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Economic Entanglements

My son, if you have become a cosigner for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge with a stranger,
if you are trapped by your own words,
ensnared by the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, and free yourself,
since you fell into your neighbor’s hand:
Go, humble yourself, plead with your neighbor!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
nor slumber to your eyelids.
Escape like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Laziness and Perversity

Go to the ant, you slacker—
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler.
Yet it prepares its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

How long will you lie there, slacker?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to sleep—
11 and your poverty comes like a bandit
and your need like an armed man.

12 A scoundrel, a wicked man,
is one who goes around with a perverse mouth,
13 winking his eyes, shuffling his feet, pointing his fingers,
14 who continually plots evil
    with deceit in his heart stirring up strife.
15 Therefore his disaster will come suddenly
—in an instant he will be broken, with no remedy.
16 Six things Adonai hates,
yes, seven are abominations to Him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet that run to evil,
19 a false witness who spouts lies,
and one who stirs up strife among brothers.

A Father’s Warning Against Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s mitzvah,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart continually—
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you.
When you lie down, they will watch over you,
and when you wake up, they will speak to you.
23 For the mitzvah is a lamp, Torah a light,
and corrective discipline the way of life,
24 keeping you from the immoral woman,
from a wayward wife’s smooth tongue.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyelids.
26 For on account of a prostitute one is reduced to a loaf of bread;
a man’s wife preys on your precious life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without burning his clothes?
28 Or can a man walk upon hot coals
without scorching his feet?
29 So is he who goes to another man’s wife.
No one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy himself when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must repay sevenfold,
giving up all the wealth of his house.
32 He who commits adultery with a woman lacks sense.
Whoever does so destroys himself.
33 He will find disease and disgrace.
His shame will never be wiped away.
34 For jealousy enrages a man
and he will show no mercy in the day of revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation,
he will not consent,
even if your bribe is great.