Son, if you endorse a note for someone you hardly know, guaranteeing his debt, you are in serious trouble. You may have trapped yourself by your agreement. Quick! Get out of it if you possibly can! Swallow your pride; don’t let embarrassment stand in the way. Go and beg to have your name erased. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Don’t rest until you do. If you can get out of this trap you have saved yourself like a deer that escapes from a hunter or a bird from the net.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their ways and be wise! For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you—all you do is sleep. When will you wake up? 10 “Let me sleep a little longer!” Sure, just a little more! 11 And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.

12-13 Let me describe for you a worthless and a wicked man; first, he is a constant liar; he signals his true intentions to his friends with eyes and feet and fingers. 14 He is always thinking up new schemes to swindle people. He stirs up trouble everywhere. 15 But he will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond hope of healing.

16-19 For there are six things the Lord hates—no, seven: haughtiness, lying, murdering, plotting evil, eagerness to do wrong, a false witness, sowing discord among brothers.

20 Young man, obey your father and your mother. 21 Take to heart all of their advice; keep in mind everything they tell you. 22 Every day and all night long their counsel will lead you and save you from harm; when you wake up in the morning, let their instructions guide you into the new day. 23 For their advice is a beam of light directed into the dark corners of your mind to warn you of danger and to give you a good life. 24 Their counsel will keep you far away from prostitutes, with all their flatteries, and unfaithful wives of other men.

25 Don’t lust for their beauty. Don’t let their coyness seduce you. 26 For a prostitute will bring a man to poverty, and an adulteress may cost him his very life. 27 Can a man hold fire against his chest and not be burned? 28 Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? 29 So it is with the man who commits adultery with another’s wife. He shall not go unpunished for this sin. 30 Excuses might even be found for a thief if he steals when he is starving! 31 But even so, he is fined seven times as much as he stole, though it may mean selling everything in his house to pay it back.

32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. 33 Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot, 34 for the woman’s husband will be furious in his jealousy, and he will have no mercy on you in his day of vengeance. 35 You won’t be able to buy him off no matter what you offer.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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,
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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