Proverbs 4



The Father's Wisdom

1 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding,

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

1 Listen, [my] sons, to a father's discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,

1 Listen, children, to your father's instruction, and pay attention in order to gain understanding.

1 Hear, 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].

2 For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.

2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

2 for I am giving you good instruction. Don't abandon my teaching.

2 I give you sound teaching, so do not abandon my instruction.

2 For I give you good doctrine [what is to be received]; do not forsake my teaching.

3 When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,

3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

3 When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother,

3 When I was a son to my father, not yet strong and an only son to my mother,

3 When I [Solomon] was a son with my father [David], tender and the only son in the sight of my mother [Bathsheba],

4 Then he taught me and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live;

4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

4 he taught me and said: "Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live.

4 he taught me and told me, "Let your heart fully embrace what I have to say; keep my commandments and live!

4 He taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live.

5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

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

5 Get wisdom, get understanding; don't forget or turn away from the words of my mouth.

5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth!

5 Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth.

6 "Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you.

6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

6 Don't abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you.

6 Do not abandon her, and she will protect you. Love her, and she will watch over you.

6 Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you.

7 "The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

7 Wisdom is supreme-so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.

7 Wisdom is of utmost importance, therefore get wisdom, and with all your effort work to acquire understanding.

7 The 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).

8 "Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her.

8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you.

8 Prize her and she will exalt you. Indeed, if you embrace her, she will honor you.

8 Prize Wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you; she will bring you to honor when you embrace her.

9 "She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty."

9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

9 She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty."

9 She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will present to you a crown of beauty."

9 She shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory will she deliver to you.

The Right Path

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings And the years of your life will be many.

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

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years.

10 Listen, my son: accept my words, and you'll live a long, long time.

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

11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths.

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

11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths.

11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom, and I have led you along straight paths.

11 I 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.

12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble.

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

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

12 When you walk, your step will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble.

12 When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.

13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go Guard her, for she is your life.

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

13 Hold on to instruction; don't let go. Guard it, for it is your life.

13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go! Guard wisdom, because she is your life!

13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men.

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

14 Don't set foot on the path of the wicked; don't proceed in the way of evil ones.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, or go along the way of evil men.

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

15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.

15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

15 Avoid it; don't travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by.

15 Avoid it! Don't travel on it! Turn away from it, and pass on by.

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

16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.

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

16 For they can't sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.

16 For they cannot sleep unless they are doing evil, and they are robbed of their sleep unless they cause someone to stumble.

16 For they cannot sleep unless they have caused trouble or vexation; their sleep is taken away unless they have caused someone to fall.

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

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

17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

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

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

18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

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

18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.

18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that grows brighter until the full light of day.

18 But 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].

19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.

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

19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don't know what makes them stumble.

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness, and they do not know what they are stumbling over.

19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

Staying The Course

20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.

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

20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings.

20 My son, pay attention to my words, and listen closely to what I say.

20 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.

21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.

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

21 Don't lose sight of them; keep them within your heart.

21 Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart.

21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body.

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

22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one's whole body.

22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.

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

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.

23 Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.

23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you.

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

24 Don't let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don't let your lips talk deviously.

24 Never talk deceptively and don't keep company with people whose speech is corrupt.

24 Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you.

25 Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

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

25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.

25 Let your eyes look directly ahead; fix your gaze straight in front of you.

25 Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you.

26 Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established.

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

26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.

26 Carefully measure the paths for your feet, and all your ways will be established.

26 Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.

27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.

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

27 Don't turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

27 Do not turn to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

27 Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.



Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.

International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.

New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org