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On Avoiding the Immoral Woman

My son, guard what I say
and treasure my commands.
Keep my commands and you’ll live.
    Guard[a] my teaching as you do your eyesight.
Strap them to your fingers
    and engrave them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You’re my sister!”
    and call understanding your close relative,
so they can keep you from an adulterous woman,
    from the immoral woman with her seductive words.

A Father’s Warning

For from a window in my house
    I peered through the lattice work,
and I noticed among the naïve—
    that is, I discerned among the youths—
        a senseless young man.
Proceeding down the street near her corner,
    he makes his way toward her house
at twilight, during the evening,
    even during the darkest part of the night.
10 Look! A woman makes her way to meet him,
    dressed as a prostitute
        and intending to entrap him.
11 She is brazen and defiant—
    her feet don’t remain at home.
12 Now she is in the street, now in the plazas,
    she lurks near every corner.

13 So she grabs hold of him and kisses him,
    with a brazen face she speaks to him,
14 “I have given[b] my peace offerings,
    and today I fulfilled my vows.
15 Therefore, I’ve come out to meet you,
    I’ve looked just for you,
        and I found you!
16 I’ve decorated my bed with new coverings—
    embroidered linen from Egypt.
17 I’ve perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s make love until dawn;
    let’s comfort ourselves with love,
19 because my husband isn’t home.
    He left on a long trip.
20 He took a fist full of cash
    and he’ll return home in a month.”

21 She leads him astray with great persuasion;
    with flattering lips she seduces him.
22 All of a sudden he follows her
    like an ox fit for slaughter
        or like a fool fit for a trap[c]
23 until an arrow pierces his liver.
    As a bird darts into a snare,
        he doesn’t realize his fatal decision.[d]

24 So listen to me, my sons,
    and pay attention to what I have to say.
25 Don’t be led astray by her lifestyle,[e]
    and don’t imitate her behavior.[f]
26 For many are the victims whom she has conquered,
    and many are her slain.
27 Her house leads to Sheol,[g]
    descending to death’s catacombs.


  1. Proverbs 7:2 The Heb. lacks Guard
  2. Proverbs 7:14 The Heb. lacks given
  3. Proverbs 7:22 So MT; LXX reads a dog fit for chains
  4. Proverbs 7:23 Lit. realize it is his life
  5. Proverbs 7:25 Lit. ways
  6. Proverbs 7:25 Lit. paths
  7. Proverbs 7:27 I.e. the realm of the dead