Admonitions and Warnings against Dangerous and Destructive Acts
1 My child, if you have made a pledge for your neighbour,
and have become a guarantor for a stranger,
2 if you have been ensnared by the words you have uttered,
and have been caught by the words you have spoken,
3 then, my child, do this in order to deliver yourself,
because you have fallen into your neighbour’s power:
go, humble yourself,
and appeal firmly to your neighbour.
4 Permit no sleep to your eyes
or slumber to your eyelids.
5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare,
and like a bird from the trap of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
observe its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
overseer, or ruler,
8 yet it prepares its food in the summer;
it gathers at the harvest what it will eat.
9 How long, you sluggard, will you lie there?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to relax,
11 and your poverty will come like a robber,
and your need like an armed man.
12 A worthless and wicked person
walks around saying perverse things;
13 he winks with his eyes,
signals with his feet,
and points with his fingers;
14 he plots evil with perverse thoughts in his heart,
he spreads contention at all times.
15 Therefore, his disaster will come suddenly;
in an instant he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
even seven things 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 are swift to run to evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
and a person who spreads discord among family members.
20 My child, guard the commands of your father
and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.
21 Bind them on your heart continually;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk about, they will guide you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
when you wake up, they will talk to you.
23 For the commandments are like a lamp,
instruction is like a light,
and rebukes of discipline are like the road leading to life,
24 by keeping you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the loose woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart for her beauty,
and do not let her captivate you with her alluring eyes;
26 for on account of a prostitute one is brought down to a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another man preys on your precious life.
27 Can a man hold fire against his chest
without burning his clothes?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
without scorching his feet?
29 So it is with the one who has sex with his neighbour’s wife;
no one who touches her will escape punishment.
30 People do not despise a thief when he steals
to fulfil his need when he is hungry.
31 Yet if he is caught he must repay seven times over,
he might even have to give all the wealth of his house.
32 A man who commits adultery with a woman lacks wisdom,
whoever does it destroys his own life.
33 He will be beaten and despised,
and his reproach will not be wiped away;
34 for jealousy kindles a husband’s rage,
and he will not show mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not consider any compensation;
he will not be willing, even if you multiply the compensation.