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Proverbs 4:1–10

A Father’s Example

4 Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline, s

and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,

for I am giving you good instruction. t

Don’t abandon my teaching.

When I was a son with my father,

tender and precious to my mother,

he taught me and said:

“Your heart must hold on to my words.

Keep my commands and live. u

Get wisdom, get understanding; v

don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth.

Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you;

love her, w and she will guard you.

Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom.

And whatever else you get, get understanding. x

Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

if you embrace her, she will honor you. y

She will place a garland of grace on your head;

she will give you a crown of beauty.” z

Two Ways of Life

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, a

and you will live many years. b

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Proverbs 4:1–10 — The New International Version (NIV)

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;

pay attention and gain understanding.

I give you sound learning,

so do not forsake my teaching.

For I too was a son to my father,

still tender, and cherished by my mother.

Then he taught me, and he said to me,

“Take hold of my words with all your heart;

keep my commands, and you will live.

Get wisdom, get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn away from them.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;

love her, and she will watch over you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.

She will give you a garland to grace your head

and present you with a glorious crown.”

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,

and the years of your life will be many.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — English Standard Version (ESV)

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,

and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

for I give you good precepts;

do not forsake my teaching.

When I was a son with my father,

tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,

he taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;

keep my commandments, and live.

Get wisdom; get insight;

do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;

love her, and she will guard you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,

and whatever you get, get insight.

Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;

she will honor you if you embrace her.

She will place on your head a graceful garland;

she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

10 Hear, my son, and accept my words,

that the years of your life may be many.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father,

And attend to know understanding.

For I give you good doctrine,

Forsake ye not my law.

For I was my father’s son,

Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me,

Let thine heart retain my words:

Keep my commandments, and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding:

Forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee:

Love her, and she shall keep thee.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:

And with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her, and she shall promote thee:

She shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace:

A crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings;

And the years of thy life shall be many.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — New Living Translation (NLT)

My children, listen when your father corrects you.

Pay attention and learn good judgment,

for I am giving you good guidance.

Don’t turn away from my instructions.

For I, too, was once my father’s son,

tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.

My father taught me,

“Take my words to heart.

Follow my commands, and you will live.

Get wisdom; develop good judgment.

Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.

Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.

Love her, and she will guard you.

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!

And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.

Embrace her, and she will honor you.

She will place a lovely wreath on your head;

she will present you with a beautiful crown.”

10 My child, listen to me and do as I say,

and you will have a long, good life.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,

And give attention to know understanding;

For I give you good doctrine:

Do not forsake my law.

When I was my father’s son,

Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,

He also taught me, and said to me:

“Let your heart retain my words;

Keep my commands, and live.

Get wisdom! Get understanding!

Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;

Love her, and she will keep you.

Wisdom is the principal thing;

Therefore get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

Exalt her, and she will promote you;

She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.

She will place on your head an ornament of grace;

A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,

And the years of your life will be many.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — New Century Version (NCV)

My children, listen to your father’s teaching;

pay attention so you will understand.

What I am telling you is good,

so do not forget what I teach you.

When I was a young boy in my father’s house

and like an only child to my mother,

my father taught me and said,

“Hold on to my words with all your heart.

Keep my commands and you will live.

Get wisdom and understanding.

Don’t forget or ignore my words.

Hold on to wisdom, and it will take care of you.

Love it, and it will keep you safe.

Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom.

If it costs everything you have, get understanding.

Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great;

hold on to it, and it will bring you honor.

It will be like flowers in your hair

and like a beautiful crown on your head.”

10 My child, listen and accept what I say.

Then you will have a long life.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father,

And attend to know understanding:

For I give you good doctrine;

Forsake ye not my law.

For I was a son unto my father,

Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

And he taught me, and said unto me:

Let thy heart retain my words;

Keep my commandments, and live;

Get wisdom, get understanding;

Forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth;

Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee;

Love her, and she will keep thee.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom;

Yea, with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her, and she will promote thee;

She will bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her.

She will give to thy head a chaplet of grace;

A crown of beauty will she deliver to thee.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings;

And the years of thy life shall be many.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know intelligence; for I give you good doctrine: forsake ye not my law. For I was a son unto my father, tender and an only one in the sight of my mother. And he taught me, and said unto me, Let thy heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get intelligence: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall keep thee; love her, and she shall preserve thee. The beginning of wisdom is, Get wisdom; and with all thy getting get intelligence. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thy head a garland of grace; a crown of glory will she bestow upon thee. 10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of thy life shall be multiplied.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Sons, 

listen to ⸤your⸥ father’s discipline, 

and pay attention in order to gain understanding. 

After all, I have taught you well. 

Do not abandon my teachings. 

When I was a boy ⸤learning⸥ from my father, 

when I was a tender and only child of my mother, 

they used to teach me and say to me, 

“Cling to my words wholeheartedly. 

Obey my commands so that you may live. 

Acquire wisdom. 

Acquire understanding. 

Do not forget. 

Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken. 

Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you. 

Love wisdom, and it will protect you. 

The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom. 

Acquire understanding with all that you have. 

Cherish wisdom. 

It will raise you up. 

It will bring you honor when you embrace it. 

It will give you a graceful garland for your head. 

It will hand you a beautiful crown.” 

10 My son, 

listen and accept my words, 

and they will multiply the years of your life. 

Proverbs 4:1–10 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Listen, children, to a father’s instruction,

and be attentive, that you may gain insight;

for I give you good precepts:

do not forsake my teaching.

When I was a son with my father,

tender, and my mother’s favorite,

he taught me, and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;

keep my commandments, and live.

Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away

from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;

love her, and she will guard you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,

and whatever else you get, get insight.

Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;

she will honor you if you embrace her.

She will place on your head a fair garland;

she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

10 Hear, my child, and accept my words,

that the years of your life may be many.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Children, listen to the instruction of a father,

and be attentive in order to know insight.

For I have given you good instruction;

do not forsake my teaching.

When I was a son to my father,

tender and alone before my mother,

he taught me and said to me,

“May your heart hold fast to my words;

guard my commandments and live.

Get wisdom and insight;

do not forget and do not turn from the sayings of my mouth.

Do not forsake her—then she will guard you;

love her and she will keep you.

The beginning of wisdom: Get wisdom!

With all that is in your possession, gain insight.

Cherish her and she will exalt you;

she will honor you if you embrace her.

She will give a garland for your head;

she shall bestow a crown of glory upon you.”

10 Listen, my child, take my sayings,

and the years of your life shall be great.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV)

My children, listen to a father’s teaching.

Pay attention and gain understanding.

I give you good advice.

So don’t turn away from what I teach you.

I was once a young boy in my father’s house.

I was my mother’s only child.

My father taught me.

He said, “Hold on to my words with all your heart.

Keep my commands. Then you will live.

Get wisdom. Get understanding.

Don’t forget my words. Don’t turn away from them.

Stay close to wisdom, and she will keep you safe.

Love her, and she will watch over you.

Wisdom is best. So get wisdom.

No matter what it costs, get understanding.

Value wisdom, and she will lift you up.

Hold her close, and she will honor you.

She will set a beautiful crown on your head.

She will give you a glorious crown.”

10 My son, listen. Accept what I say.

Then you will live for many years.

Proverbs 4:1–10 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,

And give attention that you may gain understanding,

For I give you sound teaching;

Do not abandon my instruction.

When I was a son to my father,

Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,

Then he taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;

Keep my commandments and live;

Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!

Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;

Love her, and she will watch over you.

“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;

And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

Prize her, and she will exalt you;

She will honor you if you embrace her.

“She will place on your head a garland of grace;

She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings

And the years of your life will be many.