¶ Hear, O ye children, the fatherly exhortation, and take good heed, that ye may learn wisdom. Yea I shall give you a good reward, if ye will not forsake my law. For when I my self was my father's dear son, and tenderly beloved of my mother, he taught me also, saying: Let thine heart receive my words, keep my commandments, and thou shalt live. Get thee wisdom, get thee understanding, forget not the words of my mouth, and shrink not from them. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. The chief point of wisdom is, that thou be willing to obtain wisdom, and before all thy goods to get the understanding. Make much of her and she shall promote thee: Yea if thou embracest her, she shall bring thee unto honour. She shall make thee a gracious head, and garnish thee with a crown of glory. Hear, my son, and receive my words, that the years of thy life may be many. I will shew thee, the way of wisdom, and lead thee in the right paths. So that if thou goest therein, there shall no straitness hinder thee: and when thou runnest, thou shalt not fall. Take fast hold of doctrine, let her not go: keep her, for she is thy life.
¶ Come not in the path of the ungodly, and walk not in the way of the wicked. Eschew it, and go not therein: depart aside, and pass over by it. For they can not sleep, except they have first done some mischief: neither take they any rest, except they have first done some harm. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of robbery. The path of the righteous shineth as the light, and is ever brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. But the way of the ungodly is as the darkness, wherein men fall, or they be a warre.
¶ My son, mark my words, and incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes, keep them even in the middest of thine heart. For they are life unto all those that find them, and health unto all their bodies. Keep thine heart with all diligence, for there upon hangeth life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and let the lips of slander be far from thee. Let thine eyes behold the thing that is right, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, so shall all thy ways be sure. Turn not aside, neither to the right hand nor to the left, but withhold thy foot from evil.