5 My child, 1 be attentive to my wisdom,
pay close attention 2 to my understanding,
2 in order to safeguard 3 discretion, 4
and that your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips 5 of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her seductive words 6 are smoother than olive oil,
4 but in the end 7 she is bitter 8 as wormwood, 9
sharp as a two-edged 10 sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave. 11
6 Lest 12 she should make level the path leading to life, 13
her paths are unstable 14 but she does not know it. 15
7 So now, children, 16 listen to me;
do not turn aside from the words I speak. 17
8 Keep yourself 18 far 19 from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your vigor 20 to others
and your years to a cruel person,
10 lest strangers devour 21 your strength, 22
and your labor 23 benefit 24 another man’s house.
11 And at the end of your life 25 you will groan 26
when your flesh and your body are wasted away. 27
12 And you will say, “How I hated discipline!
My heart spurned reproof!
13 For 28 I did not obey my teachers 29
and I did not heed 30 my instructors. 31
14 I almost 32 came to complete ruin 33
in the midst of the whole congregation!” 34
15 Drink water from your own cistern
and running water from your own well. 35
16 Should your springs be dispersed 36 outside,
your streams of water in the wide plazas?
17 Let them be for yourself 37 alone,
and not for strangers with you. 38
18 May your fountain be blessed, 39
and may you rejoice 40 in your young wife 41 –
19 a loving doe, 42 a graceful deer;
may her breasts satisfy you at all times,
may you be captivated 43 by her love always.
20 But why should you be captivated, 44 my son, by an adulteress,
and embrace the bosom of a different woman? 45
21 For the ways of a person 46 are in front of the Lord’s eyes,
and the Lord 47 weighs 48 all that person’s 49 paths.
22 The wicked 50 will be captured by his 51 own iniquities, 52
and he will be held 53 by the cords of his own sin. 54
23 He will die because 55 there was no discipline;
because of the greatness of his folly 56 he will reel. 57
6 My child, 1 if you have made a pledge 2 for your neighbor,
and 3 have become a guarantor 4 for a stranger, 5
2 if 6 you have been ensnared 7 by the words you have uttered, 8
and have been caught by the words you have spoken,
3 then, my child, do this in order to deliver yourself, 9
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s power: 10
go, humble yourself, 11
and appeal firmly 12 to your neighbor.
4 Permit no sleep to your eyes 13
or slumber to your eyelids.
5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare, 14
and like a bird from the trap 15 of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; 16
observe its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
overseer, or 17 ruler,
8 yet it prepares its food in the summer;
it gathers at the harvest what it will eat. 18
9 How long, you sluggard, will you lie there?
When will you rise from your sleep? 19
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to relax, 20
11 and your poverty will come like a robber, 21
and your need like an armed man. 22
12 A worthless and wicked person 23
walks around saying perverse 24 things; 25
13 he winks with his eyes,
signals with his feet,
and points with his fingers; 26
14 he plots evil with perverse thoughts 27 in his heart,
he spreads contention 28 at all times.
15 Therefore, his disaster will come suddenly;
in an instant 29 he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
even 30 seven 31 things that are an abomination to him: 32
17 haughty eyes, 33 a lying tongue, 34
and hands that shed innocent blood, 35
18 a heart that devises wicked plans, 36
feet that are swift to run 37 to evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies, 38
and a person who spreads discord 39 among family members. 40
20 My child, guard the commands of your father
and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.
21 Bind them 41 on your heart continually;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk about, 42 they 43 will guide you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
when you wake up, 44 they will talk 45 to you.
23 For the commandments 46 are like 47 a lamp, 48
instruction is like a light,
and rebukes of discipline are like 49 the road leading to life, 50
24 by keeping 51 you from the evil woman, 52
from the smooth tongue of 53 the loose woman. 54
25 Do not lust 55 in your heart for her beauty,
and do not let her captivate you with her alluring eyes; 56
26 for on account 57 of a prostitute one is brought down to a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another man 58 preys on your precious life. 59
27 Can a man hold 60 fire 61 against his chest 62
without 63 burning his clothes?
28 Can 64 a man walk on hot coals
without scorching his feet?
29 So it is with 65 the one who has sex with 66 his neighbor’s wife;
no one 67 who touches 68 her will escape 69 punishment. 70
30 People 71 do not despise a thief when he steals
to fulfill his need 72 when he is hungry.
31 Yet 73 if he is caught 74 he must repay 75 seven times over,
he might even have to give 76 all the wealth of his house.
32 A man who commits adultery with a woman lacks wisdom, 77
whoever does it destroys his own life. 78
33 He will be beaten and despised, 79
and his reproach will not be wiped away; 80
34 for jealousy kindles 81 a husband’s 82 rage,
and he will not show mercy 83 when he takes revenge.
35 He will not consider 84 any compensation; 85
he will not be willing, even if you multiply the compensation. 86
7 My child, 1 keep my words
and treasure up my commands in your own keeping. 2
2 Keep my commands 3 so that you may live, 4
and obey 5 my instruction as your most prized possession. 6
3 Bind them on your forearm; 7
write them on the tablet of your heart. 8
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” 9
and call understanding a close relative,
5 so that they may keep you 10 from the adulterous 11 woman,
from the loose woman 12 who flatters you 13 with her words. 14
6 For at the window of my house
through my window lattice I looked out
7 and I saw among the naive –
I discerned among the youths 15 –
a young man 16 who lacked wisdom. 17
8 He was passing by the street near her corner,
making his way 18 along the road to her house 19
9 in the twilight, the evening, 20
in the dark of the night. 21
10 Suddenly 22 a woman came out to meet him!
She was dressed like a prostitute 23 and with secret intent. 24
11 (She is loud and rebellious,
she 25 does not remain 26 at home –
12 at one time outside, at another 27 in the wide plazas,
and by every corner she lies in wait.)
13 So she grabbed him and kissed him,
and with a bold expression 28 she said to him,
14 “I have 29 fresh meat at home; 30
today I have fulfilled my vows!
15 That is why I came out to meet you,
to look for you, 31 and I found you!
16 I have spread my bed with elegant coverings, 32
with richly colored fabric 33 from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply 34 of lovemaking 35 until morning,
let’s delight ourselves 36 with sexual intercourse. 37
19 For my husband 38 is not at home; 39
he has gone on a journey of some distance.
20 He has taken a bag of money with him; 40
he will not return until 41 the end of the month.” 42
21 She persuaded him 43 with persuasive words; 44
with her smooth talk 45 she compelled him. 46
22 Suddenly he went 47 after her
like an ox that goes to the slaughter,
like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare 48
23 till an arrow pierces his liver 49 –
like a bird hurrying into a trap,
and he does not know that it will cost him his life. 50
24 So now, sons, 51 listen to me,
and pay attention to the words I speak. 52
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways –
do not wander into her pathways;
26 for she has brought down 53 many fatally wounded,
and all those she has slain are many. 54
27 Her house is the way to the grave, 55
going down 56 to the chambers 57 of death.