The Beneficence of Wisdom
4 1 Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight; 2 for I give you good precepts: do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 he taught me, and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live; 5 do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Get wisdom; get insight. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown." 10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. 11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Keep hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made some one stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to him who finds them, and healing to all his flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Take heed to the path of your feet, then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Warning against Unchastity
5 1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; 2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. 3 For the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech 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 follow the path to Sheol; 6 she does not take heed to the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. 7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house; 9 lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless; 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of an alien; 11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12 and you say, "How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I was at the point of utter ruin in the assembled congregation."
15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely hind, a graceful doe. Let her affection fill you at all times with delight, be infatuated always with her love. 20 Why should you be infatuated, my son, with a loose woman and embrace the bosom of an adventuress? 21 For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he watches all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is caught in the toils of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is lost.
Warning against Idleness and Falsehood
6 1 My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger; 2 if you are snared in the utterance of your lips, caught in the words of your mouth; 3 then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into your neighbor's power: go, hasten, and importune your neighbor. 4 Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; 5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer or ruler, 8 she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11 and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond, and want like an armed man.
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, 13 winks with his eyes, scrapes with his feet, points with his finger, 14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; 15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. 16 There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.
Warning against Adultery
20 My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. 21 Bind them upon your heart always; tie them about your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, 24 to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adventuress. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; 26 for a harlot may be hired for a loaf of bread, but an adulteress stalks a man's very life. 27 Can a man carry 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 is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. 30 Do not men despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry? 31 And if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. 32 He who commits adultery has no sense; he who does it destroys himself. 33 Wounds and dishonor will he get, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation, nor be appeased though you multiply gifts.