Dangers of Debt
1My son, don’t make yourself responsible for the debts of others. Don’t make such deals with friends or strangers. 2If you do, your words will trap you. 3You will be under the power of other people, so you must go and free yourself. Beg them to free you from that debt. 4Don’t wait to rest or sleep. 5Escape from that trap like a deer running from a hunter. Free yourself like a bird flying from a trap.
The Dangers of Being Lazy
6You lazy people, you should watch what the ants do and learn from them. 7Ants have no ruler, no boss, and no leader. 8But in the summer, ants gather all of their food and save it. So when winter comes, there is plenty to eat.
9You lazy people, how long are you going to lie there? When will you get up? 10You say, “I need a rest. I think I’ll take a short nap.” 11But then you sleep and sleep and become poorer and poorer. Soon you will have nothing. It will be as if a thief came and stole everything you owned.
12Some people are just troublemakers. They are always thinking up some crooked plan and telling lies. 13They use secret signals to cheat people; they wink their eyes, shuffle their feet, and point a finger. 14They are always planning to do something bad. 15But they will be punished. Disaster will strike, and they will be destroyed. There will be no one to help them.
What the Lord Hates
16The Lord hates these seven things:
17eyes that show pride,
tongues that tell lies,
hands that kill innocent people,
18hearts that plan evil things to do,
feet that run to do evil,
19witnesses in court who tell lies,
and anyone who causes family members to fight.
Warning Against Adultery
20My son, remember your father’s command, and don’t forget your mother’s teaching. 21Remember their words always. Tie them around your neck and keep them over your heart. 22Let this teaching lead you wherever you go. It will watch over you while you sleep. And when you wake up, it will give you good advice.
23Your parents give you commands and teachings that are like lights to show you the right way. This teaching corrects you and trains you to follow the path to life. 24It stops you from going to an evil woman, and it protects you from the smooth talk of another man’s wife. 25Such a woman might be beautiful, but don’t let that beauty tempt you. Don’t let her eyes capture you. 26A prostitute might cost a loaf of bread, but the wife of another man could cost you your life. 27If you drop a hot coal in your lap, your clothes will be burned. 28If you step on one, your feet will be burned. 29If you sleep with another man’s wife, you will be punished.
30-31A hungry man might steal to fill his stomach. If he is caught, he must pay seven times more than he stole. It might cost him everything he owns, but other people understand. They don’t lose all their respect for him. 32But a man who commits adultery is a fool. He brings about his own destruction. 33He will suffer disease and disgrace and never be free from the shame. 34The woman’s husband will be jealous and angry and do everything he can to get revenge. 35No payment—no amount of money—will stop him.