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Avoid the mysterious woman

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
    Bend your ear to what I know,
        so you might remain discreet,
        and your lips might guard knowledge.
The lips of a mysterious woman drip honey,
    and her tongue is smoother than oil,
    but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead to the grave.[a]
She doesn’t stay on the way of life.
    Her paths wander, but she doesn’t know it.

Now sons, listen to me,
    and don’t deviate from the words of my mouth.
Stay on a path that is far from her;
    don’t approach the entrance to her house.
    Otherwise, you will give your strength to others,
        your years to a cruel person.
10     Otherwise, strangers will sap your strength,
        and your hard work will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11 You will groan at the end
    when your body and flesh are exhausted,
12     and you say, “How I hated instruction!
    How my heart despised correction!
13 I didn’t listen to the voice of my instructor.
    I didn’t obey my teacher.
14 I’m on the brink of utter ruin
    in the assembled community.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    gushing water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains flood outside,
    streams of water in the public squares?
17 They are yours alone,
    not for you as well as strangers.
18     May your spring be blessed.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19     She is a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts intoxicate you all the time;
    always be drunk on her love.

20 Why, my son, should you lose your senses with a mysterious woman
    and embrace the breasts of a foreign female?

21 The Lord’s eyes watch over every person’s path,
    observing all their ways.
22 The wicked will be caught by their own evil acts,
    grabbed by the ropes of their own sin.
23 Those without instruction will die,
    misled by their own stupidity.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 5:5 Heb Sheol

Warning Against Adultery

My son,(A) pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words(B) of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;(C)
but in the end she is bitter as gall,(D)
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.(E)
She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.(F)

Now then, my sons, listen(G) to me;
    do not turn aside from what I say.
Keep to a path far from her,(H)
    do not go near the door of her house,
lest you lose your honor to others
    and your dignity[a] to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
    and your toil enrich the house of another.(I)
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!(J)
13 I would not obey my teachers
    or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble(K)
    in the assembly of God’s people.”(L)

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain(M) be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.(N)
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer(O)
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21 For your ways are in full view(P) of the Lord,
    and he examines(Q) all your paths.(R)
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;(S)
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.(T)
23 For lack of discipline they will die,(U)
    led astray by their own great folly.(V)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 5:9 Or years

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