1My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
Turn your ear to my understanding,
2that you may maintain discretion,
that your lips may preserve knowledge.
3For the lips of an adulteress drip honey.
Her mouth is smoother than oil,
4but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood,
and as sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death.
Her steps lead straight to Sheol.#5:5 Sheol is the place of the dead.
6She gives no thought to the way of life.
Her ways are crooked, and she doesn’t know it.
7Now therefore, my sons, listen to me.
Don’t depart from the words of my mouth.
8Remove your way far from her.
Don’t come near the door of her house,
9lest you give your honour to others,
and your years to the cruel one;
10lest strangers feast on your wealth,
and your labours enrich another man’s house.
11You will groan at your latter end,
when your flesh and your body are consumed,
12and say, “How I have hated instruction,
and my heart despised reproof.
13I haven’t obeyed the voice of my teachers,
nor turned my ear to those who instructed me!
14I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
amongst the gathered assembly.”
15Drink water out of your own cistern,
running water out of your own well.
16Should your springs overflow in the streets,
streams of water in the public squares?
17Let them be for yourself alone,
not for strangers with you.
18Let your spring be blessed.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19A loving doe and a graceful deer—
let her breasts satisfy you at all times.
Be captivated always with her love.
20For why should you, my son, be captivated with an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another?
21For the ways of man are before the Lord’s eyes.
He examines all his paths.
22The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare him.
The cords of his sin hold him firmly.
23He will die for lack of instruction.
In the greatness of his folly, he will go astray.