Dangers of Being Foolish
1My child, be careful about giving a guarantee for somebody else’s loan,
about promising to pay what someone else owes.
2You might get trapped by what you say;
you might be caught by your own words.
3My child, if you have done this and are under your neighbor’s control,
here is how to get free.
Don’t be proud. Go to your neighbor
and beg to be free from your promise.
4Don’t go to sleep
or even rest your eyes,
5but free yourself like a deer running from a hunter,
like a bird flying away from a trapper.
6Go watch the ants, you lazy person.
Watch what they do and be wise.
7Ants have no commander,
no leader or ruler,
8but they store up food in the summer
and gather their supplies at harvest.
9How long will you lie there, you lazy person?
When will you get up from sleeping?
10You sleep a little; you take a nap.
You fold your hands and lie down to rest.
11So you will be as poor as if you had been robbed;
you will have as little as if you had been held up.
12Some people are wicked and no good.
They go around telling lies,
13winking with their eyes, tapping with their feet,
and making signs with their fingers.
14They make evil plans in their hearts
and are always starting arguments.
15So trouble will strike them in an instant;
suddenly they will be so hurt no one can help them.
16There are six things the Lord hates.
There are seven things he cannot stand:
17a proud look,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill innocent people,
18a mind that thinks up evil plans,
feet that are quick to do evil,
19a witness who lies,
and someone who starts arguments among families.
Warning About Adultery
20My son, keep your father’s commands,
and don’t forget your mother’s teaching.
21Keep their words in mind forever
as though you had them tied around your neck.
22They will guide you when you walk.
They will guard you when you sleep.
They will speak to you when you are awake.
23These commands are like a lamp;
this teaching is like a light.
And the correction that comes from them
will help you have life.
24They will keep you from sinful women
and from the pleasing words of another man’s unfaithful wife.
25Don’t desire her because she is beautiful.
Don’t let her capture you by the way she looks at you.
26A prostitute will treat you like a loaf of bread,
and a woman who takes part in adultery may cost you your life.
27You cannot carry hot coals against your chest
without burning your clothes,
28and you cannot walk on hot coals
without burning your feet.
29The same is true if you have sexual relations with another man’s wife.
Anyone who does so will be punished.
30People don’t hate a thief
when he steals because he is hungry.
31But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
and it may cost him everything he owns.
32A man who takes part in adultery has no sense;
he will destroy himself.
33He will be beaten up and disgraced,
and his shame will never go away.
34Jealousy makes a husband very angry,
and he will have no pity when he gets revenge.
35He will accept no payment for the wrong;
he will take no amount of money.