gaze be focused forward. 26Survey the path for your feet, and all your ways will be sure. 27Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot far from evil.
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