The Wiles of a Harlot
7 1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my teaching, as the apple of thine eye. 3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the tablet of thy heart. 4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister, and call intelligence [thy] kinswoman: 5 that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger who flattereth with her words.
6 For at the window of my house, I looked forth through my lattice, 7 and I beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the sons, a young man void of understanding, 8 passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day, in the blackness of night and the darkness. 10 And behold, there met him a woman in the attire of a harlot, and subtle of heart. 11 She is clamorous and unmanageable; her feet abide not in her house: 12 now without, now in the broadways,—and she lieth in wait at every corner. 13 And she caught him and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 14 I have peace-offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows: 15 therefore came I forth to meet thee, to seek earnestly thy face, and I have found thee. 16 I have decked my bed with tapestry coverlets of variegated linen from Egypt; 17 I have perfumed my couch with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us revel in love until the morning, let us delight ourselves with loves. 19 For the husband is not at home, he is gone a long journey; 20 he hath taken the money-bag with him, he will come home on the day of the full moon. 21 With her much enticement she beguiled him; with the smoothness of her lips she constrained him. 22 He went after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, and as stocks [serve] for the correction of the fool; 23 till an arrow strike through his liver: as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for its life.
24 And now, ye sons, hearken unto me, and attend to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not thy heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths: 26 for she hath cast down many wounded, and all slain by her were strong. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
The Excellence and Eternity of Wisdom
8 1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding give forth her voice? 2 On the top of high places by the way, at the cross-paths she taketh her stand. 3 Beside the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors, she crieth aloud. 4 Unto you, men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man: 5 O ye simple, understand prudence; and ye foolish, understand sense. 6 Hear, for I will speak excellent things, and the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7 For my palate shall meditate truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing tortuous or perverse in them. 9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold: 11 for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not equal to it.
12 I wisdom dwell [with] prudence, and find the knowledge [which cometh] of reflection. 13 The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil; pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth do I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am intelligence; I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and rulers make just decrees; 16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. 17 I love those that love me; and they that seek me early shall find me. 18 Riches and honour are with me; durable wealth and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold, yea, than pure gold; and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I walk in the path of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: 21 that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasuries.
22 Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from eternity, from the beginning, before the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth; 26 while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world. 27 When he prepared the heavens I was there; when he ordained the circle upon the face of the deep; 28 when he established the skies above, when the fountains of the deep became strong; 29 when he imposed on the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment, when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 then I was by him [his] nursling, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights [were] with the sons of men.
32 And now, sons, hearken unto me, and blessed are they that keep my ways: 33 hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and obtaineth favour of Jehovah; 36 but he that sinneth against me doeth violence to his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Wisdom and the Foolish Woman
9 1 Wisdom hath built her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars; 2 she hath slaughtered her cattle, she hath mingled her wine, she hath also prepared her table; 3 she hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the summits of the high places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither. To him that is void of understanding, she saith, 5 Come, eat ye of my bread, and drink of the wine that I have mingled. 6 Forsake follies and live, and go in the way of intelligence. 7 He that instructeth a scorner getteth to himself shame; and he that reproveth a wicked [man] [getteth] to himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee; reprove a wise [man], and he will love thee. 9 Impart to a wise [man], and he will become yet wiser; teach a righteous [man], and he will increase learning. 10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy is intelligence. 11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and years of life shall be added to thee. 12 If thou art wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; and if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
13 The foolish woman is clamorous; she is stupid, and knoweth nothing. 14 And she sitteth at the entry of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 to call passers-by who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither. And to him that is void of understanding she saith, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and the bread of secrecy is pleasant. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; [that] her guests are in the depths of Sheol.