Warning Against Adultery

My son,(A) pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words(B) of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;(C)
but in the end she is bitter as gall,(D)
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.(E)
She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.(F)

Now then, my sons, listen(G) to me;
    do not turn aside from what I say.
Keep to a path far from her,(H)
    do not go near the door of her house,
lest you lose your honor to others
    and your dignity[a] to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
    and your toil enrich the house of another.(I)
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!(J)
13 I would not obey my teachers
    or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble(K)
    in the assembly of God’s people.”(L)

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain(M) be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.(N)
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer(O)
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21 For your ways are in full view(P) of the Lord,
    and he examines(Q) all your paths.(R)
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;(S)
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.(T)
23 For lack of discipline they will die,(U)
    led astray by their own great folly.(V)

Warnings Against Folly

My son,(W) if you have put up security(X) for your neighbor,(Y)
    if you have shaken hands in pledge(Z) 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—[b]
    and give your neighbor no rest!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
    no slumber to your eyelids.(AA)
Free yourself, like a gazelle(AB) from the hand of the hunter,(AC)
    like a bird from the snare of the fowler.(AD)

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

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?(AH)
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest(AI)
11 and poverty(AJ) 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,(AK)
    signals with his feet
    and motions with his fingers,(AL)
14     who plots evil(AM) with deceit in his heart—
    he always stirs up conflict.(AN)
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;(AO)
    he will suddenly(AP) be destroyed—without remedy.(AQ)

16 There are six things the Lord hates,(AR)
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,(AS)
        a lying tongue,(AT)
        hands that shed innocent blood,(AU)
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,(AV)
19         a false witness(AW) who pours out lies(AX)
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.(AY)

Warning Against Adultery

20 My son,(AZ) keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.(BA)
21 Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them around your neck.(BB)
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,(BC)
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life,(BD)
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
    from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.(BE)

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.(BF)
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(BG) with another man’s wife;(BH)
    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,(BI)
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery(BJ) has no sense;(BK)
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never(BL) be wiped away.

34 For jealousy(BM) arouses a husband’s fury,(BN)
    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.(BO)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 5:9 Or years
  2. Proverbs 6:3 Or Go and humble yourself,