1 Listen, children, to a father's instruction, and pay attention so that you may gain discernment. 2 Because I give you good instruction, do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a son to my father, a tender only child before my mother, 4 he taught me, and he said to me: "Let your heart lay hold of my words; keep my commands so that you will live. 5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding; do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 Wisdom is supreme -- so acquire wisdom, and whatever you acquire, acquire understanding! 8 Esteem her highly and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place a fair garland on your head; she will bestow a beautiful crown on you."
10 Listen, my child, and accept my words, so that the years of your life will be many. 11 I will guide you in the way of wisdom and I will lead you in upright paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, and when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; protect it, because it is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked or walk in the way of those who are evil. 15 Avoid it, do not go on it; turn away from it, and go on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they cause harm; they are robbed of sleep until they make someone stumble. 17 For they eat bread gained from wickedness and drink wine obtained from violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness; they do not know what causes them to stumble.
20 My child, pay attention to my words; listen attentively to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your sight, guard them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and healing to one's entire body. 23 Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life. 24 Remove perverse speech from your mouth; keep devious talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look directly in front of you and let your gaze look straight before you. 26 Make the path for your feet level, so that all your ways may be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or to the left; turn yourself away from evil.