5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; [a]Lend your ear to my understanding, 2 That you may [b]preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of [c]an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth issmoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of [d]hell. 6 Lest you ponder her path of life— Her ways are unstable; You do not know them.
7 Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house, 9 Lest you give your [e]honor to others, And your years to the cruel one; 10 Lest aliens be filled with your [f]wealth, And your labors go to the house of a foreigner; 11 And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed, 12 And say: “How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! 13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! 14 I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. 16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, [g]Streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be [h]enraptured with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He [i]ponders all his paths. 22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin. 23 He shall die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
6 My son, if you become [j]surety for your friend, If you have [k]shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, 2 You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth. 3 So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; Plead with your friend. 4 Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. 5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the [l]fowler.
The Folly of Indolence
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no [m]captain, Overseer or ruler, 8 Provides her [n]supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. 9 How long will you [o]slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep— 11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
The Wicked Man
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; 13 He winks with his eyes, He [p]shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; 14 Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. 15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.
16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to [q]Him: 17 A[r] proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Beware of Adultery
20 My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. 21 Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you roam, [s]they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress. 25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, Nor let her allure you with her eyelids. 26 For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And [t]an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. 27 Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.
30 People do not despise a thief If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. 31 Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house. 32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. 33 Wounds and dishonor he will get, And his reproach will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy is a husband’s fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will [u]accept no recompense, Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.
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