Admonition to Avoid the Wiles of the Adulteress 1
7 My child, 2 keep my words
and treasure up my commands in your own keeping. 3
2 Keep my commands 4 so that you may live, 5
and obey 6 my instruction as your most prized possession. 7
3 Bind them on your forearm; 8
write them on the tablet of your heart. 9
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” 10
and call understanding a close relative,
5 so that they may keep you 11 from the adulterous 12 woman,
from the loose woman 13 who flatters you 14 with her words. 15
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 16 –
a young man 17 who lacked wisdom. 18
8 He was passing by the street near her corner,
making his way 19 along the road to her house 20
9 in the twilight, the evening, 21
in the dark of the night. 22
10 Suddenly 23 a woman came out to meet him!
She was dressed like a prostitute 24 and with secret intent. 25
11 (She is loud and rebellious,
she 26 does not remain 27 at home –
12 at one time outside, at another 28 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 29 she said to him,
14 “I have 30 fresh meat at home; 31
today I have fulfilled my vows!
15 That is why I came out to meet you,
to look for you, 32 and I found you!
16 I have spread my bed with elegant coverings, 33
with richly colored fabric 34 from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply 35 of lovemaking 36 until morning,
let’s delight ourselves 37 with sexual intercourse. 38
19 For my husband 39 is not at home; 40
he has gone on a journey of some distance.
20 He has taken a bag of money with him; 41
he will not return until 42 the end of the month.” 43
21 She persuaded him 44 with persuasive words; 45
with her smooth talk 46 she compelled him. 47
22 Suddenly he went 48 after her
like an ox that goes to the slaughter,
like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare 49
23 till an arrow pierces his liver 50 –
like a bird hurrying into a trap,
and he does not know that it will cost him his life. 51
24 So now, sons, 52 listen to me,
and pay attention to the words I speak. 53
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways –
do not wander into her pathways;
26 for she has brought down 54 many fatally wounded,
and all those she has slain are many. 55
27 Her house is the way to the grave, 56
going down 57 to the chambers 58 of death.
8 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the top 2 of the elevated places along the way,
at the intersection 3 of the paths she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates opening into 4 the city,
at the entrance of the doorways she cries out: 5
4 “To you, O people, 6 I call out,
and my voice calls 7 to all mankind. 8
5 You who are naive, discern 9 wisdom!
And you fools, understand discernment! 10
6 Listen, for I will speak excellent things, 11
and my lips will utter 12 what is right.
7 For my mouth 13 speaks truth, 14
and my lips 15 hate wickedness. 16
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; 17
there is nothing in them twisted 18 or crooked.
9 All of them are clear 19 to the discerning
and upright to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction 20 rather than 21 silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
and desirable things cannot be compared 22 to her.
12 “I, wisdom, live with prudence, 23
and I find 24 knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate 25 evil;
I hate arrogant pride 26 and the evil way
and perverse utterances. 27
14 Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me; 28
I possess understanding and might.
15 Kings reign by means of me,
and potentates 29 decree 30 righteousness;
16 by me princes rule,
as well as nobles and 31 all righteous judges. 32
17 I love 33 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, 34
and what I produce 35 is better than choice silver.
20 I walk in the path of righteousness,
in the pathway of justice,
21 that I may cause 36 those who love me to inherit wealth,
and that I may fill 37 their treasuries. 38
22 The Lord created 39 me as the beginning 40 of his works, 41
before his deeds of long ago.
23 From eternity I was appointed, 42
from the beginning, from before the world existed. 43
24 When there were no deep oceans 44 I was born, 45
when there were no springs overflowing 46 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, 47
or the beginning 48 of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he marked out the horizon 49 over the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above,
when the fountains of the deep grew strong, 50
29 when he gave the sea his decree
that the waters should not pass over his command, 51
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was 52 beside him as a master craftsman, 53
and I was his delight 54 day by day,
rejoicing before him at all times,
31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, 55
and delighting 56 in its people. 57
32 “So now, children, 58 listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction 59 so that you may be wise, 60
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one 61 who listens to me,
watching 62 at my doors day by day,
waiting 63 beside my doorway. 64
35 For the one who finds me finds 65 life
and receives 66 favor from the Lord.
36 But the one who does not find me 67 brings harm 68 to himself; 69
all who hate me 70 love death.”
The Consequences of Accepting Wisdom or Folly 1
9 Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved out its seven pillars. 2
2 She has prepared her meat, 3 she has mixed her wine;
she also has arranged her table. 4
3 She has sent out her female servants;
she calls out on the highest places 5 of the city.
4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
she says 6 to those 7 who lack understanding. 8
5 “Come, eat 9 some of my food,
and drink some of the wine I have mixed. 10
6 Abandon your foolish ways 11 so that you may live, 12
and proceed 13 in the way of understanding.”
7 Whoever corrects 14 a mocker is asking for 15 insult; 16
whoever reproves a wicked person receives 17 abuse.
8 Do not reprove 18 a mocker or 19 he will hate you;
reprove a wise person and he will love you.
9 Give instruction 20 to a wise person, 21 and he will become wiser still;
teach 22 a righteous person and he will add to his 23 learning.
10 The beginning 24 of wisdom is to fear the Lord, 25
and acknowledging 26 the Holy One 27 is understanding.
11 For because 28 of me your days will be many,
and years will be added 29 to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage, 30
but if you are a mocker, 31 you alone must 32 bear it. 33
13 The woman called Folly 34 is brash, 35
she is naive 36 and does not know 37 anything. 38
14 So she sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out 39 to those who are passing by her 40 in the way, 41
who go straight 42 on their way.
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here,”
she says to those who lack understanding. 43
17 “Stolen waters 44 are sweet,
and food obtained in secret 45 is pleasant!”
18 But they do not realize 46 that the dead 47 are there,
that her guests are in the depths of the grave. 48