1Listen, sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and discover what makes sense,
2for what I am passing on to you is reliable. Don't reject my teachings.
3When I was a son with my father—a tender young boy, my mother's only child—
4he was the one who taught me. He told me, “Pay attention to the words I say and keep them in mind; do what I tell you and you will live.
5Get wisdom, find out what makes sense. Don't forget my words or reject them.
6Don't give up on wisdom for she will keep you safe. Love wisdom and she will protect you.
7The first thing in becoming wise is to get wisdom! Whatever else you gain, gain insight.
8Treasure wisdom, and she will praise you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
9She will place on your head a wreath of grace; she will present to you a crown of glory.”
10Listen, my son, if you accept what I tell you, then you will live a long life.
11I have explained to you the way of wisdom; I have guided you along the right paths.
12Nothing will block your way when you walk, you won't stumble when you run.
13Hold on to these instructions—don't let them go. Protect them, for they are life's foundation.
14Don't go the way of the wicked or follow the example of those who do evil.
15Avoid that way completely. Don't go there! Turn away, and walk on.
16Evil people won't rest until they've done something wrong; they can't sleep unless they've tripped someone up.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18The way of life of the good is like the light of the sunrise, glowing brighter and brighter until the full light of day shines out.
19But the way of life of the wicked is like complete darkness; they don't even know what they're tripping over.
20My son, pay attention to what I tell you; listen to the words I'm saying.
21Don't lose sight of them; think about them deeply,
22for they are life to anyone who finds them, and make the whole body healthy.
23Most of all, protect your mind, for everything in life flows from it.
24Don't ever lie, and don't say anything dishonest.
25Focus on what's ahead of you; look at what's in front of you.
26Pay attention to the path you decide to follow, and you'll be safe wherever you go.
27Don't deviate to the right or the left, and turn away from evil.