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My child, remember what I say and never forget what I tell you to do. Do what I say, and you will live. Be as careful to follow my teaching as you are to protect your eyes. Keep my teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart. Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend. They will keep you away from other men's wives, from women with seductive words.

The Immoral Woman

Once I was looking out the window of my house, and I saw many inexperienced young men, but noticed one foolish fellow in particular. He was walking along the street near the corner where a certain woman lived. He was passing near her house in the evening after it was dark. 10 And then she met him; she was dressed like a prostitute and was making plans. 11 She was a bold and shameless woman who always walked the streets 12 or stood waiting at a corner, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the marketplace. 13 She threw her arms around the young man, kissed him, looked him straight in the eye, and said, 14 “I made my offerings today and have the meat from the sacrifices. 15 So I came out looking for you. I wanted to find you, and here you are! 16 I've covered my bed with sheets of colored linen from Egypt. 17 I've perfumed it with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come on! Let's make love all night long. We'll be happy in each other's arms. 19 My husband isn't at home. He's on a long trip. 20 He took plenty of money with him and won't be back for two weeks.” 21 So she tempted him with her charms, and he gave in to her smooth talk. 22 Suddenly he was going with her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, like a deer prancing into a trap[a] 23 where an arrow would pierce its heart. He was like a bird going into a net—he did not know that his life was in danger.

24 Now then, sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let such a woman win your heart; don't go wandering after her. 26 She has been the ruin of many men and caused the death of too many to count. 27 If you go to her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It is a shortcut to death.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 7:22 Probable text like a deer prancing into a trap; Hebrew unclear.

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

My son,(A) keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;(B)
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.(C)
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.(D)

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.(E)
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight,(F) as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly(G) and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)(H)
13 She took hold of him(I) and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:(J)

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering(K) at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed(L)
    with myrrh,(M) aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!(N)
19 My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.(O)
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b](P)
23     till an arrow pierces(Q) his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.(R)

24 Now then, my sons, listen(S) to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.(T)
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.(U)

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 7:22 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool
  2. Proverbs 7:22 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.

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