Add parallel Print Page Options

Avoid Disaster

My son,
    if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor
        or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake,
you are trapped by the words of your own mouth,
    caught by your own promise.

Do the following things, my son, so that you may free yourself,
    because you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
        Humble yourself,
            and pester your neighbor.
Don’t let your eyes rest
    or your eyelids close.
Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter
    and like a bird from the hand of a hunter.

Consider the ant, you lazy bum.
    Watch its ways, and become wise.
Although it has no overseer, officer, or ruler,
in summertime it stores its food supply.
    At harvest time it gathers its food.

How long will you lie there, you lazy bum?
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 “Just a little sleep,
    just a little slumber,
    just a little nap.”
11 Then your poverty will come to you like a drifter,
    and your need will come to you like a bandit.

12 A good-for-nothing scoundrel is a person who has a dishonest mouth.
13 He winks his eye,
    makes a signal with his foot,
        and points with his fingers.
14 He devises evil all the time with a twisted mind.
    He spreads conflict.
15 That is why disaster will come on him suddenly.
    In a moment he will be crushed beyond recovery.

16 There are six things that Yahweh hates,
    even seven that are disgusting to him:
17 arrogant eyes,
    a lying tongue,
        hands that kill innocent people,
18 a mind devising wicked plans,
    feet that are quick to do wrong,
19 a dishonest witness spitting out lies,
    and a person who spreads conflict among relatives.

More Advice about Avoiding Adultery

20 My son,
    obey the command of your father,
        and do not disregard the teachings of your mother.
21 Fasten them on your heart forever.
    Hang them around your neck.
22 When you walk around, they will lead you.
    When you lie down, they will watch over you.
        When you wake up, they will talk to you
23 because the command is a lamp,
    the teachings are a light,
        and the warnings from discipline are the path of life
24 to keep you from an evil woman
    and from the smooth talk of a loose woman.

25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart.
    Do not let her catch you with her eyes.
26 A prostitute’s price is only a loaf of bread,
    but a married woman hunts for your life itself.
27 Can a man carry fire in his lap
    without burning his clothes?
28 Can anyone walk on red-hot coals
    without burning his feet?
29 So it is with a man who has sex with his neighbor’s wife.
    None who touch her will escape punishment.
30 People do not despise a thief who is hungry
    when he steals to satisfy his appetite,
31 but when he is caught,
    he has to repay it seven times.
        He must give up all the possessions in his house.

32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman has no sense.
    Whoever does this destroys himself.
33 An adulterous man will find disease[a] and dishonor,
    and his disgrace will not be blotted out,
34 because jealousy arouses a husband’s fury.
    The husband will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 No amount of money will change his mind.
    The largest bribe will not satisfy him.


  1. Proverbs 6:33 Or “wounds.”

Warnings Against Folly

My son,(A) if you have put up security(B) for your neighbor,(C)
    if you have shaken hands in pledge(D) for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
    ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
    since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion—[a]
    and give your neighbor no rest!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
    no slumber to your eyelids.(E)
Free yourself, like a gazelle(F) from the hand of the hunter,(G)
    like a bird from the snare of the fowler.(H)

Go to the ant, you sluggard;(I)
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer(J)
    and gathers its food at harvest.(K)

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?(L)
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest(M)
11 and poverty(N) will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

12 A troublemaker and a villain,
    who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13     who winks maliciously with his eye,(O)
    signals with his feet
    and motions with his fingers,(P)
14     who plots evil(Q) with deceit in his heart—
    he always stirs up conflict.(R)
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;(S)
    he will suddenly(T) be destroyed—without remedy.(U)

16 There are six things the Lord hates,(V)
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,(W)
        a lying tongue,(X)
        hands that shed innocent blood,(Y)
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,(Z)
19         a false witness(AA) who pours out lies(AB)
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.(AC)

Warning Against Adultery

20 My son,(AD) keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.(AE)
21 Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them around your neck.(AF)
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,(AG)
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life,(AH)
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
    from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.(AI)

25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
    or let her captivate you with her eyes.

26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
    but another man’s wife preys on your very life.(AJ)
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps(AK) with another man’s wife;(AL)
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,(AM)
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery(AN) has no sense;(AO)
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never(AP) be wiped away.

34 For jealousy(AQ) arouses a husband’s fury,(AR)
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.(AS)


  1. Proverbs 6:3 Or Go and humble yourself,