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Proverbs 4:1

Context
Admonition to Follow Righteousness and Avoid Wickedness 1 

4:1 Listen, children, 2  to a father’s instruction, 3 

and pay attention so that 4  you may gain 5  discernment.

Proverbs 4:20

Context

4:20 My child, pay attention to my words;

listen attentively 6  to my sayings.

1 sn The chapter includes an exhortation to acquire wisdom (1-4a), a list of the benefits of wisdom (4b-9), a call to pursue a righteous lifestyle (10-13), a warning against a wicked lifestyle (14-19), and an exhortation to righteousness (20-27).

2 tn Heb “sons.”

3 tn Heb “discipline.”

4 tn The Qal infinitive construct with preposition ל (lamed) indicates the purpose/result of the preceding imperative.

5 tn Heb “know” (so KJV, ASV).

6 tn Heb “incline your ear.” The verb הַט (hat) is the Hiphil imperative from נָטָה (natah, Hiphil: “to turn to; to incline”). The idiom “to incline the ear” gives the picture of “lean over and listen closely.”

sn Commentators note the use of the body in this section: ear (v. 20), eyes (v. 21), flesh (v. 22), heart (v. 23), lips (v. 24), eyes (v. 25), feet (v. 26), and hands and feet (v. 27). Each is a synecdoche of part representing the whole; the total accumulation signifies the complete person in the process.



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