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Warning against Sexual Immorality

My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
and listen closely to my insight,
so you may carefully practice[a] discretion
    and your lips preserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
    and her speech[b] is smoother than oil.
But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood,[c]
    and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead to Sheol.[d]
You aren’t thinking about[e] where her life is headed;
    her steps wander, but you do not realize[f] it.

Now, children,[g] listen to me.
    Don’t turn away from what I am saying.[h]
Keep[i] far away from her,
    and don’t go near the entrance to her house,
so that you don’t give your honor to others,
    and waste your best years;[j]
10 so that strangers don’t enrich themselves at your expense,[k]
    and your work won’t end up the possession of foreigners.[l]
11 You will cry out in anguish when your end comes,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you will say, “How I hated instruction,[m]
    and my heart rejected correction!
13 I did not obey my teachers
    and did not listen[n] to my instructors.
14 Now I am at the point of utter disaster
    in[o] the assembly and in the congregation.”

The Delights of Marital Faithfulness

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    and fresh[p] water from your own well.
16 Should your springs flow outside,
    or streams of water in the street?
17 They should be for you alone
    and not for strangers who are with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed
    and enjoy the wife of your youth.
19 Like a loving deer, a beautiful doe,
    let her breasts satisfy you all the time.
        Be constantly intoxicated by her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated by an adulteress, my son,
    and embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?

21 Indeed, what a man does is[q] always in the Lord’s presence,[r]
    and he weighs all his paths.
22 The wicked person’s iniquities will capture him,
    and he will be held with the cords of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of discipline,
    and he goes astray because of his great folly.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 5:2 Lit. guard
  2. Proverbs 5:3 Lit. palate
  3. Proverbs 5:4 Wormwood is a plant with an extremely bitter taste.
  4. Proverbs 5:5 I.e. the realm of the dead
  5. Proverbs 5:6 Or She does not consider
  6. Proverbs 5:6 Or she does not realize
  7. Proverbs 5:7 Or sons
  8. Proverbs 5:7 Lit. from the words of my mouth
  9. Proverbs 5:8 Lit. Keep your path
  10. Proverbs 5:9 Lit. and your years to the cruel
  11. Proverbs 5:10 Lit. don’t satisfy themselves with your strength
  12. Proverbs 5:10 Lit. won’t go into a foreigner’s house
  13. Proverbs 5:12 Or discipline
  14. Proverbs 5:13 Lit. incline my ear
  15. Proverbs 5:14 Lit. in the midst of
  16. Proverbs 5:15 Lit. flowing
  17. Proverbs 5:21 Lit. Indeed, a man’s ways are
  18. Proverbs 5:21 Lit. in front of the Lord’s eyes

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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