December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Hear, O children, a father's instruction, be attentive, that you may gain understanding!
- Yes, excellent advice I give you; my teaching do not forsake.
- When I was my father's child, frail, yet the darling of my mother,
- He taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart hold fast my words: keep my commands, that you may live!
- "Get wisdom, get understanding! Do not forget or turn aside from the words I utter.
- Forsake her not, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will safeguard you;
- The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom; at the cost of all you have, get understanding.
- Extol her, and she will exalt you; she will bring you honors if you embrace her;
- She will put on your head a graceful diadem; a glorious crown will she bestow on you."
- 2 Hear, my son, and receive my words, and the years of your life shall be many.
- On the way of wisdom I direct you, I lead you on straightforward paths.
- When you walk, your step will not be impeded, and should you run, you will not stumble.
- Hold fast to instruction, never let her go; keep her, for she is your life.
- The path of the wicked enter not, walk not on the way of evil men;
- Shun it, cross it not, turn aside from it, and pass on.
- For they cannot rest unless they have done evil; to have made no one stumble steals away their sleep.
- For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
- The way of the wicked is like darkness; they know not on what they stumble.
- 3 But the path of the just is like shining light, that grows in brilliance till perfect day.
- My son, to my words be attentive, to my sayings incline your ear;
- Let them not slip out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
- For they are life to those who find them, to man's whole being they are health.
- With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life.
- Put away from you dishonest talk, deceitful speech put far from you.
- Let your eyes look straight ahead and your glance be directly forward.
- Survey the path for your feet, and let all your ways be sure.
- Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot far from evil.
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1 [1-9] The sage speaks as a father admonishing his children to secure wisdom at any cost.
2 [10-27] The way of wisdom leads directly to life (Proverb 4:10-13); it is a light that grows brighter (Proverb 4:19). The wise man is bound to shun (Proverb 4:14-17) the dark and violent path of the wicked (Proverb 4:18). Singleness of purpose and right conduct proceed from the heart of a wise man as from the source of life Prov (4:23-26); they save him from destruction on evil paths (Proverb 4:27; 5:21-23).
3  (18)Till perfect day: literally, "till the day is established"; this may refer to full daylight or to noonday.
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