The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Proverbs
Sons of mine, take a lesson from your father; a lesson that will make discerning men of you, will you but heed it.
A precious heirloom it is, the tradition I teach, not to be lightly bartered away.
Time was when I had a father of my own; and when I was but a boy, my mother’s darling,
in such words as these he would teach me: Ever be thy heart true to my bidding; if thrive thou wouldst, hold fast the charge I give thee.
Wisdom be thy quest, thy quest discernment still; thy father’s apt and faithful pupil,
keep her at thy side, thy guardian; cherish her, thy preserver.
Wisdom be thy chief thought, make discernment thine at all hazards;
her attainment exalts, her embrace ennobles thee;
a wreath of fresh graces she will give thee, a crown of glory, to overshadow thy brow.
Listen, then, my son, and master the charge I give thee, as thou wouldst have long life.
Here lies the road to wisdom, here is the path that will bring thee straight to thy goal;
here thou mayst walk unhampered, run without fear of stumbling.
Hold fast by the instruction thou hast received, and never let it go; guard it as thou wouldst guard thy life.
For godless ways and the example of sinful men have thou neither love nor liking;
shun their haunts and turn thy back upon them.
Rest they never without some ill deed done; some traveller’s feet must stumble, or they lie sleepless on their beds;
godlessness is the very bread they eat, they crave for wrong-doing as for wine.
See how the path of the just grows ever brighter, like the light of dawn opening out into full day!
But these, the sinners, are fain to walk on in darkness, surprised by every fall.
Hear then and heed, my son, these words of warning;
never lose sight of them, cherish them in thy inmost heart;
let a man master them, they will bring life and healing to his whole being.
Use all thy watchfulness to keep thy heart true; that is the fountain whence life springs.
Far, very far from thy tongue be the cheating word, from thy lips the whisper of calumny;
let thy eyes see straight, thy gaze ever scan the path that lies before thee.
Consider✻ that path well, and on safe ground thou shalt journey still;
swerving neither to right nor left, but keeping thy steps ever clear of wrong-doing. (To the right lie such ways as win the Lord’s favour, to the left such as miss the goal. He it is that will guide thy course aright, and set thy journey forward in peace.✻ )
The Holy Bible