- My son, if thou become surety for thy friend, thou shalt
deliver thine hand to an enemy.
- For a man's own lips become a strong snare to him, and he is
caught with the lips of his own mouth.
- My son, do what I command thee, and deliver thyself; for
on thy friend's account thou art come into the power of evil
men: faint not, but stir up even thy friend for whom thou art
- Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber with thine eyelids;
- that thou mayest deliver thyself as a doe out of the toils, and as
a bird out of a snare.
- Go to the ant, O sluggard; and see, and emulate his ways, and
become wiser than he.
- For whereas he has no husbandry, nor any one to compel him, and is
under no master,
- he prepares food for himself in the summer, and lays by abundant
store in harvest. Or go to the bee, and learn how diligent she is, and
how eaernestly she is engaged in her work; whose labours kings and
private men use for health, and she is desired and respected by all:
though weak in [a] body, she is advanced
by honouring wisdom.
- How long wilt thou lie, O sluggard? and when wilt thou awake out
- Thou sleepest a little, and thou restest a little, and thou
slumberest a short time, and thou foldest thine arms over thy
breast a little.
- Then poverty comes upon thee as an evil traveller, and want as a
swift courier: but if thou be diligent, thine harvest shall arrive as
a fountain, and poverty shall flee away as a bad courier.
- A foolish man and a transgressor goes in ways that are not good.
- And the same winks with the eye, and makes a sign with his foot,
and teaches with the beckonings of his fingers.
- His perverse heart devises evils: at all times such a one
causes troubles to a city.
- Therefore his destruction shall come suddenly; overthrow and
irretrievable ruin. [b]
- For he rejoices in all things which God hates, and he is ruined by
reason of impurity of soul.
- The eye of the haughty, a tongue unjust, hands shedding the blood
of the just;
- and a heart devising evil thoughts, and feet hastening to do evil,
-- are hateful to God.
- An unjust witness kindles falsehoods, and [c] brings on quarrels between brethren.
- My son, keep the laws of thy father, and reject not the
ordinances of thy mother:
- but bind them upon thy soul continually, and hang them as a chain
about thy neck.
- Whensoever thou walkest, lead this along and let it be with thee;
and when thou sleepest let it keep thee; that it may talk with thee
when thou wakest.
- For the commandment of the law is a lamp and a light; a way of
life; reproof also and correction:
- to keep thee continually from a married woman, and from the
calumny of a strange tongue.
- Let not the desire of beauty overcome thee, neither be thou caught
by thine eyes, neither be captivated with her eyelids.
- For the value of a harlot is as much as of one loaf; and a woman
hunts for the precious souls of men.
- Shall any one bind fire in his bosom, and not burn his garments?
- or will any one walk on coals of fire, and not burn his feet?
- So is he that goes in to a married woman; he shall not be held
guiltless, neither any one that touches her.
- It is not to be wondered at if one should be taken stealing, for
he steals that when hungry he may satisfy his soul:
- but if he should be taken, he shall repay sevenfold, and shall
deliver himself by giving all his goods.
- But the adulterer through want of sense procures destruction to
- He endures both pain and disgrace, and his reproach shall never be
- For the soul of her husband is full of jealousy: he will not spare
in the day of vengeance.
- He will not forego his enmity for any ransom: neither
will he be reconciled for many gifts.
[a] Gr. strength.
[b] Comp. Heb.
[c] Gr sends forth judgments.
[English translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee
Brenton (1807-1862) originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons,
Ltd., London, 1851]