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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs

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FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs 4


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added a subheading summary as a description of what is happening)


FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs 4: Further Exhortations to go all out to get Wisdom


[Preliminary Comments: A chapter of exhortation after exhortation to heed Solomon's words and get wisdom. But it is very practical for if you do it there will be real benefits [v.4,6,8-13,18,22]. It concludes with a series of guiding principles for life.]


v.1-3 Wisdom down through the family

v.1  Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.
v.2  I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
v.3  For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.

v.4-9 Exhortations to get wisdom and understanding

v.4  Then he taught me, and he said to me,
[i]  ‘Take hold of my words with all your heart;
[ii]  keep my commands, and you will live.
v.5   [iii]  Get wisdom, get understanding;
[iv]  do not forget my words or turn away from them.
v.6   [v]  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
v.7   [vi]  The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom.
[vii]  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
v.8   [viii]  Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
[ix]  embrace her, and she will honour you.
v.9  She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.'


v.10-13 The life fruits of wisdom

v.10  Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
v.11  I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
v.12  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
v.13  Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.

v.14-17 Avoid the ways of the wicked

v.14  Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
v.15  Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
v.16  For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
v.17  They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.


v.18,19 Contrasts: the path of the righteous & way of the wicked

v.18   The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day
v.19  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.


v.20-22 Further exhortation to heed his words

v.20  My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
v.21  Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
v.22  for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one's whole body.

v.23-27 A Summary of ways to live rightly

v.23  Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
v.24   Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
v.25   Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
v.26   Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
v.27  Do not turn to the right or the left;
     keep your foot from evil.



Continue to Proverbs 5