Proverbs 4:1-6:35

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Get Wisdom at Any Cost 1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.

2I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.

3For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.

4Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.

5Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get get understanding.

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

9She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

10Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.

11I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

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

13Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.

14Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.

15Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.

16For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.

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

18The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

19But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.

20My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.

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

22for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.

23Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

24Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

26Give careful thought to the Or Make level paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Warning Against Adultery 1My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight,

2that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.

3For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;

4but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.

5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

6She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

7Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.

8Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,

9lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity Or years to one who is cruel,

10lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another.

11At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.

12You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!

13I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors.

14And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”

15Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.

16Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?

17Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.

18May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

19A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.

20Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths.

22The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. 23For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.

Warnings Against Folly 1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,

2you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.

3So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion— Or Go and humble yourself, and give your neighbor no rest!

4Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.

5Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

7It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,

8yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

9How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?

10A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—

11and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

12A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,

13who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,

14who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.

15Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

16There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Warning Against Adultery 20My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

21Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.

22When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.

23For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,

24keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.

25Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.

26For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.

27Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?

28Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?

29So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.

31Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.

32But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.

33Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.

34For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.