Proverbs - 4:1-27

      1 Listen, sons, to a father's instruction. Pay attention and know understanding; 2 for I give you sound learning. Don't forsake my law. 3 For I was a son to my father, tender and an only child in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words. Keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom. Get understanding. Don't forget, neither swerve from the words of my mouth. 6 Don't forsake her, and she will preserve you. Love her, and she will keep you. 7 Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding. 8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you. She will bring you to honor, when you embrace her. 9 She will give to your head a garland of grace. She will deliver a crown of splendor to you." 10 Listen, my son, and receive my sayings. The years of your life will be many. 11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom. I have led you in straight paths. 12 When you go, your steps will not be hampered. When you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction. Don't let her go. Keep her, for she is your life. 14 Don't enter into the path of the wicked. Don't walk in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, and don't pass by it. Turn from it, and pass on. 16 For they don't sleep, unless they do evil. Their sleep is taken away, unless they make someone fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more until the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness. They don't know what they stumble over. 20 My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. 24 Put away from yourself a perverse mouth. Put corrupt lips far from you. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead. Fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Make the path of your feet level. Let all of your ways be established. 27 Don't turn to the right hand nor to the left. Remove your foot from evil.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Proverbs 4.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

The preceptor calls his pupils, and tells them how himself was educated, Proverbs 4:1-4; specifies the teachings he received, Proverbs 4:5-19; and exhorts his pupil to persevere in well-doing, and to avoid evil, Proverbs 4:20-27.

In this chapter Solomon advises to seek after wisdom, to avoid bad company, and to continue in the right paths of goodness and truth: he excites attention to what he had to say, from the relation he stood in to the persons addressed; from the nature of his instructions, which were good and profitable; and from his own example, in attending to those his parents gave him, Proverbs 4:1; He exhorts above all things to get wisdom, from the superior excellency of it, and from the preservation, promotion, and honour, to be had by it, Proverbs 4:5; and he further enforces big exhortations, from their being the means of a comfortable life, and of the prolongation of it, and of leading in a right way without straitness or stumbling, Proverbs 4:10. And then proceeds to caution against bad company, and going into a bad way of life; which is enforced from the mischief done by those that walk in it, and from the darkness of it, to which the path of the just is opposed, Proverbs 4:14. And the exhortation to attend to and observe his instructions, and keep them, is repeated, from the consideration of their being life and health to them, Proverbs 4:20; and that they might be preserved, and not departed from, direction's are given about ordering the heart, mouth, lips, eyes, and feet, Proverbs 4:23.

(Proverbs 4:1-13) Exhortation to the study of wisdom.
(Proverbs 4:14-27) Cautions against bad company, Exhortation to faith and holiness.

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