The Beneficence of Wisdom
4 1 Give ear, my sons, to the teaching of a father; give attention so that you may have knowledge: 2 For I give you good teaching; do not give up the knowledge you are getting from me. 3 For I was a son to my father, a gentle and an only one to my mother. 4 And he gave me teaching, saying to me, Keep my words in your heart; keep my rules so that you may have life: 5 Get wisdom, get true knowledge; keep it in memory, do not be turned away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not give her up, and she will keep you; give her your love, and she will make you safe. 7 The first sign of wisdom is to get wisdom; go, give all you have to get true knowledge. 8 Put her in a high place, and you will be lifted up by her; she will give you honour, when you give her your love. 9 She will put a crown of grace on your head, giving you a head-dress of glory. 10 Give ear, O my son, and let your heart be open to my sayings; and long life will be yours. 11 I have given you teaching in the way of wisdom, guiding your steps in the straight way. 12 When you go, your way will not be narrow, and in running you will not have a fall. 13 Take learning in your hands, do not let her go: keep her, for she is your life.
14 Do not go in the road of sinners, or be walking in the way of evil men. 15 Keep far from it, do not go near; be turned from it, and go on your way. 16 For they take no rest till they have done evil; their sleep is taken away if they have not been the cause of someone's fall. 17 The bread of evil-doing is their food, the wine of violent acts their drink. 18 But the way of the upright is like the light of early morning, getting brighter and brighter till the full day. 19 The way of sinners is dark; they see not the cause of their fall.
20 My son, give attention to my words; let your ear be turned to my sayings. 21 Let them not go from your eyes; keep them deep in your heart. 22 For they are life to him who gets them, and strength to all his flesh. 23 And keep watch over your heart with all care; so you will have life. 24 Put away from you an evil tongue, and let false lips be far from you. 25 Keep your eyes on what is in front of you, looking straight before you. 26 Keep a watch on your behaviour; let all your ways be rightly ordered. 27 Let there be no turning to the right or to the left, keep your feet from evil.
Warning against Unchastity
5 1 My son, give attention to my wisdom; let your ear be turned to my teaching: 2 So that you may be ruled by a wise purpose, and your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For honey is dropping from the lips of the strange woman, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword; 5 Her feet go down to death, and her steps to the underworld; 6 She never keeps her mind on the road of life; her ways are uncertain, she has no knowledge. 7 Give ear to me then, my sons, and do not put away my words from you. 8 Go far away from her, do not come near the door of her house; 9 For fear that you may give your honour to others, and your wealth to strange men: 10 And strange men may be full of your wealth, and the fruit of your work go to the house of others; 11 And you will be full of grief at the end of your life, when your flesh and your body are wasted; 12 And you will say, How was teaching hated by me, and my heart put no value on training; 13 I did not give attention to the voice of my teachers, my ear was not turned to those who were guiding me! 14 I was in almost all evil in the company of the people.
15 Let water from your store and not that of others be your drink, and running water from your fountain. 16 Let not your springs be flowing in the streets, or your streams of water in the open places. 17 Let them be for yourself only, not for other men with you. 18 Let blessing be on your fountain; have joy in the wife of your early years. 19 As a loving hind and a gentle doe, let her breasts ever give you rapture; let your passion at all times be moved by her love. 20 Why let yourself, my son, go out of the way with a strange woman, and take another woman in your arms? 21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he puts all his goings in the scales. 22 The evil-doer will be taken in the net of his crimes, and prisoned in the cords of his sin. 23 He will come to his end for need of teaching; he is so foolish that he will go wandering from the right way.
Warning against Idleness and Falsehood
6 1 My son, if you have made yourself responsible for your neighbour, or given your word for another, 2 You are taken as in a net by the words of your mouth, the sayings of your lips have overcome you. 3 Do this, my son, and make yourself free, because you have come into the power of your neighbour; go without waiting, and make a strong request to your neighbour. 4 Give no sleep to your eyes, or rest to them; 5 Make yourself free, like the roe from the hand of the archer, and the bird from him who puts a net for her.
6 Go to the ant, you hater of work; give thought to her ways and be wise: 7 Having no chief, overseer, or ruler, 8 She gets her meat in the summer, storing up food at the time of the grain-cutting. 9 How long will you be sleeping, O hater of work? when will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little rest, a little folding of the hands in sleep: 11 Then loss will come on you like an outlaw, and your need like an armed man
12 A good-for-nothing man is an evil-doer; he goes on his way causing trouble with false words; 13 Making signs with his eyes, rubbing with his feet, and giving news with his fingers; 14 His mind is ever designing evil: he lets loose violent acts. 15 For this cause his downfall will be sudden; quickly he will be broken, and there will be no help for him. 16 Six things are hated by the Lord; seven things are disgusting to him: 17 Eyes of pride, a false tongue, hands which take life without cause; 18 A heart full of evil designs, feet which are quick in running after sin; 19 A false witness, breathing out untrue words, and one who lets loose violent acts among brothers.
Warning against Adultery
20 My son, keep the rule of your father, and have in memory the teaching of your mother: 21 Keep them ever folded in your heart, and have them hanging round your neck. 22 In your walking, it will be your guide; when you are sleeping, it will keep watch over you; when you are awake, it will have talk with you. 23 For the rule is a light, and the teaching a shining light; and the guiding words of training are the way of life. 24 They will keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the strange woman. 25 Let not your heart's desire go after her fair body; let not her eyes take you prisoner. 26 For a loose woman is looking for a cake of bread, but another man's wife goes after one's very life. 27 May a man take fire to his breast without burning his clothing? 28 Or may one go on lighted coals, and his feet not be burned? 29 So it is with him who goes in to his neighbour's wife; he who has anything to do with her will not go free from punishment. 30 Men do not have a low opinion of a thief who takes food when he is in need of it: 31 But if he is taken in the act he will have to give back seven times as much, giving up all his property which is in his house. 32 He who takes another man's wife is without all sense: he who does it is the cause of destruction to his soul. 33 Wounds will be his and loss of honour, and his shame may not be washed away. 34 For bitter is the wrath of an angry husband; in the day of punishment he will have no mercy. 35 He will not take any payment; and he will not make peace with you though your money offerings are increased.