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The False Attractions of Adultery

My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live,
    keep my teachings as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and call insight your intimate friend;
to preserve you from the loose woman,
    from the adventuress with her smooth words.

For at the window of my house
    I have looked out through my lattice,
and I have seen among the simple,
    I have perceived among the youths,
    a young man without sense,
passing along the street near her corner,
    taking the road to her house
in the twilight, in the evening,
    at the time of night and darkness.

10 And lo, a woman meets him,
    dressed as a harlot, wily of heart.[a]
11 She is loud and wayward,
    her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market,
    and at every corner she lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,
    and with impudent face she says to him:
14 “I had to offer sacrifices,
    and today I have paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,
    to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have decked my couch with coverings,
    colored spreads of Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
    aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
    let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;
    at full moon he will come home.”

21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
    with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her,
    as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast[b]
23     till an arrow pierces its entrails;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
    he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 And now, O sons, listen to me,
    and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways,
    do not stray into her paths;
26 for many a victim has she laid low;
    yea, all her slain are a mighty host.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
    going down to the chambers of death.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 7:10 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  2. Proverbs 7:22 Cn Compare Gk: Heb uncertain

The Gifts of Wisdom

Does not wisdom call,
does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
    in the paths she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
“To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the sons of men.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O foolish men, pay attention.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right;
for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 I, wisdom, dwell in prudence,[a]
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom,
    I have insight, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
    and nobles govern[b] the earth.
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    in the paths of justice,
21 endowing with wealth those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.

Wisdom’s Part in Creation

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,[c]
    the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,[d]
    or the first of the dust[e] of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there,
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established[f] the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was beside him, like a master workman;[g]
and I was daily his[h] delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the sons of men.

32 And now, my sons, listen to me:
    happy are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34 Happy is the man who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35 For he who finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the Lord;
36 but he who misses me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 8:12 Heb obscure
  2. Proverbs 8:16 Gk: Heb all the governors of
  3. Proverbs 8:22 Heb way
  4. Proverbs 8:26 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  5. Proverbs 8:26 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  6. Proverbs 8:28 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  7. Proverbs 8:30 Another reading is little child
  8. Proverbs 8:30 Gk: Heb lacks his

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