The Lures of the Prostitute

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,
So that they may keep you from an [c]adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

For (F)at the window of my house
I looked out (G)through my lattice,
And I saw among the (H)naive,
And discerned among the [d]youths
A young man (I)lacking [e]sense,
Passing through the street near (J)her corner;
And he walks along the way to (K)her house,
In the (L)twilight, in the [f]evening,
In the [g]middle of the night and the darkness.
10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
(M)Dressed as a prostitute 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 public squares,
And (Q)lurks by every corner.
13 So she seizes him and kisses him,
[h]And with a (R)brazen face she says to him:
14 [i]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 diligently, 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’s drink our fill of love until morning;
Let’s delight ourselves with caresses.
19 For [j]my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey.
20 He has taken a (Y)bag of money [k]with him.
At the full moon he will come home.”
21 With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her [l](Z)flattering lips she seduces him.
22 Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as [m]one walks in ankle bracelets to the discipline of a fool,
23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a (AA)bird hurries 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 [n]victims she has brought to ruin,
And (AD)numerous are all those slaughtered by her.
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 7:7 Lit sons
  5. Proverbs 7:7 Lit heart
  6. Proverbs 7:9 Lit evening of the day
  7. Proverbs 7:9 Lit pupil (of the eye)
  8. Proverbs 7:13 Lit She makes bold her face and says
  9. Proverbs 7:14 Lit Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me
  10. Proverbs 7:19 Lit the man
  11. Proverbs 7:20 Lit in his hand
  12. Proverbs 7:21 Lit smooth
  13. Proverbs 7:22 Or as a stag goes into a trap; as in some ancient versions, Heb is uncertain
  14. Proverbs 7:26 Lit wounded

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

My son,(A) keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;(B)
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.(C)
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.(D)

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.(E)
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight,(F) 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(G) and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)(H)
13 She took hold of him(I) and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:(J)

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering(K) 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(L)
    with myrrh,(M) aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!(N)
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.(O)
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b](P)
23     till an arrow pierces(Q) his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.(R)

24 Now then, my sons, listen(S) to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.(T)
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.(U)


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