The Wiles of a Harlot

71 My son, keep my sayings, and let my rules be stored up with you. 2 Keep my rules and you will have life; let my teaching be to you as the light of your eyes; 3 Let them be fixed to your fingers, and recorded in your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, You are my sister; let knowledge be named your special friend: 5 So that they may keep you from the strange woman, even from her whose words are smooth.

6 Looking out from my house, and watching through the window, 7 I saw among the young men one without sense, 8 Walking in the street near the turn of her road, going on the way to her house, 9 At nightfall, in the evening of the day, in the black dark of the night. 10 And the woman came out to him, in the dress of a loose woman, with a designing heart; 11 She is full of noise and uncontrolled; her feet keep not in her house. 12 Now she is in the street, now in the open spaces, waiting at every turning of the road. 13 So she took him by his hand, kissing him, and without a sign of shame she said to him: 14 I have a feast of peace-offerings, for today my oaths have been effected. 15 So I came out in the hope of meeting you, looking for you with care, and now I have you. 16 My bed is covered with cushions of needlework, with coloured cloths of the cotton thread of Egypt; 17 I have made my bed sweet with perfumes and spices. 18 Come, let us take our pleasure in love till the morning, having joy in love's delights. 19 For the master of the house is away on a long journey: 20 He has taken a bag of money with him; he is coming back at the full moon. 21 With her fair words she overcame him, forcing him with her smooth lips. 22 The simple man goes after her, like an ox going to its death, like a roe pulled by a cord; 23 Like a bird falling into a net; with no thought that his life is in danger, till an arrow goes into his side.

24 So now, my sons, give ear to me; give attention to the sayings of my mouth; 25 Let not your heart be turned to her ways, do not go wandering in her footsteps. 26 For those wounded and made low by her are great in number; and all those who have come to their death through her are a great army. 27 Her house is the way to the underworld, going down to the rooms of death.

The Excellence and Eternity of Wisdom

81 Is not wisdom crying out, and the voice of knowledge sounding? 2 At the top of the highways, at the meeting of the roads, she takes her place; 3 Where the roads go into the town her cry goes out, at the doorways her voice is loud: 4 I am crying out to you, O men; my voice comes to the sons of men. 5 Become expert in reason, O you simple ones; you foolish ones, take training to heart. 6 Give ear, for my words are true, and my lips are open to give out what is upright. 7 For good faith goes out of my mouth, and false lips are disgusting to me. 8 All the words of my mouth are righteousness; there is nothing false or twisted in them. 9 They are all true to him whose mind is awake, and straightforward to those who get knowledge. 10 Take my teaching, and not silver; get knowledge in place of the best gold. 11 For wisdom is better than jewels, and all things which may be desired are nothing in comparison with her.

12 I, wisdom, have made wise behaviour my near relation; I am seen to be the special friend of wise purposes. 13 The fear of the Lord is seen in hating evil: pride, a high opinion of oneself, the evil way, and the false tongue, are unpleasing to me. 14 Wise design and good sense are mine; reason and strength are mine. 15 Through me kings have their power, and rulers give right decisions. 16 Through me chiefs have authority, and the noble ones are judging in righteousness. 17 Those who have given me their love are loved by me, and those who make search for me with care will get me. 18 Wealth and honour are in my hands, even wealth without equal and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, even than the best gold; and my increase is more to be desired than silver. 20 I go in the road of righteousness, in the way of right judging: 21 So that I may give my lovers wealth for their heritage, making their store-houses full.

22 The Lord made me as the start of his way, the first of his works in the past. 23 From eternal days I was given my place, from the birth of time, before the earth was. 24 When there was no deep I was given birth, when there were no fountains flowing with water. 25 Before the mountains were put in their places, before the hills was my birth: 26 When he had not made the earth or the fields or the dust of the world. 27 When he made ready the heavens I was there: when he put an arch over the face of the deep: 28 When he made strong the skies overhead: when the fountains of the deep were fixed: 29 When he put a limit to the sea, so that the waters might not go against his word: when he put in position the bases of the earth: 30 Then I was by his side, as a master workman: and I was his delight from day to day, playing before him at all times; 31 Playing in his earth; and my delight was with the sons of men.

32 Give ear to me then, my sons: for happy are those who keep my ways. 33 Take my teaching and be wise; do not let it go. 34 Happy is the man who gives ear to me, watching at my doors day by day, keeping his place by the pillars of my house. 35 For whoever gets me gets life, and grace from the Lord will come to him. 36 But he who does evil to me, does wrong to his soul: all my haters are in love with death.

Wisdom and the Foolish Woman

91 Wisdom has made her house, putting up her seven pillars. 2 She has put her fat beasts to death; her wine is mixed, her table is ready. 3 She has sent out her women-servants; her voice goes out to the highest places of the town, saying, 4 Whoever is simple, let him come in here; and to him who has no sense, she says: 5 Come, take of my bread, and of my wine which is mixed. 6 Give up the simple ones and have life, and go in the way of knowledge. 7 He who gives teaching to a man of pride gets shame for himself; he who says sharp words to a sinner gets a bad name. 8 Do not say sharp words to a man of pride, or he will have hate for you; make them clear to a wise man, and you will be dear to him. 9 Give teaching to a wise man, and he will become wiser; give training to an upright man, and his learning will be increased. 10 The fear of the Lord is the start of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One gives a wise mind 11 For by me your days will be increased, and the years of your life will be long. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if your heart is full of pride, you only will have the pain of it.

13 The foolish woman is full of noise; she has no sense at all. 14 Seated at the door of her house, in the high places of the town, 15 Crying out to those who go by, going straight on their way, she says: 16 Whoever is simple, let him come in here: and to him who is without sense, she says: 17 Drink taken without right is sweet, and food in secret is pleasing. 18 But he does not see that the dead are there, that her guests are in the deep places of the underworld.