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A Warning Against a Woman Who Commits Adultery

My son, obey my words.
    Store up my commands inside you.
Obey my commands and you will live.
    Guard my teachings as you would guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers.
    Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister.”
    Say to understanding, “You are a member of my family.”
They will keep you from a woman who commits adultery.
    They will keep you from the smooth talk of a sinful wife.

I stood at the window of my house.
    I looked down through it.
Among those who were childish
    I saw a young man who had no sense.
He went down the street near that sinful woman’s corner.
    He walked toward her house.
The sun had gone down, and the day was fading.
    The darkness of night was falling.

10 A woman came out to meet him.
    She was dressed like a prostitute and had a clever plan.
11 She was wild and pushy.
    She never stayed at home.
12 Sometimes she’s in the streets. Sometimes she’s at other places.
    At every corner she waits.
13 She took hold of the young man and kissed him.
    With a bold face she spoke to him. She said,

14 “Today I offered what I promised I would.
    At home I have meat left over from my fellowship offering.
15 So I came out to meet you.
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with colored sheets from Egypt.
17 I’ve perfumed my bed with spices.
    I used myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.
    Let’s enjoy ourselves by sleeping together!
19 My husband isn’t home.
    He’s gone on a long journey.
20 He took his bag full of money.
    He won’t be home for several days.”

21 She led him astray with her clever words.
    She charmed him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her.
    He was like an ox going to be killed.
He was like a deer stepping into a trap
23     until an arrow struck its liver.
He was like a bird rushing into a trap.
    Little did he know it would cost him his life!

24 My sons, listen to me.
    Pay attention to what I say.
25 Don’t let your hearts turn to her ways.
    Don’t step onto her paths.
26 She has brought down a lot of men.
    She has killed a huge crowd.
27 Her house is a road to the grave.
    It leads down to the place of the dead.

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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