My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake, 2 you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise.
3 Do the following things, my son, so that you may free yourself, because you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Humble yourself, and pester your neighbor. 4 Don’t let your eyes rest or your eyelids close. 5 Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter and like a bird from the hand of a hunter.
6 Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise. 7 Although it has no overseer, officer, or ruler, 8 in summertime it stores its food supply. At harvest time it gathers its food.
9 How long will you lie there, you lazy bum? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 “Just a little sleep, just a little slumber, just a little nap.” 11 Then your poverty will come to you like a drifter, and your need will come to you like a bandit.
12 A good-for-nothing scoundrel is a person who has a dishonest mouth. 13 He winks his eye, makes a signal with his foot, and points with his fingers. 14 He devises evil all the time with a twisted mind. He spreads conflict. 15 That is why disaster will come on him suddenly. In a moment he will be crushed beyond recovery.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven that are disgusting to him: 17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, 18 a mind devising wicked plans, feet that are quick to do wrong, 19 a dishonest witness spitting out lies, and a person who spreads conflict among relatives.
More Advice about Avoiding Adultery
20 My son, obey the command of your father, and do not disregard the teachings of your mother. 21 Fasten them on your heart forever. Hang them around your neck. 22 When you walk around, they will lead you. When you lie down, they will watch over you. When you wake up, they will talk to you 23 because the command is a lamp, the teachings are a light, and the warnings from discipline are the path of life 24 to keep you from an evil woman and from the smooth talk of a loose woman.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart. Do not let her catch you with her eyes. 26 A prostitute’s price is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts for your life itself. 27 Can a man carry fire in his lap without burning his clothes? 28 Can anyone walk on red-hot coals without burning his feet? 29 So it is with a man who has sex with his neighbor’s wife. None who touch her will escape punishment. 30 People do not despise a thief who is hungry when he steals to satisfy his appetite, 31 but when he is caught, he has to repay it seven times. He must give up all the possessions in his house.
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman has no sense. Whoever does this destroys himself. 33 An adulterous man will find disease[a] and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be blotted out, 34 because jealousy arouses a husband’s fury. The husband will show no mercy when he takes revenge. 35 No amount of money will change his mind. The largest bribe will not satisfy him.
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