Summary: A paraphrase of Proverbs 4 to gain a greater understanding of the Bible.
My Translation of Proverbs 4
In the 50s, youth leaders had young people paraphrase a portion of Scripture as a teaching method. This is a paraphrase of Proverbs 4 that (1) uses modern words, (2) with the same meaning as the Bible, (3) to help us understand the Scriptures.
(v. 1) Pay attention my children, and you will become smart enough to deal with life’s problems The principles I tell you will work if you follow them.
(v. 3) When I was a boy, my father taught these principles to me. They helped me live a good life and they will help you. Let me summarize them.
(v. 5) Learn as much as you can, don’t turn your back on any opportunity to learn how to apply all you know.
(v. 6) Here’s how it works: develop an insatiable appetite for knowledge, because when you get smart, you get ahead.
(v. 7) If you know what works, and you know how to do things, you’ll do more than get along; you’ll come out on top. When you know things--God’s truth--you will be promoted and you will get the prize.
(v. 10) Pay attention to Me, my children, and you will have a long life. I’ve learned these principles from life and if you follow them, you won’t fall or even stumble. You’ll run straight to the goal.
(v. 13) Don’t doubt these principles, and don’t turn your back on them. They will give you a good life.
(v. 14) Watch out for wicked people who are lazy, rebellious and just follow their selfish desires. Don’t hang out with them because they will influence you to turn your back on living for God. Evil people cannot stand it when anyone lives differently than them. They’ll do everything possible to get you to act like them. Hang out with those who love these principles I’ve taught you.
(v. 18) If you will do the right thing, your path will get brighter and brighter each day and you will have a long useful life. The path of lazy and rebellious people gets darker and darker each day and they continually stumble. They have no idea why their life is so tough.
(v. 20) So, My children, pay attention to My principles. Listen carefully, keep your eyes alert, and open wide your heart to God. You’ll live longer and it’ll be worth it, because you’ll live happier.
(v. 23) Here’s the most important principle: keep your heart focused on doing right because the heart will control your actions and attitudes. Don’t even stick your lips out to pout or roll your eyes to be sarcastic. Look others straight in their eyes and be honest with them. Don’t let your buddies turn you to the left or right. Walk straight towards your goal in life.
Proverbs 4 Word Study
(v. 1) “To know understanding,” means “to learn discernment.”
(v. 3) “Only beloved,” in the Hebrew language this means unique, the only one of its kind.
(v. 4) “Keep My commandments,” means “to take heed to” as to obey. “And live,” means in the Hebrew “to live again” as in resurrection life. This doesn’t mean have a full life or good life, but to live after death. Earthly life could be enjoyed without keeping the commandments of God, but those who keep the commandments of God “live again.”
(v. 6) “Preserve thee.” This has the meaning of “to protect” as to protect or build fortifications of a city day in and day out, not just in the time of battle; but constant protection.
(v. 8) “Win.” This word is “because.” The son who obeys the father will have honor, “because” he embraces wisdom.
(v. 9) “A crown,” means diadem. Actually this is the crown that is won in athletics or in battle, not the crown that one inherits by birth.
(v. 9) “Deliver,” means “deliver a person fully and freely.” This is a rare word that occurs only here and one other time in Scripture. It has the idea of a gift, that is given to you without cost, i.e., “fully and freely.”.
(v. 10) “The years of thy life shall be many.” This means, “My sayings shall have a greater blessing to you as you live your life.” Because the phrase, “years of life” is feminine, and the phrase, “my sayings” is feminine, it means you will have quality of life throughout your years, it does not mean you will live longer. However, you will live longer if you obey your father and mother, see Fifth Commandment.
(v. 12) “When thou runnest,” means “if thou runnest.” This means you do not have to run. To walk is an obligation, to run is an option.
(v. 13) “Take fast hold,” means to emphatically snatch, grab or seize. The hiphil makes it emphatic.