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Proverbs 7 Good News Translation (GNT)

My child, remember what I say and never forget what I tell you to do. Do what I say, and you will live. Be as careful to follow my teaching as you are to protect your eyes. Keep my teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart. Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend. They will keep you away from other men's wives, from women with seductive words.

The Immoral Woman

Once I was looking out the window of my house, and I saw many inexperienced young men, but noticed one foolish fellow in particular. He was walking along the street near the corner where a certain woman lived. He was passing near her house in the evening after it was dark. 10 And then she met him; she was dressed like a prostitute and was making plans. 11 She was a bold and shameless woman who always walked the streets 12 or stood waiting at a corner, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the marketplace. 13 She threw her arms around the young man, kissed him, looked him straight in the eye, and said, 14 “I made my offerings today and have the meat from the sacrifices. 15 So I came out looking for you. I wanted to find you, and here you are! 16 I've covered my bed with sheets of colored linen from Egypt. 17 I've perfumed it with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come on! Let's make love all night long. We'll be happy in each other's arms. 19 My husband isn't at home. He's on a long trip. 20 He took plenty of money with him and won't be back for two weeks.” 21 So she tempted him with her charms, and he gave in to her smooth talk. 22 Suddenly he was going with her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, like a deer prancing into a trap[a] 23 where an arrow would pierce its heart. He was like a bird going into a net—he did not know that his life was in danger.

24 Now then, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let such a woman win your heart; don't go wandering after her. 26 She has been the ruin of many men and caused the death of too many to count. 27 If you go to her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It is a shortcut to death.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 7:22 Probable text like a deer prancing into a trap; Hebrew unclear.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The False Attractions of Adultery

My child, keep my words
    and store 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,
that they may keep you from the loose[a] woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words.

For at the window of my house
    I looked out through my lattice,
and I saw among the simple ones,
    I observed 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 Then a woman comes toward him,
    decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart.[b]
11 She is loud and wayward;
    her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    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 until 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;
    he will not come home until full moon.”

21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
    with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 Right away he follows her,
    and goes like an ox to the slaughter,
or bounds like a stag toward the trap[c]
23     until an arrow pierces its entrails.
He is like a bird rushing into a snare,
    not knowing that it will cost him his life.

24 And now, my children, listen to me,
    and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your hearts turn aside to her ways;
    do not stray into her paths.
26 For many are those she has laid low,
    and numerous are her victims.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
    going down to the chambers of death.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 7:5 Heb strange
  2. Proverbs 7:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Proverbs 7:22 Cn Compare Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

The Seduction[a]

[b]My son, keep my words,
    and treasure my commands.
Keep my commands and live,[c]
    and my teaching 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!”[d]
    Call Understanding, “Friend!”
That they may keep you from a stranger,
    from the foreign woman with her smooth words.
For at the window of my house,
    through my lattice I looked out[e]
And I saw among the naive,
    I observed among the young men,
    a youth with no sense,
Crossing the street near the corner,
    then walking toward her house,
In the twilight, at dusk of day,
    in the very dark of night.
10 Then the woman comes to meet him,
    dressed like a harlot, with secret designs.
11 She is raucous and unruly,
    her feet cannot stay at home;
12 Now she is in the streets, now in the open squares,
    lurking in ambush at every corner.
13 Then she grabs him, kisses him,
    and with an impudent look says to him:
14 “I owed peace offerings,
    and today I have fulfilled my vows;
15 So I came out to meet you,
    to look for you, and I have found you!
16 With coverlets I have spread my couch,
    with brocaded cloths of Egyptian linen;
17 I have sprinkled my bed[f] with myrrh,
    with aloes, and with cinnamon.
18 Come, let us drink our fill of love,
    until morning, let us feast on love!
19 For my husband is not at home,[g]
    he has gone on a long journey;
20 A bag of money he took with him,
    he will not return home till the full moon.”
21 She wins him over by repeated urging,
    with her smooth lips she leads him astray.[h]
22 He follows her impulsively,
    like an ox that goes to slaughter;
Like a stag that bounds toward the net,
23     till an arrow pierces its liver;
Like a bird that rushes into a snare,
    unaware that his life is at stake.
24 So now, children, listen to me,[i]
    be attentive to the words of my mouth!
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways,
    do not go astray in her paths;
26 For many are those she has struck down dead,
    numerous, those she has slain.
27 Her house is a highway to Sheol,
    leading down into the chambers of death.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–27

    The third and climactic instruction on adultery and seduction is an example story, of the same type as the example story in 24:30–34. By its negative portrayal of the deceitful woman, who speaks in the night to a lone youth, it serves as a foil to trustworthy Wisdom in chap. 8, who speaks in broad daylight to all who pass in the street.

    As in 6:20–24, the father warns his son to keep his teaching to protect him from the dangerous forbidden woman. The father’s language in 7:4 (“Say to Wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call Understanding ‘Friend’”) sets this admonition apart, however; it is the language of courtship and love. If the son makes Woman Wisdom his companion and lover, she will protect him from the other woman. As in chap. 5, loving the right woman protects the man from the wrong woman.

    As motivation, the father in vv. 6–23 tells his son of an incident he once observed while looking out his window—a young man went to the bed of an adulterous woman and wound up dead. As in chap. 5, the realistic details—the purposeful woman, the silent youth, the vow, the perfumed bed—have a metaphorical level. Ultimately the story is about two different kinds of love.

  2. 7:1–3 Verses 1–3 are artistically constructed. “Keep” in v. 1a recurs in v. 2a; “commands” in v. 1b recurs in v. 2a; the imperative verb “live” occurs in the very center of the three lines; v. 3, on preserving the teaching upon one’s very person, matches vv. 1–2, on preserving the teaching internally by memorizing it.
  3. 7:2 Live: here as elsewhere (Gn 20:7; 42:18; 2 Kgs 18:32; Jer 27:12, 17; Ez 18:32), the imperative (“Live!”) is uttered against the danger of death, e.g., “Do such and such and you will live (= survive the danger); why should you die?”
  4. 7:4 You are my sister: “sister” and “brother” are examples of love language in the ancient Near East, occurring in Egyptian love poetry and Mesopotamian marriage songs. In Sg 4:9, 10, 12; 5:1, the man calls the woman, “my sister, my bride.” Intimate friendship with Woman Wisdom saves one from false and dangerous relationships.
  5. 7:6–7 I looked out…I saw…: the perspective is unusual. The narrator looks through a window upon the drama in the street.
  6. 7:17 Bed: a bed can designate a place of burial in Is 57:2; Ez 32:25; 2 Chr 16:14. Myrrh…aloes: the spices could be used for funerals as for weddings (Jn 19:39). It is possible that the language is ambivalent, speaking of death as it seems to speak of life. As the woman offers the youth a nuptial feast, she is in reality describing his funerary feast.
  7. 7:19–20 For my husband is not at home: the woman is calculating. She knows exactly how long her husband will be gone.
  8. 7:21 The verbs “to win over” (lit., “to lead astray”) and “to lead off” can be used of leading animals such as a donkey (Nm 22:23) or sheep (Jer 23:2 and 50:17). The animal imagery continues as the youth is compared to an ox, a fallow deer, and a bird in the moment they are slaughtered. None of the animals are aware of their impending death.
  9. 7:24–27 The father addresses “children,” a larger audience than his own son; the story is typical, intended for others as an example. The story is a foil to the speech of the other woman in chap. 8.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 7 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

The False Attractions of Adultery

My child, keep my words
    and store 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,
that they may keep you from the loose[a] woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words.

For at the window of my house
    I looked out through my lattice,
and I saw among the simple ones,
    I observed 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 Then a woman comes towards him,
    decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart.[b]
11 She is loud and wayward;
    her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    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,
    coloured spreads of Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
    aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until 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;
    he will not come home until full moon.’

21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
    with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 Right away he follows her,
    and goes like an ox to the slaughter,
or bounds like a stag towards the trap[c]
23     until an arrow pierces its entrails.
He is like a bird rushing into a snare,
    not knowing that it will cost him his life.

24 And now, my children, listen to me,
    and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your hearts turn aside to her ways;
    do not stray into her paths.
26 For many are those she has laid low,
    and numerous are her victims.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
    going down to the chambers of death.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 7:5 Heb strange
  2. Proverbs 7:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Proverbs 7:22 Cn Compare Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 7 New International Version (NIV)

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

My son, keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
    guard 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 to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 7:22 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool
  2. Proverbs 7:22 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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