A Father’s Wise Instruction
4 fHear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may ggain1 insight,
2 for I give you good hprecepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father,
itender, jthe only one in the sight of my mother,
4 he ktaught me and said to me,
l“Let your heart hold fast my words;
mkeep my commandments, and live.
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
olove her, and she will guard you.
7 pThe beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get ginsight.
8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will qhonor you rif you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head sa graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10 fHear, tmy son, and accept my words,
that uthe years of your life may be many.
11 I have vtaught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, wyour step will not be hampered,
and xif you run, you will not stumble.
13 yKeep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your zlife.
14 aDo not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they bcannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
cand drink the wine of violence.
18 But dthe path of the righteous is like ethe light of dawn,
which shines fbrighter and brighter until gfull day.
19 hThe way of the wicked is like deep idarkness;
they do not know over what they jstumble.
20 kMy son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 lLet them not escape from your sight;
mkeep them within your heart.
22 For they are nlife to those who find them,
and healing to all their2 flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for ofrom it flow pthe springs of life.
24 Put away from you qcrooked speech,
and put rdevious talk far from you.
25 sLet your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 tPonder3 the path of your feet;
uthen all your ways will be sure.
27 vDo not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.
Warning Against Adultery
5 wMy son, be attentive to my wisdom;
xincline your ear to my understanding,
2 that you may keep ydiscretion,
and your lips may zguard knowledge.
3 For the lips of aa forbidden1 woman drip honey,
and her speech2 is bsmoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is cbitter as dwormwood,
5 Her feet ggo down to death;
her steps follow the path to3 Sheol;
6 she hdoes not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7 And inow, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your jlabors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you kgroan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, l“How I hated discipline,
and my heart mdespised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 nI am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
15 Drink owater from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your psprings be scattered abroad,
streams of water qin the streets?
17 rLet them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your ofountain be blessed,
and srejoice in tthe wife of your youth,
19 a lovely udeer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts vfill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated4 always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with wa forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of wan adulteress?5
21 For xa man’s ways are ybefore the eyes of the Lord,
and he zponders6 all his paths.
22 The ainiquities of the wicked bensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 cHe dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is dled astray.
6 My son, if you have put up esecurity for your neighbor,
have egiven your pledge for a stranger,
2 if you are fsnared in the words of your mouth,
caught in the words of your mouth,
3 then do this, my son, and save yourself,
for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
go, hasten,1 and gplead urgently with your neighbor.
4 hGive your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,2
ilike a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 jGo to kthe ant, O lsluggard;
consider her ways, and mbe wise.
7 nWithout having any chief,
oofficer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread pin summer
and qgathers her food in harvest.
9 rHow long will you lie there, lO sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 sA little sleep, a little slumber,
ta little sfolding of the hands to rest,
11 uand poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
12 vA worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with wcrooked speech,
13 xwinks with his eyes, signals3 with his feet,
points with his finger,
14 with yperverted heart zdevises evil,
continually asowing discord;
15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
16 There are dsix things that the Lord hates,
dseven that are an abomination to him:
17 ehaughty eyes, fa lying tongue,
and ghands that shed innocent blood,
18 ha heart that devises wicked plans,
ifeet that make haste to run to evil,
19 ja false witness who kbreathes out lies,
and one who asows discord among brothers.
Warnings Against Adultery
20 lMy son, keep your father’s commandment,
land forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 mBind them on your heart always;
ntie them around your neck.
22 oWhen you walk, they4 will lead you;
owhen you lie down, they will pwatch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is qa lamp and the teaching a light,
and the rreproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,5
from the smooth tongue of sthe adulteress.6
25 tDo not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her ueyelashes;
26 for vthe price of a prostitute is only wa loaf of bread,7
but a married woman8 xhunts down a precious life.
27 Can a man carry yfire next to his zchest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one awalk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her bwill go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to csatisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31 but dif he is caught, he will pay esevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
32 He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For fjealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when ghe takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
Warning Against the Adulteress
7 hMy son, keep my words
and htreasure up my commandments with you;
2 ikeep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as jthe apple of your eye;
3 kbind them on your fingers;
kwrite them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from lthe forbidden1 woman,
6 For at mthe window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
7 and I have seen among nthe simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man olacking sense,
8 passing along the street pnear her corner,
taking the road to her house
9 in qthe twilight, in the evening,
at rthe time of night and darkness.
10 And behold, the woman meets him,
sdressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.3
vher feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market,
and wat every corner she xlies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,
and with ybold face she says to him,
14 “I had to zoffer sacrifices,4
and today I have apaid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with bcoverings,
colored linens from cEgyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with dmyrrh,
aloes, and ecinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For fmy husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”
21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with gher smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast5
23 till an arrow pierces its liver;
as ha bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 And inow, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are ja mighty throng.
27 Her house is kthe way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.
The Blessings of Wisdom
8 Does not lwisdom call?
Does not munderstanding raise her voice?
2 On nthe heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside othe gates in front of pthe town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O qmen, I call,
and my cry is to qthe children of man.
5 O rsimple ones, learn sprudence;
O tfools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak unoble things,
and from my lips will come vwhat is right,
7 for my wmouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing xtwisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all ystraight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.
10 zTake my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 afor wisdom is better than jewels,
and ball that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and cdiscretion.
13 dThe fear of the Lord is ehatred of evil.
fPride and arrogance and the way of evil
and gperverted speech I hate.
14 I have hcounsel and isound wisdom;
I have insight; jI have strength.
15 By me kkings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
and nobles, all who govern justly.1
17 lI love those who love me,
and mthose who seek me diligently find me.
18 nRiches and honor are with me,
oenduring wealth and orighteousness.
19 My fruit is pbetter than qgold, even fine gold,
and my yield than rchoice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.
22 s“The Lord tpossessed2 me at the beginning of his work,3
the first of his acts uof old.
23 Ages ago I was vset up,
at the first, wbefore the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no xdepths I was ybrought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains zhad been shaped,
abefore the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he bestablished the heavens, I was there;
when he drew ca circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he dmade firm the skies above,
when he established4 the fountains of the deep,
29 when he eassigned to the sea its flimit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out gthe foundations of the earth,
30 then hI was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his5 idelight,
rejoicing before him always,
31 jrejoicing in his kinhabited world
and delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, lO sons, listen to me:
mblessed are those who keep my ways.
33 nHear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 oBlessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For pwhoever finds me qfinds life
and robtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me sinjures himself;