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Proverbs 5-6 Common English Bible (CEB)

Avoid the mysterious woman

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
    Bend your ear to what I know,
        so you might remain discreet,
        and your lips might guard knowledge.
The lips of a mysterious woman drip honey,
    and her tongue is smoother than oil,
    but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead to the grave.[a]
She doesn’t stay on the way of life.
    Her paths wander, but she doesn’t know it.

Now children, listen to me,
    and don’t deviate from the words of my mouth.
Stay on a path that is far from her;
    don’t approach the entrance to her house.
    Otherwise, you will give your strength to others,
        your years to a cruel person.
10     Otherwise, strangers will sap your strength,
        and your hard work will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11 You will groan at the end
    when your body and flesh are exhausted,
12     and you say, “How I hated instruction!
    How my heart despised correction!

13 I didn’t listen to the voice of my instructor.
    I didn’t obey my teacher.
14 I’m on the brink of utter ruin
    in the assembled community.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    gushing water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains flood outside,
    streams of water in the public squares?
17 They are yours alone,
    not for you as well as strangers.
18     May your spring be blessed.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19     She is a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts intoxicate you all the time;
    always be drunk on her love.

20 Why, my son, should you lose your senses with a mysterious woman
    and embrace the breasts of a foreign female?

21 The Lord’s eyes watch over every person’s path,
    observing all their ways.
22 The wicked will be caught by their own evil acts,
    grabbed by the ropes of their own sin.
23 Those without instruction will die,
    misled by their own stupidity.

Wise advice

My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor
    or shake hands in agreement with a stranger,
    you will be trapped by your words;
    you will be caught by your words.
Do this, my son, to get out of it,
    for you have come under the control of your neighbor.
    So go, humble yourself,[b] and pester your neighbor.
Don’t give sleep to your eyes
    or slumber to your eyelids.
Get yourself free like a gazelle from a hunter,
    like a bird from the hand of a fowler.
Go to the ant, you lazy person;
    observe its ways and grow wise.
The ant has no commander, officer, or ruler.
    Even so, it gets its food in summer;
    gathers its provisions at harvest.
How long, lazy person, will you lie down?
    When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the arms to lie down—
11     and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
        destitution like a warrior.
12 Worthless people and guilty people
    go around with crooked talk.
13 They wink their eyes, gesture with their feet,
    and point with their fingers.
14 Their hearts are corrupt and determined to do evil;
    they create controversies all the time.
15 Therefore, sudden disaster will come upon them;
    they will be quickly broken beyond healing.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
    seven things detestable to him:
17     snobbish eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that spill innocent blood,
18     a heart set on wicked plans,
    feet that run quickly to evil,
19     a false witness who breathes lies,
    and one who causes conflicts among relatives.

Danger of adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command;
    don’t abandon your mother’s instruction.
21 Bind them on your heart for all time;
    fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk around, they will lead you;
    when you lie down, they will protect you;
    when you awake, they will occupy your attention.
23 The commandment is a lamp and instruction a light;
    corrective teaching is the path of life.
24 They guard you from the evil woman,
    from the flattering tongue of the foreign woman.
25 Don’t desire her beauty in secret;
    don’t let her take you in with her eyelashes,
26         for a prostitute costs a loaf of bread,[c]
        but a married woman hunts for a man’s very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    and his clothes not get burned?
28 If a man walks on hot coals,
    don’t his feet get burned?
29 So is the man who approaches his neighbor’s wife;
    anyone who touches her will be punished.
30 People don’t despise a thief if he steals
    to fill his starving stomach.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold;
    he must give all the riches of his house.
32 He who commits adultery is senseless.
    Doing so, he destroys himself.
33 He is wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be wiped away.
34 Jealousy makes a man rage;
    he’ll show no mercy on his day of revenge.
35 He won’t accept compensation;
    he’ll refuse even a large bribe.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 5:5 Heb Sheol
  2. Proverbs 6:3 Heb uncertain
  3. Proverbs 6:26 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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