The Wiles of a Harlot

71 My son, keep my words.
Lay up my commandments within you. 2 Keep my commandments and live!
Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers.
Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Tell wisdom, “You are my sister.”
Call understanding your relative, 5 that they may keep you from the strange woman,
from the foreigner who flatters with her words.

6 For at the window of my house,
I looked out through my lattice. 7 I saw among the simple ones.
I discerned among the youths a young man void of understanding, 8 passing through the street near her corner,
he went the way to her house, 9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day,
in the middle of the night and in the darkness. 10 Behold, there a woman met him with the attire of a prostitute,
and with crafty intent. 11 She is loud and defiant.
Her feet don’t stay in her house. 12 Now she is in the streets, now in the squares,
and lurking at every corner. 13 So she caught him, and kissed him.
With an impudent face she said to him: 14 “Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me.
This day I have paid my vows. 15 Therefore I came out to meet you,
to diligently seek your face,
and I have found you. 16 I have spread my couch with carpets of tapestry,
with striped cloths of the yarn of Egypt. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s take our fill of loving until the morning.
Let’s solace ourselves with loving. 19 For my husband isn’t at home.
He has gone on a long journey. 20 He has taken a bag of money with him.
He will come home at the full moon.” 21 With persuasive words, she led him astray.
With the flattering of her lips, she seduced him. 22 He followed her immediately,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
as a fool stepping into a noose. 23 Until an arrow strikes through his liver,
as a bird hurries to the snare,
and doesn’t know that it will cost his life.

24 Now therefore, sons, listen to me.
Pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25 Don’t let your heart turn to her ways.
Don’t go astray in her paths, 26 for she has thrown down many wounded.
Yes, all her slain are a mighty army. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.

The Excellence and Eternity of Wisdom

81 Doesn’t wisdom cry out?
Doesn’t understanding raise her voice? 2 On the top of high places by the way,
where the paths meet, she stands. 3 Beside the gates, at the entry of the city,
at the entry doors, she cries aloud: 4 “To you men, I call!
I send my voice to the sons of mankind. 5 You simple, understand prudence.
You fools, be of an understanding heart. 6 Hear, for I will speak excellent things.
The opening of my lips is for right things. 7 For my mouth speaks truth.
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness.
There is nothing crooked or perverse in them. 9 They are all plain to him who understands,
right to those who find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction rather than silver;
knowledge rather than choice gold. 11 For wisdom is better than rubies.
All the things that may be desired can’t be compared to it.

12 “I, wisdom, have made prudence my dwelling.
Find out knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil.
I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth. 14 Counsel and sound knowledge are mine.
I have understanding and power. 15 By me kings reign,
and princes decree justice. 16 By me princes rule;
nobles, and all the righteous rulers of the earth. 17 I love those who love me.
Those who seek me diligently will find me. 18 With me are riches, honor,
enduring wealth, and prosperity. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold;
my yield than choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the midst of the paths of justice; 21 That I may give wealth to those who love me.
I fill their treasuries.

22 “Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of his work,
before his deeds of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning,
before the earth existed. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was 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 established the heavens, I was there;
when he set a circle on the surface of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above,
when the springs of the deep became strong, 29 when he gave to the sea its boundary,
that the waters should not violate his commandment,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth; 30 then I was the craftsman by his side.
I was a delight day by day,
always rejoicing before him, 31 Rejoicing in his whole world.
My delight was with the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
for blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise.
Don’t refuse it. 34 Blessed is the man who hears me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at my door posts. 35 For whoever finds me, finds life,
and will obtain favor from Yahweh. 36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul.
All those who hate me love death.”

Wisdom and the Foolish Woman

91 Wisdom has built her house.
She has carved out her seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat.
She has mixed her wine.
She has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens.
She cries from the highest places of the city: 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him, 5 “Come, eat some of my bread,
Drink some of the wine which I have mixed! 6 Leave your simple ways, and live.
Walk in the way of understanding.” 7 He who corrects a mocker invites insult.
He who reproves a wicked man invites abuse. 8 Don’t reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you.
Reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Instruct a wise man, and he will be still wiser.
Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.
The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied.
The years of your life will be increased. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself.
If you mock, you alone will bear it.

13 The foolish woman is loud,
Undisciplined, and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call to those who pass by,
who go straight on their ways, 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here.”
as for him who is void of understanding, she says to him, 17 “Stolen water is sweet.
Food eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he doesn’t know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.