6 Son, if you endorse a note for someone you hardly know, guaranteeing his debt, you are in serious trouble. 2 You may have trapped yourself by your agreement. 3 Quick! Get out of it if you possibly can! Swallow your pride; don’t let embarrassment stand in the way. Go and beg to have your name erased. 4 Don’t put it off. Do it now. Don’t rest until you do. 5 If you can get out of this trap you have saved yourself like a deer that escapes from a hunter or a bird from the net.
6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their ways and be wise! 7 For though they have no king to make them work, 8 yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 9 But you—all you do is sleep. When will you wake up? 10 “Let me sleep a little longer!” Sure, just a little more! 11 And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.
12-13 Let me describe for you a worthless and a wicked man; first, he is a constant liar; he signals his true intentions to his friends with eyes and feet and fingers. 14 He is always thinking up new schemes to swindle people. He stirs up trouble everywhere. 15 But he will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond hope of healing.
16-19 For there are six things the Lord hates—no, seven: haughtiness, lying, murdering, plotting evil, eagerness to do wrong, a false witness, sowing discord among brothers.
20 Young man, obey your father and your mother. 21 Take to heart all of their advice; keep in mind everything they tell you. 22 Every day and all night long their counsel will lead you and save you from harm; when you wake up in the morning, let their instructions guide you into the new day. 23 For their advice is a beam of light directed into the dark corners of your mind to warn you of danger and to give you a good life. 24 Their counsel will keep you far away from prostitutes, with all their flatteries, and unfaithful wives of other men.
25 Don’t lust for their beauty. Don’t let their coyness seduce you. 26 For a prostitute will bring a man to poverty, and an adulteress may cost him his very life. 27 Can a man hold fire against his chest and not be burned? 28 Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? 29 So it is with the man who commits adultery with another’s wife. He shall not go unpunished for this sin. 30 Excuses might even be found for a thief if he steals when he is starving! 31 But even so, he is fined seven times as much as he stole, though it may mean selling everything in his house to pay it back.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. 33 Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot, 34 for the woman’s husband will be furious in his jealousy, and he will have no mercy on you in his day of vengeance. 35 You won’t be able to buy him off no matter what you offer.