Proverbs 4
Contemporary English Version

Advice to Young People

1My child, listen closely

to my teachings

and learn common sense.

2My advice is useful,

so don't turn away.

3When I was still very young

and my mother's favorite child,

my father 4said to me:

“If you follow my teachings

and keep them in mind,

you will live.

5Be wise and learn good sense;

remember my teachings

and do what I say.

6“If you love Wisdom

and don't reject her,

she will watch over you.

7The best thing about Wisdom

is Wisdom herself;

good sense is more important

than anything else.

8If you value Wisdom

and hold tightly to her,

great honors will be yours.

9It will be like wearing

a glorious crown

of beautiful flowers.”

The Right Way and the Wrong Way

10My child, if you listen

and obey my teachings,

you will live a long time.

11I have shown you the way

that makes sense;

I have guided you

along the right path.

12Your road won't be blocked,

and you won't stumble

when you run.

13Hold firmly to my teaching

and never let go.

It will mean life for you.

14Don't follow the bad example

of cruel and evil people.

15Turn aside and keep going.

Stay away from them.

16They can't sleep or rest

until they do wrong or harm

some innocent victim.

17Their food and drink

are cruelty and wickedness.

18The lifestyle of good people

is like sunlight at dawn

that keeps getting brighter

until broad daylight.

19The lifestyle of the wicked

is like total darkness,

and they will never know

what makes them stumble.

20My child, listen carefully

to everything I say.

21Don't forget a single word,

but think about it all.

22Knowing these teachings

will mean true life

and good health for you.

23Carefully guard your thoughts

because they are the source

of true life.

24Never tell lies or be deceitful

in what you say.

25Keep looking straight ahead,

without turning aside.

26 Know where you are headed,

and you will stay

on solid ground.

27Don't make a mistake by turning

to the right or the left.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

© 2006 American Bible Society.  All rights reserved.

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