1 My child, be attentive to my wisdom,
and to my understanding incline your ear;
2in order to keep prudence,
and knowledge will guard your lips.
3For the lips of the strange woman will drip honey,
and smoother than oil is her mouth.#Or “palate”
4But her end is bitter as the wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps take hold of Sheol.#A term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the Underworld
6She does not observe#Or “examine, weigh” the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
Do Not Commit Adultery Against Wisdom
7Now, O children, listen to me;
do not depart from the sayings of my mouth.
8Keep your paths far from her,
and do not go near to the door of her house,
9lest you give your honor to the others,
and your years to the merciless,
10lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11and you groan at your end,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12and say “How I hated discipline,
and I despised reproof!”
13and “I did not listen to the voice of my teachers,
and I did not incline my ear to my instructors!
14I was almost at utter#Or “all, every, whole” ruin#Or “evil”
in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
15Drink water from your own cistern
and flowing waters from inside your own well.
16Shall your springs be scattered outward?
In the streets, shall there be streams of water?
17May they be yours alone,
and not for strangers who are with you.
18May your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife#Or “woman” of your youth.
19She is a deer of love and a doe of grace;
may her breasts satisfy you always;#Literally “at all time”
by her love may you be intoxicated continually.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my child, by a strange woman,
and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
21For before the eyes of Yahweh are human ways,#Literally “the ways of man/humankind”
and all his paths he examines.
22His iniquities shall ensnare him, the evildoer,
and in the vanity of his sin he shall be caught.
23He shall die for lack of#Literally “with there is no” discipline,
and in the greatness of his folly he shall be lost.
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