The Beneficence of Wisdom
4 1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know intelligence; 2 for I give you good doctrine: forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was a son unto my father, tender and an only one 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 intelligence: forget [it] not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall keep thee; love her, and she shall preserve thee. 7 The beginning of wisdom [is], Get wisdom; and with all thy getting get intelligence. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thy head a garland of grace; a crown of glory will she bestow upon thee. 10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of thy life shall be multiplied. 11 I will teach thee in the way of wisdom, I will lead thee in paths of uprightness. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when 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 go not in the way of evil [men]: 15 avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not except they have done mischief, and their sleep is taken away unless they have caused [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 shining light, going on and brightening until the day be fully come. 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 more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee perverseness of mouth, and corrupt lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be well-ordered. 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 keep reflection, and that thy lips may preserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of the strange woman drop honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on Sheol. 6 Lest she should ponder the path of life, her ways wander, she knoweth not [whither]. 7 And now, children, 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 honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel; 10 lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and the fruits of thy toil [come] into the house of a stranger; 11 and thou mourn in thine end, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed; 12 and thou say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof! 13 and I have not hearkened unto the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to those that instructed me; 14 I was well nigh in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Thy fountains shall be poured forth, as water-brooks in the broadways. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed; and have joy of the wife of thy youth. 19 As a lovely hind and a graceful roe, let her breasts satisfy thee at all times: be thou ravished continually with her love. 20 And why shouldest thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah, and he pondereth 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 want of discipline; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Warning against Idleness and Falsehood
6 1 My son, if thou hast become surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand 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, since thou hast come into the hand of thy friend: go, humble thyself, and be urgent with thy friend. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids: 5 deliver thyself as a gazelle 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, sluggard, wilt thou lie down? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest! 11 So shall thy poverty come as a roving plunderer, and thy penury as an armed man.
12 A man of Belial, a wicked person, is he that goeth about with a perverse mouth; 13 he winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 deceits are in his heart; he deviseth mischief at all times, he soweth discords. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly: in a moment shall he be broken, and without remedy. 16 These six [things] doth Jehovah hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; 18 a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations; feet that are swift in running to mischief; 19 a false witness that uttereth lies, and he that soweth discords among brethren.
Warning against Adultery
20 My son, observe thy father's commandment, and forsake not the teaching 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 keep thee; and [when] thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23 For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching a light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thy heart, neither let her take thee with her eyelids; 26 for by means of a whorish woman [a man is brought] to a loaf of bread, and another's wife doth hunt for the precious soul. 27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his garments not be burned? 28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? 29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife: whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. 30 They do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry: 31 and if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. 32 Whoso committeth adultery with a woman is void of understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33 A wound and contempt 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 multipliest [thy] gifts.