Admonition to Avoid the Wiles of the Adulteress
1 My child, keep my words
and treasure up my commands in your own keeping.
2 Keep my commands so that you may live,
and obey my instruction as your most prized possession.
3 Bind them on your forearm;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call understanding a close relative,
5 so that they may keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the loose woman who flatters you with her words.
6 For at the window of my house
through my window lattice I looked out
7 and I saw among the naive –
I discerned among the youths –
a young man who lacked wisdom.
8 He was passing by the street near her corner,
making his way along the road to her house
9 in the twilight, the evening,
in the dark of the night.
10 Suddenly a woman came out to meet him!
She was dressed like a prostitute and with secret intent.
11 (She is loud and rebellious,
she does not remain at home –
12 at one time outside, at another in the wide plazas,
and by every corner she lies in wait.)
13 So she grabbed him and kissed him,
and with a bold expression she said to him,
14 “I have fresh meat at home;
today I have fulfilled my vows!
15 That is why I came out to meet you,
to look for you, and I found you!
16 I have spread my bed with elegant coverings,
with richly coloured fabric from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of lovemaking until morning,
let’s delight ourselves with sexual intercourse.
19 For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a journey of some distance.
20 He has taken a bag of money with him;
he will not return until the end of the month.”
21 She persuaded him with persuasive words;
with her smooth talk she compelled him.
22 Suddenly he went after her
like an ox that goes to the slaughter,
like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare
23 till an arrow pierces his liver –
like a bird hurrying into a trap,
and he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 So now, sons, listen to me,
and pay attention to the words I speak.
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways –
do not wander into her pathways;
26 for she has brought down many fatally wounded,
and all those she has slain are many.
27 Her house is the way to the grave,
going down to the chambers of death.