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Practical Admonitions

My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbour,
    if you have bound yourself to another,[a]
you are snared by the utterance of your lips,[b]
    caught by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my child, and save yourself,
    for you have come into your neighbour’s power:
    go, hurry,[c] and plead with your neighbour.
Give your eyes no sleep
    and your eyelids no slumber;
save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,[d]
    like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the ant, you lazybones;
    consider its ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief
    or officer or ruler,
it prepares its food in summer,
    and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
    When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want, like an armed warrior.

12 A scoundrel and a villain
    goes around with crooked speech,
13 winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,
    pointing the fingers,
14 with perverted mind devising evil,
    continually sowing discord;
15 on such a one calamity will descend suddenly;
    in a moment, damage beyond repair.

16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
    seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
    and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
    feet that hurry to run to evil,
19 a lying witness who testifies falsely,
    and one who sows discord in a family.

20 My child, keep your father’s commandment,
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them upon your heart always;
    tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they[e] will lead you;
    when you lie down, they[f] will watch over you;
    and when you awake, they[g] will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
    and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the wife of another,[h]
    from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
    and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,[i]
    but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.
27 Can fire be carried in the bosom
    without burning one’s clothes?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
    without scorching the feet?
29 So is he who sleeps with his neighbour’s wife;
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 Thieves are not despised who steal only
    to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
31 Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
    they will forfeit all the goods of their house.
32 But he who commits adultery has no sense;
    he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonour,
    and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
    and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    and refuses a bribe no matter how great.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 6:1 Or a stranger
  2. Proverbs 6:2 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb the words of your mouth
  3. Proverbs 6:3 Or humble yourself
  4. Proverbs 6:5 Cn: Heb from the hand
  5. Proverbs 6:22 Heb it
  6. Proverbs 6:22 Heb it
  7. Proverbs 6:22 Heb it
  8. Proverbs 6:24 Gk: MT the evil woman
  9. Proverbs 6:26 Cn Compare Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb for because of a harlot to a piece of bread

Warnings Against Folly

My son,(A) if you have put up security(B) for your neighbor,(C)
    if you have shaken hands in pledge(D) for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
    ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
    since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion—[a]
    and give your neighbor no rest!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
    no slumber to your eyelids.(E)
Free yourself, like a gazelle(F) from the hand of the hunter,(G)
    like a bird from the snare of the fowler.(H)

Go to the ant, you sluggard;(I)
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer(J)
    and gathers its food at harvest.(K)

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?(L)
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest(M)
11 and poverty(N) will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

12 A troublemaker and a villain,
    who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13     who winks maliciously with his eye,(O)
    signals with his feet
    and motions with his fingers,(P)
14     who plots evil(Q) with deceit in his heart—
    he always stirs up conflict.(R)
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;(S)
    he will suddenly(T) be destroyed—without remedy.(U)

16 There are six things the Lord hates,(V)
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,(W)
        a lying tongue,(X)
        hands that shed innocent blood,(Y)
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,(Z)
19         a false witness(AA) who pours out lies(AB)
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.(AC)

Warning Against Adultery

20 My son,(AD) keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.(AE)
21 Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them around your neck.(AF)
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,(AG)
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life,(AH)
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
    from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.(AI)

25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
    or let her captivate you with her eyes.

26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
    but another man’s wife preys on your very life.(AJ)
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps(AK) with another man’s wife;(AL)
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,(AM)
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery(AN) has no sense;(AO)
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never(AP) be wiped away.

34 For jealousy(AQ) arouses a husband’s fury,(AR)
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 6:3 Or Go and humble yourself,

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