Bible Gateway passage: Proverbs 4 - New International Version (2024)

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Get Wisdom at Any Cost

4Listen, my sons,(A) to a father’s instruction;(B)
pay attention and gain understanding.(C)
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(D) of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.(E)
5Get wisdom,(F) get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;(G)
love her, and she will watch over you.(H)
7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
Though it cost all(I) you have,[b] get understanding.(J)
8Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.(K)
9She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.(L)

10Listen, my son,(M) accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.(N)
11I instruct(O) you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.(P)
12When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.(Q)
13Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.(R)
14Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.(S)
15Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16For they cannot rest until they do evil;(T)
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.(U)

18The path of the righteous(V) is like the morning sun,(W)
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.(X)
19But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;(Y)
they do not know what makes them stumble.(Z)

20My son,(AA) pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.(AB)
21Do not let them out of your sight,(AC)
keep them within your heart;
22for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.(AD)
23Above all else, guard(AE) your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.(AF)
24Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25Let your eyes(AG) look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet(AH)
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27Do not turn to the right or the left;(AI)
keep your foot from evil.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 4:7 Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get
  2. Proverbs 4:7 Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level

Cross references

  1. Proverbs 4:1 : S Pr 1:8
  2. Proverbs 4:1 : Pr 19:20
  3. Proverbs 4:1 : S Job 8:10
  4. Proverbs 4:4 : S 1Ki 9:4
  5. Proverbs 4:4 : Pr 7:2
  6. Proverbs 4:5 : S Pr 2:12; 3:13-18
  7. Proverbs 4:6 : 2Th 2:10
  8. Proverbs 4:6 : S Pr 2:11
  9. Proverbs 4:7 : Mt 13:44-46
  10. Proverbs 4:7 : Pr 23:23
  11. Proverbs 4:8 : S Pr 3:18
  12. Proverbs 4:9 : S Pr 1:8-9
  13. Proverbs 4:10 : Ps 34:11-16; Pr 1:8-9
  14. Proverbs 4:10 : S Dt 11:21
  15. Proverbs 4:11 : S 1Sa 12:23
  16. Proverbs 4:11 : 2Sa 22:37; Ps 5:8
  17. Proverbs 4:12 : S Job 18:7; Pr 3:23
  18. Proverbs 4:13 : S Pr 3:22
  19. Proverbs 4:14 : Ps 1:1; S Pr 1:15
  20. Proverbs 4:16 : Ps 36:4; Mic 7:3
  21. Proverbs 4:17 : Ge 49:5; Ps 73:6; Pr 1:10-19; 14:22; Isa 59:6; Jer 22:3; Hab 1:2; Mal 2:16
  22. Proverbs 4:18 : Job 17:9
  23. Proverbs 4:18 : S Job 22:28
  24. Proverbs 4:18 : S 2Sa 23:4; Da 12:3; Mt 5:14; Jn 8:12; Php 2:15
  25. Proverbs 4:19 : S Pr 2:13
  26. Proverbs 4:19 : S Dt 32:35; S Job 3:23; Pr 13:9; S Isa 8:15
  27. Proverbs 4:20 : Ps 34:11-16; Pr 1:8-9
  28. Proverbs 4:20 : Pr 5:1
  29. Proverbs 4:21 : Pr 3:21
  30. Proverbs 4:22 : S Pr 3:8
  31. Proverbs 4:23 : S 2Ki 10:31
  32. Proverbs 4:23 : Pr 10:11; Lk 6:45
  33. Proverbs 4:25 : S Job 31:1
  34. Proverbs 4:26 : Heb 12:13*
  35. Proverbs 4:27 : S Lev 10:11; S Dt 5:32
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