Avoid the mysterious woman
1My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
Bend your ear to what I know,
2so you might remain discreet,
and your lips might guard knowledge.
3The lips of a mysterious woman drip honey,
and her tongue is smoother than oil,
4but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead to the grave.#5.5 Heb Sheol
6She doesn’t stay on the way of life.
Her paths wander, but she doesn’t know it.
7Now sons, listen to me,
and don’t deviate from the words of my mouth.
8Stay on a path that is far from her;
don’t approach the entrance to her house.
9Otherwise, you will give your strength to others,
your years to a cruel person.
10Otherwise, strangers will sap your strength,
and your hard work will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11You will groan at the end
when your body and flesh are exhausted,
12and you say, “How I hated instruction!
How my heart despised correction!
13I didn’t listen to the voice of my instructor.
I didn’t obey my teacher.
14I’m on the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled community.”
15Drink water from your own cistern,
gushing water from your own well.
16Should your fountains flood outside,
streams of water in the public squares?
17They are yours alone,
not for you as well as strangers.
18May your spring be blessed.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19She is a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts intoxicate you all the time;
always be drunk on her love.
20Why, my son, should you lose your senses with a mysterious woman
and embrace the breasts of a foreign female?
21The LORD’s eyes watch over every person’s path,
observing all their ways.
22The wicked will be caught by their own evil acts,
grabbed by the ropes of their own sin.
23Those without instruction will die,
misled by their own stupidity.