5 My son, be attentive to my wisdom [godly wisdom learned by costly experience], Incline your ear to my understanding; 2 That you may exercise discrimination and discretion (good judgment), And your lips may reserve knowledge and answer wisely [to temptation]. 3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey [like a honeycomb] And her speech is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter like [the extract of] wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; Her steps take hold of Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), 6 So that she does not think [seriously] about the path of life; Her ways are aimless and unstable; you cannot know where her path leads.
7 Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from (forget) the words of my mouth. 8 Let your way [in life] be far from her, And do not go near the door of her house [avoid even being near the places of temptation], 9 Or you will give your honor to others, And your years to the cruel one, 10 And strangers will be filled with your strength And your hard-earned wealth will go to the house of a foreigner [who does not know God]; 11 And you will groan when your life is ending, When your flesh and your body are consumed; 12 And you say, “How I hated instruction and discipline, And my heart despised correction and reproof! 13 “I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, Nor have I inclined my ear to those who instructed me. 14 “I was almost in total ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
15 [a]Drink water from your own [b]cistern [of a pure marriage relationship] And fresh running water from your own well. 16 Should your [c]springs (children) be dispersed, As streams of water in the streets? 17 [Confine yourself to your own wife.] Let your children be yours alone, And not the children of strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain (wife) be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity], And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 Let her be as a loving hind and graceful doe, Let her breasts refresh and satisfy you at all times; Always be [d]exhilarated and delight in her love. 20 Why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an immoral woman And embrace the bosom of an outsider (pagan)? 21 For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, And He carefully watches all of his paths [all of his comings and goings]. 22 The iniquities done by a wicked man will trap him, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. 23 He will die for lack of instruction (discipline), And in the greatness of his foolishness he will go astray and be lost.
6 My son, if you have become surety (guaranteed a debt or obligation) for your neighbor, If you have given your pledge for [the debt of] a stranger or another [outside your family], 2 If you have been snared with the words of your lips, If you have been trapped by the speech of your mouth, 3 Do this now, my son, and release yourself [from the obligation]; [e]Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor [to pay his debt and release you]. 4 Give no [unnecessary] sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids; 5 Tear yourself away like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, O lazy one; Observe her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no chief, Overseer or ruler, 8 She prepares her food in the summer And brings in her provisions [of food for the winter] in the harvest. 9 How long will you lie down, O lazy one? When will you arise from your sleep [and learn self-discipline]? 10 “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to lie down and rest”— 11 So your poverty will come like an approaching prowler who walks [slowly, but surely] And your need [will come] like an armed man [making you helpless].
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Is one who walks with a perverse (corrupt, vulgar) mouth. 13 Who winks with his eyes [in mockery], who shuffles his feet [to signal], Who points with his fingers [to give subversive instruction]; 14 Who perversely in his heart plots trouble and evil continually; Who spreads discord and strife. 15 Therefore [the crushing weight of] his disaster will come suddenly upon him; Instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing or remedy [because he has no heart for God].
16 These six things the Lord hates; Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him: 17 A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that creates wicked plans, Feet that run swiftly to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths], And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.
20 My son, be guided by your father’s [God-given] commandment (instruction) And do not [f]reject the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually upon your heart (in your thoughts), And tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk about, they (the godly teachings of your parents) will guide you; When you sleep, they will keep watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching [of the law] is light, And reproofs (rebukes) for discipline are the way of life, 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From [the flattery of] the smooth tongue of an immoral woman. 25 Do not desire (lust after) her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her eyelashes. 26 For on account of a prostitute one is reduced to a piece of bread [to be eaten up], And the immoral woman hunts [with a hook] the precious life [of a man]. 27 Can a man take fire to his chest And his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can a man walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched? 29 So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her will not be found innocent or go unpunished. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals To satisfy himself when he is hungry; 31 But when he is found, he must repay seven times [what he stole]; He must give all the property of his house [if necessary to meet his fine]. 32 But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks common sense and sound judgment and an understanding [of moral principles]; He who would destroy his soul does it. 33 Wounds and disgrace he will find, And his reproach (blame) will not be blotted out. 34 For jealousy enrages the [wronged] husband; He will not spare [the guilty one] on the day of vengeance. 35 He will not accept any ransom [offered to buy him off from demanding full punishment]; Nor will he be satisfied though you offer him many gifts (bribes).
The Wiles of the Prostitute
7 My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you [so they are readily available to guide you]. 2 Keep my commandments and live, And keep my teaching and law as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them [securely] on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to [skillful and godly] wisdom, “You are my sister,” And regard understanding and intelligent insight as your intimate friends; 5 That they may keep you from the immoral woman, From the foreigner [who does not observe God’s laws and] who flatters with her [smooth] words.
6 For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice. 7 And among the naive [the inexperienced and gullible], I saw among the youths A young man lacking [good] sense, 8 Passing through the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house 9 In the twilight, in the evening; In the black and dark night. 10 And there a woman met him, Dressed as a prostitute and sly and cunning of heart. 11 She was boisterous and rebellious; [g]She would not stay at home. 12 At times she was in the streets, at times in the market places, Lurking and setting her ambush at every corner. 13 So she caught him and kissed him And with a brazen and impudent face she said to him: 14 “I have peace offerings with me; Today I have paid my vows. 15 “So I came out to meet you [that you might share with me the feast of my offering], Diligently I sought your face and I have found you. 16 “I have spread my couch with coverings and cushions of tapestry, With colored fine linen of Egypt. 17 “I have perfumed my bed With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us console and delight ourselves with love. 19 “For my husband is not at home. He has gone on a long journey; 20 He has taken a bag of money with him, And he will come home on the appointed day.” 21 With her many persuasions she caused him to yield; With her flattering lips she seduced him. 22 Suddenly he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter [not knowing the outcome], Or as one in stocks going to the correction [to be given] to a fool, 23 Until an arrow pierced his liver [with a mortal wound]; Like a bird fluttering straight into the net, He did not know that it would cost him his life.
24 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her [evil, immoral] paths. 26 For she has cast down many [mortally] wounded; Indeed, all who were killed by her were strong. 27 Her house is the way to [h]Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death.
The Commendation of Wisdom
8 Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice? 2 On the top of the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet, wisdom takes her stand; 3 Beside the gates, at the entrance to the city, At the entrance of the doors, she cries out: 4 “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is directed to the sons of men. 5 “O you naive or inexperienced [who are easily misled], understand prudence and seek astute common sense; And, O you [closed-minded, self-confident] fools, understand wisdom [seek the insight and self-discipline that leads to godly living]. 6 “Listen, for I will speak excellent and noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal right things. 7 “For my mouth will utter truth, And wickedness is repulsive and loathsome to my lips. 8 “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness (upright, in right standing with God); There is nothing contrary to truth or perverted (crooked) in them. 9 “They are all straightforward to him who understands [with an open and willing mind], And right to those who find knowledge and live by it. 10 “Take my instruction rather than [seeking] silver, And take knowledge rather than choicest gold, 11 “For wisdom is better than rubies; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12 “I, [godly] wisdom, reside with prudence [good judgment, moral courage and astute common sense], And I find knowledge and discretion. 13 “The [reverent] fear and worshipful awe of the Lordincludes the hatred of evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate. 14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power and strength are mine. 15 “By me kings reign And rulers decide and decree justice. 16 “By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge and govern rightly. 17 “I love those who love me; And those who seek me early and diligently will find me. 18 “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness (right standing with God). 19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield is better than choicest silver. 20 “I, [Wisdom, continuously] walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, 21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth and true riches, And that I may fill their treasuries.
22 “The Lord created and possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old [were accomplished]. 23 “From everlasting I was established and ordained, From the beginning, before the earth existed, [I, godly wisdom, existed]. 24 “When there were no ocean depths I was born, When there were no fountains and springs overflowing with water. 25 “Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was born; 26 While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Or the first of the dust of the earth. 27 “When He established the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there; When He drew a circle upon the face of the deep, 28 When He made firm the skies above, When the fountains and springs of the deep became fixed and strong, 29 When He set for the sea its boundary So that the waters would not transgress [the boundaries set by] His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth— 30 Then I was beside Him, as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight; Rejoicing before Him always, 31 Rejoicing in the world, His inhabited earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.
32 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, For blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] are they who keep my ways. 33 “Heed (pay attention to) instruction and be wise, And do not ignore or neglect it. 34 “Blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts. 35 “For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life And obtains favor and grace from the Lord. 36 “But he who fails to find me or sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love and court death.”
Proverbs 5:15All of the Ten Commandments are reflected in the book of Proverbs; here it is the seventh, “You shall not commit adultery.”
Proverbs 5:15Vv 15-18 describe the purity of a man’s relationship in marriage. The cistern and well represent his wife.
Proverbs 5:16I.e. children of one’s promiscuity who are fatherless.
Proverbs 6:3Under the ancient laws governing debt, a man obligated for another’s debt could lose his money, land, bed, and clothing; and if these were not sufficient, he and his wife and children could be sold as slaves, not to be released until the next Year of Jubilee—fifty years after the previous one.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.