The Beneficence of Wisdom
4 1 Hear, [my] sons, the instruction of a father, And attend to know understanding: 2 For I give you good doctrine; Forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was a son unto my father, Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 And he taught me, and said unto me: Let thy heart retain my words; Keep my commandments, and live; 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; Forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth; 6 Forsake her not, and she will preserve thee; Love her, and she will keep thee. 7 Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [Therefore] get wisdom; Yea, with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she will promote thee; She will bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She will give to thy head a chaplet of grace; A crown of beauty will she deliver to thee. 10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; And the years of thy life shall be many. 11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in paths of uprightness. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; And if thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction; Let her not go: Keep her; For she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, And walk not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it; Turn from it, and pass on. 16 For they sleep not, except they do evil; And their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words; Incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; Keep them in the midst of thy heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, And health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; For out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a wayward mouth, And perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, And let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Make level the path of thy feet, And let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil.
Warning against Unchastity
5 1 My son, attend unto my wisdom; Incline thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest preserve discretion, And that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; Her steps take hold on Sheol; 6 So that she findeth not the level path of life: Her ways are unstable, [and] she knoweth [it] not. 7 Now therefore, [my] sons, hearken unto me, And depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, And come not nigh the door of her house; 9 Lest thou give thine honor unto others, And thy years unto the cruel; 10 Lest strangers be filled with thy strength, And thy labors [be] in the house of an alien, 11 And thou mourn at thy latter end, When thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12 And say, How have I hated instruction, And my heart despised reproof; 13 Neither have I obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! 14 I was well-nigh in all evil In the midst of the assembly and congregation.
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, And running waters out of thine own well. 16 Should thy springs be dispersed abroad, And streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for thyself alone, And not for strangers with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed; And rejoice in the wife of thy youth. 19 [As] a loving hind and a pleasant doe, Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; And be thou ravished always with her love. 20 For why shouldest thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, And embrace the bosom of a foreigner? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah; And he maketh level all his paths. 22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked, And he shall be holden with the cords of his sin. 23 He shall die for lack of instruction; And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Warning against Idleness and Falsehood
6 1 My son, if thou art become surety for thy neighbor, If thou hast stricken thy hands for a stranger; 2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, Thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, Seeing thou art come into the hand of thy neighbor: Go, humble thyself, and importune thy neighbor; 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, Nor slumber to thine eyelids; 5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand [of the hunter], And as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; Consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no chief, Overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her bread in the summer, And gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as a robber, And thy want as an armed man.
12 A worthless person, a man of iniquity, Is he that walketh with a perverse mouth; 13 That winketh with his eyes, that speaketh with his feet, That maketh signs with his fingers; 14 In whose heart is perverseness, Who deviseth evil continually, Who soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; On a sudden shall he be broken, and that without remedy. 16 There are six things which Jehovah hateth; Yea, seven which are an abomination unto him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood; 18 A heart that deviseth wicked purposes, Feet that are swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that uttereth lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.
Warning against Adultery
20 My son, keep the commandment of thy father, And forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thy heart; Tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou walkest, it shall lead thee; When thou sleepest, it shall watch over thee; And when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23 For the commandment is a lamp; And the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil woman, From the flattery of the foreigner's tongue. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thy heart; Neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 26 For on account of a harlot [a man is brought] to a piece of bread; And the adulteress hunteth for the precious life. 27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can one walk upon hot coals, And his feet not be scorched? 29 So he that goeth in to his neighbor's wife; Whosoever toucheth her shall not be unpunished. 30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal To satisfy himself when he is hungry: 31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; He shall give all the substance of his house. 32 He that committeth adultery with a woman is void of understanding: He doeth it who would destroy his own soul. 33 Wounds and dishonor shall he get; And his reproach shall not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy is the rage of a man; And he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will not regard any ransom; Neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.