1Listen, my children, to a father's instruction; pay attention, and learn what understanding is. 2What I am offering you is sound doctrine: do not forsake my teaching. 3I too was once a child with a father, in my mother's eyes a tender child, unique. 4This was what he used to teach me, 'Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles andyou wil live; 5acquire wisdom, acquire understanding, never forget her, never deviate from my words. 6Do not desert her, she will keep you safe; love her, she wil watch over you. 7The first principle of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; at the cost of all you have, acquire understanding! 8Hold her close, and she wil make you great; embrace her, and she wil be your pride; 9she will provide a graceful garland for your head, bestow a crown of honour on you.' 10Listen, my child, take my words to heart, and the years of your life wil be multiplied. 11I have educated you in the ways of wisdom, I have guided you along the path of honesty. 12When you walk, your going wil be unhindered, if you run, you wil not stumble. 13Hold fast to discipline, never let her go, keep your eyes on her, she is your life. 14Do not fol ow the path of the wicked, do not walk the way that the evil go. 15Avoid it, do not take it, turn your back on it, pass it by. 16For they cannot sleep unless they have first done wrong, they miss their sleep if they have not madesomeone stumble; 17for the bread of wickedness is what they eat, and the wine of violence is what they drink. 18The path of the upright is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the ful ness of day; 19the way of the wicked is as dark as night, they cannot tel the obstacles they stumble over. 20My child, pay attention to what I am telling you, listen careful y to my words; 21do not let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart. 22For they are life to those who find them and health to al humanity. 23More than al else, keep watch over your heart, since here are the wel springs of life. 24Turn your back on the mouth that misleads, keep your distance from lips that deceive. 25Let your eyes be fixed ahead, your gaze be straight before you. 26Let the path you tread be level and al your ways be firm. 27Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot clear of evil.
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