Warning Against the Adulteress1 a My son, keep my words
and b treasure up my commandments with you;
2 c keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as d the apple of your eye;
3 e bind them on your fingers;
f write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from g the forbidden ▼
▼ Hebrew strangewoman,
from i the adulteress ▼
▼ Hebrew the foreign womanwith her smooth words.
6 For at k the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
7 and I have seen among l the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man m lacking sense,
8 passing along the street n near her corner,
taking the road to her house
9 in o the twilight, in the evening,
at p the time of night and darkness.
10 And behold, the woman meets him,
q dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. ▼
▼ Hebrew guarded in heart
11 She is s loud and t wayward;
u her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market,
and v at every corner she w lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,
and with x bold face she says to him,
14 “I had to y offer sacrifices ▼
▼ Hebrew peace offerings
and today I have aa paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with ab coverings,
colored linens from ac Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with ad myrrh,
aloes, and ae cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For af my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”
21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with ag her smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast ▼
▼ Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as an anklet for the discipline of a fool
23 till an arrow pierces its liver;
as ai a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 And aj now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are ak a mighty throng.
27 Her house is al the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.
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