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.
8 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the top 1 of the elevated places along the way,
at the intersection 2 of the paths she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates opening into 3 the city,
at the entrance of the doorways she cries out: 4
4 “To you, O people, 5 I call out,
and my voice calls 6 to all mankind. 7
5 You who are naive, discern 8 wisdom!
And you fools, understand discernment! 9
6 Listen, for I will speak excellent things, 10
and my lips will utter 11 what is right.
7 For my mouth 12 speaks truth, 13
and my lips 14 hate wickedness. 15
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; 16
there is nothing in them twisted 17 or crooked.
9 All of them are clear 18 to the discerning
and upright to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction 19 rather than 20 silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
and desirable things cannot be compared 21 to her.
12 “I, wisdom, live with prudence, 22
and I find 23 knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate 24 evil;
I hate arrogant pride 25 and the evil way
and perverse utterances. 26
14 Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me; 27
I possess understanding and might.
15 Kings reign by means of me,
and potentates 28 decree 29 righteousness;
16 by me princes rule,
as well as nobles and 30 all righteous judges. 31
17 I love 32 those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
long-lasting wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than the purest gold, 33
and what I produce 34 is better than choice silver.
20 I walk in the path of righteousness,
in the pathway of justice,
21 that I may cause 35 those who love me to inherit wealth,
and that I may fill 36 their treasuries. 37
22 The Lord created 38 me as the beginning 39 of his works, 40
before his deeds of long ago.
23 From eternity I was appointed, 41
from the beginning, from before the world existed. 42
24 When there were no deep oceans 43 I was born, 44
when there were no springs overflowing 45 with water;
25 before the mountains were set in place –
before the hills – I was born,
26 before he made the earth and its fields, 46
or the beginning 47 of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he marked out the horizon 48 over the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above,
when the fountains of the deep grew strong, 49
29 when he gave the sea his decree
that the waters should not pass over his command, 50
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was 51 beside him as a master craftsman, 52
and I was his delight 53 day by day,
rejoicing before him at all times,
31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, 54
and delighting 55 in its people. 56
32 “So now, children, 57 listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction 58 so that you may be wise, 59
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one 60 who listens to me,
watching 61 at my doors day by day,
waiting 62 beside my doorway. 63
35 For the one who finds me finds 64 life
and receives 65 favor from the Lord.
36 But the one who does not find me 66 brings harm 67 to himself; 68
all who hate me 69 love death.”