5 Listen to me, my son! I know what I am saying; listen! 2 Watch yourself, lest you be indiscreet and betray some vital information. 3 For the lips of a prostitute[a] are as sweet as honey, and smooth flattery is her stock-in-trade. 4 But afterwards only a bitter conscience is left to you,[b] sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 She leads you down to death and hell. 6 For she does not know the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t even realize where it leads.
7 Young men, listen to me, and never forget what I’m about to say: 8 Run from her! Don’t go near her house, 9 lest you fall to her temptation and lose your honor, and give the remainder of your life to the cruel and merciless;[c] 10 lest strangers obtain your wealth, and you become a slave of foreigners. 11 Lest afterwards you groan in anguish and in shame when syphilis[d] consumes your body, 12 and you say, “Oh, if only I had listened! If only I had not demanded my own way! 13 Oh, why wouldn’t I take advice? Why was I so stupid? 14 For now I must face public disgrace.”
15 Drink from your own well, my son—be faithful and true to your wife. 16 Why should you beget children with women of the street? 17 Why share your children with those outside your home? 18 Be happy, yes, rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 Let her breasts and tender embrace[e] satisfy you. Let her love alone fill you with delight. 20 Why delight yourself with prostitutes, embracing what isn’t yours? 21 For God is closely watching you, and he weighs carefully everything you do.
22 The wicked man is doomed by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 23 He shall die because he will not listen to the truth; he has let himself be led away into incredible folly.
- Proverbs 5:3 of a prostitute, or “of another man’s wife.”
- Proverbs 5:4 But afterwards only a bitter conscience is left you, literally, “But in the end she is bitter as wormwood.”
- Proverbs 5:9 and give the remainder of your life to the cruel and merciless. Perhaps the reference is to blackmail or to fear of vengeance from the wronged husband.
- Proverbs 5:11 syphilis, literally, “disease.”
- Proverbs 5:19 Let her breasts and tender embrace, literally, “As a loving hind and a pleasant doe, let her breasts.”