Beware of Adultery

20 (A)My son, keep your father’s command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
21 (B)Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22 (C)When you roam, [a]they will lead you;
When you sleep, (D)they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you.
23 (E)For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
24 (F)To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
25 (G)Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
26 For (H)by means of a harlot
A man is reduced to a crust of bread;
(I)And [b]an adulteress will (J)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, (K)he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman (L)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 (M)jealousy is a husband’s fury;
Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35 He will [c]accept no recompense,
Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.

The Wiles of a Harlot

My son, keep my words,
And (N)treasure my commands within you.
(O)Keep my commands and live,
(P)And my law as the apple of your eye.
(Q)Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
(R)That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.

The Crafty Harlot

For at the window of my house
I looked through my lattice,
And saw among the simple,
I perceived among the [d]youths,
A young man (S)devoid[e] of understanding,
Passing along the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
(T)In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.

10 And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
11 (U)She was loud and rebellious,
(V)Her feet would not stay at home.
12 At times she was outside, at times in the open square,
Lurking at every corner.
13 So she caught him and kissed him;
With an [f]impudent face she said to him:
14 I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
15 So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you.
16 I have spread my bed with tapestry,
Colored coverings of (W)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 [g]my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;
20 He has taken a bag of money [h]with him,
And will come home [i]on the appointed day.”

21 [j]With (X)her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
(Y)With her flattering lips she [k]seduced him.
22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or [l]as a fool to the correction of the [m]stocks,
23 Till an arrow struck his liver.
(Z)As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it [n]would cost his life.

24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children;
Pay attention to the words of my mouth:
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
26 For she has cast down many wounded,
And (AA)all who were slain by her were strong men.
27 (AB)Her house is the way to [o]hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.


  1. Proverbs 6:22 Lit. it
  2. Proverbs 6:26 Wife of another, lit. a man’s wife
  3. Proverbs 6:35 Lit. lift up the face of any
  4. Proverbs 7:7 Lit. sons
  5. Proverbs 7:7 lacking
  6. Proverbs 7:13 shameless
  7. Proverbs 7:19 Lit. the man
  8. Proverbs 7:20 Lit. in his hand
  9. Proverbs 7:20 at the full moon
  10. Proverbs 7:21 By the greatness of her words
  11. Proverbs 7:21 compelled
  12. Proverbs 7:22 LXX, Syr., Tg. as a dog to bonds; Vg. as a lamb . . . to bonds
  13. Proverbs 7:22 shackles
  14. Proverbs 7:23 Lit. is for
  15. Proverbs 7:27 Or Sheol

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