Warning against the adulterous woman
1My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
2Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
3Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’
and to insight, ‘You are my relative.’
5They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
6At the window of my house
I looked down through the lattice.
7I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
10Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11(She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
14‘Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16I have covered my bed
with coloured linens from Egypt.
17I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.’
21With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer#Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool stepping into a noose#The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.
24Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
25Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.