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Warning against Sexual Immorality

My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
and listen closely to my insight,
so you may carefully practice[a] discretion
    and your lips preserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
    and her speech[b] is smoother than oil.
But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood,[c]
    and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead to Sheol.[d]
You aren’t thinking about[e] where her life is headed;
    her steps wander, but you do not realize[f] it.

Now, children,[g] listen to me.
    Don’t turn away from what I am saying.[h]
Keep[i] far away from her,
    and don’t go near the entrance to her house,
so that you don’t give your honor to others,
    and waste your best years;[j]
10 so that strangers don’t enrich themselves at your expense,[k]
    and your work won’t end up the possession of foreigners.[l]
11 You will cry out in anguish when your end comes,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you will say, “How I hated instruction,[m]
    and my heart rejected correction!
13 I did not obey my teachers
    and did not listen[n] to my instructors.
14 Now I am at the point of utter disaster
    in[o] the assembly and in the congregation.”

The Delights of Marital Faithfulness

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    and fresh[p] water from your own well.
16 Should your springs flow outside,
    or streams of water in the street?
17 They should be for you alone
    and not for strangers who are with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed
    and enjoy the wife of your youth.
19 Like a loving deer, a beautiful doe,
    let her breasts satisfy you all the time.
        Be constantly intoxicated by her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated by an adulteress, my son,
    and embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?

21 Indeed, what a man does is[q] always in the Lord’s presence,[r]
    and he weighs all his paths.
22 The wicked person’s iniquities will capture him,
    and he will be held with the cords of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of discipline,
    and he goes astray because of his great folly.


  1. Proverbs 5:2 Lit. guard
  2. Proverbs 5:3 Lit. palate
  3. Proverbs 5:4 Wormwood is a plant with an extremely bitter taste.
  4. Proverbs 5:5 I.e. the realm of the dead
  5. Proverbs 5:6 Or She does not consider
  6. Proverbs 5:6 Or she does not realize
  7. Proverbs 5:7 Or sons
  8. Proverbs 5:7 Lit. from the words of my mouth
  9. Proverbs 5:8 Lit. Keep your path
  10. Proverbs 5:9 Lit. and your years to the cruel
  11. Proverbs 5:10 Lit. don’t satisfy themselves with your strength
  12. Proverbs 5:10 Lit. won’t go into a foreigner’s house
  13. Proverbs 5:12 Or discipline
  14. Proverbs 5:13 Lit. incline my ear
  15. Proverbs 5:14 Lit. in the midst of
  16. Proverbs 5:15 Lit. flowing
  17. Proverbs 5:21 Lit. Indeed, a man’s ways are
  18. Proverbs 5:21 Lit. in front of the Lord’s eyes