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1My son, if you receive my words

and treasure up my commandments with you,

2making your ear attentive to wisdom

and inclining your heart to understanding;

3yes, if you cry out for insight

and raise your voice for understanding,

4if you seek it like silver

and search for it as for hidden treasures;

5then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God.

6For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

8guarding the paths of justice

and preserving the way of his saints.

9Then you will understand righteousness and justice

and equity, every good path;

10for wisdom will come into your heart,

and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

11discretion will watch over you;

understanding will guard you;

12delivering you from the way of evil,

from men of perverted speech,

13who forsake the paths of uprightness

to walk in the ways of darkness,

14who rejoice in doing evil

and delight in the perverseness of evil;

15men whose paths are crooked,

and who are devious in their ways.

16You will be saved from the loose woman,

from the adventuress with her smooth words,

17who forsakes the companion of her youth

and forgets the covenant of her God;

18for her house sinks down to death,

and her paths to the shades;

19none who go to her come back

nor do they regain the paths of life.

20So you will walk in the way of good men

and keep to the paths of the righteous.

21For the upright will inhabit the land,

and men of integrity will remain in it;

22but the wicked will be cut off from the land,

and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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