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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 4

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Wisdom: the Supreme Guide of Men*

1Hear, O children, a father's instruction, be attentive, that you may gain understanding! 2Yes, excellent advice I give you; my teaching do not forsake. 3When I was my father's child, frail, yet the darling of my mother, 4He taught me, and said to me: Let your heart hold fast my words: u 1 Kgs 2, 2ff . keep my commands, that you may live!

5“Get wisdom, get understanding! Do not forget or turn aside from the words I utter. 6Forsake her not, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will safeguard you; 7The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom; at the cost of all you have, get understanding. 8Extol her, and she will exalt you; she will bring you honors if you embrace her; 9She will put on your head a graceful diadem; a glorious crown will she bestow on you.”

The Good and the Evil Way *

10Hear, my son, and receive my words, and the years of your life shall be many. v Prv 3, 2 . 11On the way of wisdom I direct you, I lead you on straightforward paths. 12When you walk, your step will not be impeded, and should you run, you will not stumble. 13Hold fast to instruction, never let her go; keep her, for she is your life.

14The path of the wicked enter not, walk not on the way of evil men; 15Shun it, cross it not, turn aside from it, and pass on. 16For they cannot rest unless they have done evil; to have made no one stumble steals away their sleep. 17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 19The way of the wicked is like darkness; they know not on what they stumble. 18But the path of the just is like shining light, that grows in brilliance till perfect day.*

20My son, to my words be attentive, to my sayings incline your ear; 21Let them not slip out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22For they are life to those who find them, w Prv 8, 35 . to man's whole being they are health.

23With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life. 24Put away from you dishonest talk, deceitful speech put far from you. 25Let your eyes look straight ahead and your glance be directly forward. 26Survey the path for your feet, and let all your ways be sure. 27Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot far from evil.

Notes:

u: 1 Kgs 2, 2ff .

v: Prv 3, 2 .

w: Prv 8, 35 .

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