Warning against adultery
1My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
turn your ear to my words of insight,
2that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
7Now then, my sons, listen to me;
do not turn aside from what I say.
8Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9lest you lose your honour to others
and your dignity to one who is cruel,
10lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich the house of another.
11At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.
12You will say, ‘How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
13I would not obey my teachers
or turn my ear to my instructors.
14And I was soon in serious trouble
in the assembly of God’s people.’
15Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19A loving doe, a graceful deer –
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
21For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.
22The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly.