The Wiles of the Harlot

My son, (A)keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.
(B)Keep my commandments and live,
And my [a]teaching (C)as the [b]apple of your eye.
(D)Bind them on your fingers;
(E)Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;
That they may keep you from an [c]adulteress,
From the foreigner who [d]flatters with her words.

For (F)at the window of my house
I looked out (G)through my lattice,
And I saw among the [e](H)naive,
And discerned among the [f]youths
A young man (I)lacking [g]sense,
Passing through the street near (J)her corner;
And he [h]takes the way to (K)her house,
In the (L)twilight, in the [i]evening,
In the [j]middle of the night and in the darkness.
10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
(M)Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
11 She is (N)boisterous and rebellious,
Her (O)feet do not remain at home;
12 She is now in the streets, now (P)in the squares,
And (Q)lurks by every corner.
13 So she seizes him and kisses him
[k]And with a (R)brazen face she says to him:
14 [l]I was due to offer (S)peace offerings;
Today I have (T)paid my vows.
15 “Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
16 “I have spread my couch with (U)coverings,
With colored (V)linens of Egypt.
17 “I have sprinkled my bed
With (W)myrrh, aloes and (X)cinnamon.
18 “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
19 “For [m]my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
20 He has taken a (Y)bag of money [n]with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”
21 With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her [o](Z)flattering lips she seduces him.
22 Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as [p]one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a (AA)bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 Now therefore, my sons, (AB)listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart (AC)turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.
26 For many are the [q]victims she has cast down,
And (AD)numerous are all her slain.
27 Her (AE)house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.


  1. Proverbs 7:2 Or law
  2. Proverbs 7:2 Lit pupil
  3. Proverbs 7:5 Lit strange woman
  4. Proverbs 7:5 Lit is smooth
  5. Proverbs 7:7 Lit simple ones
  6. Proverbs 7:7 Lit sons
  7. Proverbs 7:7 Lit heart
  8. Proverbs 7:8 Lit steps
  9. Proverbs 7:9 Lit evening of the day
  10. Proverbs 7:9 Lit pupil (of the eye)
  11. Proverbs 7:13 Lit She makes bold her face and says
  12. Proverbs 7:14 Lit Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me
  13. Proverbs 7:19 Lit the man
  14. Proverbs 7:20 Lit in his hand
  15. Proverbs 7:21 Lit smooth
  16. Proverbs 7:22 Or as a stag goes into a trap; so some ancient versions
  17. Proverbs 7:26 Lit mortally wounded

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