Chapter 5

1 My son, attend to my wisdom, and apply thine ear to my words; 2 that thou mayest keep good understanding, and the discretion of my lips gives thee a charge.

Give no heed to a worthless woman; 3 for honey drops from the lips of a harlot, who for a season pleases thy palate: 4 but afterwards thou wilt find her 1more bitter than gall, and sharper than a two-edged sword. 5 For the feet of folly lead those who deal with her down to the grave with death; and her steps are not established. 6 For she goes not upon the paths of life; but her ways are slippery, and not easily known.

7 Now then, my son, hear me, and make not my words of none effect. 8 Remove thy way far from her; draw not near to the doors of her house: 9 lest thou give away thy life to others, and thy substance to the merciless: 10 lest strangers be filled with thy strength, and thy labours come into the houses of strangers; 11 And thou repent at last, when the flesh of thy body is consumed, 12 and thou shalt say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart avoided reproofs! 13 2I heard not the voice of him that instructed me, and taught me, neither did I apply mine ear. 14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

15 Drink waters out of thine own vessels, and out of thine own springing wells. 16 Let not waters out of thy fountain be spilt by thee, but let thy waters go into thy streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and let no stranger partake with thee. 18 Let thy fountain of water be truly thine own; and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let thy loving hart and thy graceful colt company with thee, and let her be considered thine own, and be with thee at all times; for ravished with her love thou shalt be greatly increased. 20 Be not intimate with a strange woman, neither fold thyself in the arms of a woman not thine own. 21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of God, and he looks on all his paths. 22 Iniquities ensnare a man, and every one is bound in the chains of his own sins. 23 Such a man dies with the uninstructed; and he is cast forth from the abundance of his own substance, and has perished through folly.

Chapter 6

1 My son, if thou become surety for thy friend, thou shalt deliver thine hand to an enemy. 2 For a manís own lips become a strong snare to him, and he is caught with the lips of his own mouth. 3 My son, do what I command thee, and deliver thyself; for on thy friendís account thou art come into the power of evil men: faint not, but stir up even thy friend for whom thou art become surety. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber with thine eyelids; 5 that thou mayest deliver thyself as a doe out of the toils, and as a bird out of a snare.

6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; and see, and emulate his ways, and become wiser


than he. 7 For whereas he has no husbandry, nor any one to compel him, and is under no master, 8 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 earnestly 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 3body, she is advanced by honouring wisdom. 9 How long wilt thou lie, O sluggard? and when wilt thou awake out of sleep? 10 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. 11 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.

12 A foolish man and a transgressor goes in ways that are not good. 13 And the same winks with the eye, and makes a sign with his foot, and teaches with the beckonings of his fingers. 14 His perverse heart devises evils: at all times such a one causes troubles to a city. 15 Therefore his destruction shall come suddenly; overthrow and irretrievable ruin.4

16 For he rejoices in all things which God hates, and he is ruined by reason of impurity of soul. 17 The eye of the haughty, a tongue unjust, hands shedding the blood of the just; 18 and a heart devising evil thoughts, and feet hastening to do evil, óare hateful to God. 19 An unjust witness kindles falsehoods, and 5brings on quarrels between brethren.

20 My son, keep the laws of thy father, and reject not the ordinances of thy mother: 21 but bind them upon thy soul continually, and hang them as a chain about thy neck. 22 Whensoever thou walkest, lead this along and let it be with thee; that it may talk with thee when thou wakest. 23 For the commandment of the law is a lamp and a light; a way of life; reproof also and correction: 24 to keep thee continually from a married woman, and from the calumny of a strange tongue.

25 Let not the desire of beauty overcome thee, neither be thou caught by thine eyes, neither be captivated with her eyelids. 26 For the value of a harlot is as much as of one loaf; and a woman hunts for the precious souls of men. 27 Shall any one bind fire in his bosom, and not burn his garments? 28 or will any one walk on coals of fire, and not burn his feet? 29 So is he that goes in to a married woman; he shall not be held guiltless, neither any one that touches her. 30 It is not to be wondered at if one should be taken stealing, for he steals that when hungry he may satisfy his soul: 31 but if he should be taken, he shall repay sevenfold, and shall deliver himself by giving all his goods. 32 But the adulterer through want of sense procures destruction to his soul. 33 He endures both pain and disgrace, and his reproach shall never be wiped off. 34 For the soul of her husband is


full of jealousy: he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will not forego his enmity for any ransom: neither will he be reconciled for many gifts.

1 Gr. a more bitter thing.

2 Alex. omits 'not.'

3 Gr. strength.

4 Comp. Heb.

5 Gr. sends forth judgments.


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