23 O Lord, my Father and Master of my life, do not leave me at the mercy of my own words; don't let them cause my downfall.2 I wish I could be whipped for my thoughts, so that Wisdom could discipline my mind. I would not want to be spared when I am wrong; I would not want a single sin to be overlooked!3 Then I would not keep on sinning, making one mistake after another. I could not fall to my enemies and be humiliated by them.
4 O Lord, my Father, God of my life, keep me from being arrogant;5 protect me from evil desires.6 Keep me from being overcome by greed or lust; do not leave me at the mercy of these shameless passions.
7 My children, listen to what I have to say about proper speech; do as I teach you and you will never get trapped.8 Sinners are caught by their own arrogant, insulting words.
9 Don't fall into the habit of taking oaths, and don't use God's holy name too freely.10 A slave who is constantly beaten will never be free of bruises; someone who is always taking an oath by the Holy Name will never be free of sin.11 Anyone who takes oaths all the time is sinful to the core, and punishment is never far away from his household. If he fails to fulfill his oath, he is guilty. If he ignores his oath, he is twice as guilty. If his oath was insincere in the first place, he cannot be pardoned and will have a house full of trouble.
12 There is one way of speaking that is like death itself—may no Israelite ever be guilty of it! Devout people do not wallow in such sin, and they will keep away from such behavior.13 Don't fall into the habit of coarse, profane talk; it is sinful.14 You might forget yourself while in the company of important people and make a fool of yourself with some foul word that comes to you naturally. Think how your parents would feel! You would curse the day you were born and wish you were dead!15 If you fall into the habit of using offensive language, you will never break yourself of it as long as you live.
16 There are any number of ways to sin and bring down the Lord's anger, but sexual passion is a hot, blazing fire that cannot be put out at will; it can only burn itself out. A man who lives for nothing but sexual enjoyment will keep on until that fire destroys him.17 To such a man all women are desirable, and he can never get enough as long as he lives.
18 The man who is unfaithful to his wife thinks to himself, No one will ever know. It's dark in here, and no one sees me. I have nothing to worry about. As for the Most High, he won't even notice.19 This man is only afraid of other people. He doesn't realize that the eyes of the Lord are 10,000 times brighter than the sun, that he sees everything we do, even when we try to hide it.20 He knew everything before he created the world, as well as after.21 That sinful man will be caught when he least expects it, and punished publicly.
22 The same is true of a woman who is unfaithful to her husband and presents him with a child by another man.23 In the first place, she has broken the Law of the Most High. In the second place, she has wronged her husband. And in the third place, she has made a whore of herself by committing adultery and bearing the child of a man not her husband.24-25 The children will suffer for her sin. They will not be able to find a place in society or establish families. She herself will be brought before the assembly26 and permanently disgraced. There will be a curse on her memory. After she is gone,27 everyone will realize that nothing is better than fearing the Lord, nothing is sweeter than keeping his commands.
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