The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 4:1–27

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Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

Listen, sons, to the discipline of a father, and pay attention, so that you may know prudence.

HEAR, O my children, the instruction of a father, and give ear to knowledge and understanding.

For I give you good doctrine; forsake ye not my teaching.

I will bestow upon you a good gift. Do not relinquish my law.

Because I give you good doctrine, do not forsake my law.

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For I was a son unto my father, tender and an only one in the sight of my mother.

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And he taught me, and said unto me: 'Let thy heart hold fast my words, keep my commandments, and live;

who spoke and instructed me, saying, Let our speech be fixed in thine heart, keep our commandments, forget them not

He taught me, and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live; and let my law be as the pupil of the eye.

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Get wisdom, get understanding; forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth;

and do not neglect the speech of my mouth.

Obtain wisdom, obtain prudence. May you neither forget, nor turn away from, the words of my mouth.

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Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee; love her, and she will keep thee.

And forsake it not, and it shall cleave to thee: love it, and it shall keep thee.

Do not send her away, and she will guard you. Love her, and she will preserve you.

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The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom; yea, with all thy getting get understanding.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all your substance get understanding.

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Extol her, and she will exalt thee; she will bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

Secure it, and it shall exalt thee: honour it, that it may embrace thee;

Love her, and she shall exalt you; embrace her, and she shall honor you.

She will give to thy head a chaplet of grace; a crown of glory will she bestow on thee.'

that it may give unto thy head a crown of graces, and may cover thee with a crown of delight.

She shall put upon your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she bestow upon you.

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10  Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

10  Hear, my son, and receive my words; and the years of thy life shall be increased, that the resources of thy life may be many.

10  Listen, my son, and accept my words, so that years of life may be multiplied for you.

11  I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in paths of uprightness.

11  For I teach thee the ways of wisdom; and I cause thee to go in right paths.

11  I will demonstrate to you the way of wisdom. I will lead you along the paths of equity.

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12  When thou goest, thy step shall not be straitened; and if thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

12  When you have entered by these, your steps will not be constrained, and when running, you will have no obstacle.

12  When you walk, your steps will not be unsteady; and when you run, you will not stumble.

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13  Take fast hold of instruction, let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life.

13  Take hold of my instruction; let it not go, —but keep it for thyself for thy life.

13  Take hold of discipline. Do not dismiss it. Guard it, for it is your life.

14  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and walk not in the way of evil men.

14  Go not in the ways of the ungodly, neither covet the ways of transgressors.

14  Do not delight in the paths of the impious, nor permit the way of evil-doers to please you.

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15  Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass on.

15  In whatever place they shall pitch their camp, go not thither; but turn from them, and pass away.

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16  For they sleep not, except they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

16  For they do not sleep, unless they have done evil. And their sleep is quickly taken away from them, unless they have overthrown.

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17  For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

17  For these live upon the bread of ungodliness, and are drunken with wine of transgression.

17  They eat the bread of impiety, and they drink the wine of iniquity.

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18  But the path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

18  But the ways of the righteous shine like light; they go on and shine, until the day be fully come.

19  The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.

19  But the ways of the ungodly are dark; they know not how they stumble.

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20  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

20  My son, pay attention to my sermons, and incline your ear to my eloquent words.

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21  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thy heart.

21  that thy fountains may not fail thee; keep them in thine heart.

21  Do not let them depart from your eyes; but keep them in the midst of your heart.

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22  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

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23  Above all that thou guardest keep thy heart; for out of it are the issues of life.

23  Preserve your heart with all watchfulness, for life proceeds from this.

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24  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

24  Remove from thee a froward mouth, and put far away from thee unjust lips.

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25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

25  Let your eyes look straight ahead, and let your eyelids precede your steps.

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26  Make plain the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

26  Make straight paths for thy feet, and order thy ways aright.

26  Direct the path of your feet, and all your ways shall be secure.

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27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil.

27  Turn not aside to the right hand nor to the left, but turn away thy foot from an evil way: for God knows the ways on the right hand, but those on the left are crooked: and he will make thy ways straight, and will guide thy steps in peace.

27  Turn aside, neither to the right, nor to the left; yet turn your foot away from evil. For the Lord knows the ways that are on the right, and truly, those that are on the left are perverse. But he himself will make your courses straight. Then your journey will advance in peace.