Warnings against folly
1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbour,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbour’s hands:
go – to the point of exhaustion –
and give your neighbour no rest!
4Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
5Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
6Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest –
11and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
12A troublemaker and a villain,
who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13who winks maliciously with his eye,
signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers,
14who plots evil with deceit in his heart –
he always stirs up conflict.
15Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed – without remedy.
16There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Warning against adultery
20My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21Bind them always on your heart;
fasten them round your neck.
22When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,
24keeping you from your neighbour’s wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
26For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
28Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
29So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no-one who touches her will go unpunished.
30People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
33Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.
34For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35He will not accept any compensation;
he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.