TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Proverbs 4

1Sons, heed the discipline of a father; Listen and learn discernment,

אשִׁמְעוּ בָנִים מוּסַר אָב וְהַקְשִׁיבוּ לָדַעַת בִּינָה׃

2For I give you good instruction; Do not forsake my teaching.

בכִּי לֶקַח טוֹב נָתַתִּי לָכֶם תּוֹרָתִי אַל־תַּעֲזֹבוּ׃

3Once I was a son to my father, The tender darling of my mother.

kee VAYN ha-YEE-tee l'-a-VEE RAKH v'-ya-KHEED lif-NAY i-MEE

גכִּי־בֵן הָיִיתִי לְאָבִי רַךְ וְיָחִיד לִפְנֵי אִמִּי׃

4:3   Once I was a son to my father

Although this verse can be understood literally, it also contains a parable. The speaker represents the Nation of Israel, described in the Bible (Exodus 4:22) as Hashem’s firstborn son. It is to that chosen child that God imparts the wisdom of His Torah, just as a father imparts precious wisdom to his son (see verse 4). Like the child in this verse, the Nation of Israel received the Torah at a tender stage, shortly after being released from the bondage of Egypt.

4He instructed me and said to me, “Let your mind hold on to my words; Keep my commandments and you will live.

דוַיֹּרֵנִי וַיֹּאמֶר לִי יִתְמָךְ־דְּבָרַי לִבֶּךָ שְׁמֹר מִצְוׂתַי וֶחְיֵה׃

5Acquire wisdom, acquire discernment; Do not forget and do not swerve from my words.

הקְנֵה חָכְמָה קְנֵה בִינָה אַל־תִּשְׁכַּח וְאַל־תֵּט מֵאִמְרֵי־פִי׃

6Do not forsake her and she will guard you; Love her and she will protect you.

ואַל־תַּעַזְבֶהָ וְתִשְׁמְרֶךָּ אֱהָבֶהָ וְתִצְּרֶךָּ׃

7The beginning of wisdom is—acquire wisdom; With all your acquisitions, acquire discernment.

זרֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה קְנֵה חָכְמָה וּבְכָל־קִנְיָנְךָ קְנֵה בִינָה׃

8Hug her to you and she will exalt you; She will bring you honor if you embrace her.

חסַלְסְלֶהָ וּתְרוֹמְמֶךָּ תְּכַבֵּדְךָ כִּי תְחַבְּקֶנָּה׃

9She will adorn your head with a graceful wreath; Crown you with a glorious diadem.”

טתִּתֵּן לְרֹאשְׁךָ לִוְיַת־חֵן עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת תְּמַגְּנֶךָּ׃

10My son, heed and take in my words, And you will have many years of life.

ישְׁמַע בְּנִי וְקַח אֲמָרָי וְיִרְבּוּ לְךָ שְׁנוֹת חַיִּים׃

11I instruct you in the way of wisdom; I guide you in straight courses.

יאבְּדֶרֶךְ חָכְמָה הֹרֵתִיךָ הִדְרַכְתִּיךָ בְּמַעְגְּלֵי־יֹשֶׁר׃

12You will walk without breaking stride; When you run, you will not stumble.

יבבְּלֶכְתְּךָ לֹא־יֵצַר צַעֲדֶךָ וְאִם־תָּרוּץ לֹא תִכָּשֵׁל׃

13Hold fast to discipline; do not let go; Keep it; it is your life.

יגהַחֲזֵק בַּמּוּסָר אַל־תֶּרֶף נִצְּרֶהָ כִּי־הִיא חַיֶּיךָ׃

14Do not enter on the path of the wicked; Do not walk on the way of evil men.

ידבְּאֹרַח רְשָׁעִים אַל־תָּבֹא וְאַל־תְּאַשֵּׁר בְּדֶרֶךְ רָעִים׃

15Avoid it; do not pass through it; Turn away from it; pass it by.

טופְּרָעֵהוּ אַל־תַּעֲבָר־בּוֹ שְׂטֵה מֵעָלָיו וַעֲבוֹר׃

16For they cannot sleep unless they have done evil; Unless they make someone fall they are robbed of sleep.

טזכִּי לֹא יִשְׁנוּ אִם־לֹא יָרֵעוּ וְנִגְזְלָה שְׁנָתָם אִם־לֹא יכשולו [יַכְשִׁילוּ׃]

17They eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of lawlessness.

יזכִּי לָחֲמוּ לֶחֶם רֶשַׁע וְיֵין חֲמָסִים יִשְׁתּוּ׃

18The path of the righteous is like radiant sunlight, Ever brightening until noon.

יחוְאֹרַח צַדִּיקִים כְּאוֹר נֹגַהּ הוֹלֵךְ וָאוֹר עַד־נְכוֹן הַיּוֹם׃

19The way of the wicked is all darkness; They do not know what will make them stumble.

יטדֶּרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים כָּאֲפֵלָה לֹא יָדְעוּ בַּמֶּה יִכָּשֵׁלוּ׃

20My son, listen to my speech; Incline your ear to my words.

כבְּנִי לִדְבָרַי הַקְשִׁיבָה לַאֲמָרַי הַט־אָזְנֶךָ׃

21Do not lose sight of them; Keep them in your mind.

כאאַל־יַלִּיזוּ מֵעֵינֶיךָ שָׁמְרֵם בְּתוֹךְ לְבָבֶךָ׃

22They are life to him who finds them, Healing for his whole body.

כבכִּי־חַיִּים הֵם לְמֹצְאֵיהֶם וּלְכָל־בְּשָׂרוֹ מַרְפֵּא׃

23More than all that you guard, guard your mind, For it is the source of life.

כגמִכָּל־מִשְׁמָר נְצֹר לִבֶּךָ כִּי־מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹצְאוֹת חַיִּים׃

24Put crooked speech away from you; Keep devious talk far from you.

כדהָסֵר מִמְּךָ עִקְּשׁוּת פֶּה וּלְזוּת שְׂפָתַיִם הַרְחֵק מִמֶּךָּ׃

25Let your eyes look forward, Your gaze be straight ahead.

כהעֵינֶיךָ לְנֹכַח יַבִּיטוּ וְעַפְעַפֶּיךָ יַיְשִׁרוּ נֶגְדֶּךָ׃

26Survey the course you take, And all your ways will prosper.

כופַּלֵּס מַעְגַּל רַגְלֶךָ וְכָל־דְּרָכֶיךָ יִכֹּנוּ׃

27Do not swerve to the right or the left; Keep your feet from evil.

כזאַל־תֵּט־יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול הָסֵר רַגְלְךָ מֵרָע׃