61Have you promised to be responsible for someone else's debts, my child? 2Have you been caught by your own words, trapped by your own promises? 3Well then, my child, you are in that person's power, but this is how to get out of it: hurry to him, and beg him to release you. 4Don't let yourself go to sleep or even stop to rest. 5Get out of the trap like a bird or a deer escaping from a hunter.
6Lazy people should learn a lesson from the way ants live. 7They have no leader, chief, or ruler, 8but they store up their food during the summer, getting ready for winter. 9How long is the lazy man going to lie in bed? When is he ever going to get up? 10
“I'll just take a short nap,” he says; “I'll fold my hands and rest a while.” 11But while he sleeps, poverty will attack him like an armed robber.
12Worthless, wicked people go around telling lies. 13They wink and make gestures to deceive you, 14all the while planning evil in their perverted minds, stirring up trouble everywhere. 15Because of this, disaster will strike them without warning, and they will be fatally wounded.
16-19There are seven things that the LORD hates and cannot tolerate:
a proud look,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill innocent people,
a mind that thinks up wicked plans,
feet that hurry off to do evil,
a witness who tells one lie after another,
and someone who stirs up trouble among friends.
20Do what your father tells you, my son, and never forget what your mother taught you. 21Keep their words with you always, locked in your heart. 22Their teaching will lead you when you travel, protect you at night, and advise you during the day. 23Their instructions are a shining light; their correction can teach you how to live. 24It can keep you away from bad women, from the seductive words of other men's wives. 25Don't be tempted by their beauty; don't be trapped by their flirting eyes. 26A man can hire a prostitute for the price of a loaf of bread, but adultery will cost him all he has.
27Can you carry fire against your chest without burning your clothes? 28Can you walk on hot coals without burning your feet? 29It is just as dangerous to sleep with another man's wife. Whoever does it will suffer. 30People don't despise a thief if he steals food when he is hungry;6.30 People don't despise… hungry; or Don't people despise… hungry? 31yet if he is caught, he must pay back seven times more — he must give up everything he has. 32But a man who commits adultery hasn't any sense. He is just destroying himself. 33He will be dishonoured and beaten up; he will be permanently disgraced. 34A husband is never angrier than when he is jealous; his revenge knows no limits. 35He will not accept any payment; no amount of gifts will satisfy his anger.
71Remember what I say, my child, and never forget what I tell you to do. 2Do what I say, and you will live. Be as careful to follow my teaching as you are to protect your eyes. 3Keep my teaching with you all the time; write it on your heart. 4Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend. 5They will keep you away from other men's wives, from women with seductive words.
6Once I was looking out of the window of my house, 7and I saw many inexperienced young men, but noticed one foolish fellow in particular. 8He was walking along the street near the corner where a certain woman lived. He was passing near her house 9in the evening after it was dark. 10And then she met him; she was dressed like a prostitute and was making plans. 11She was a bold and shameless woman who always walked the streets 12or stood waiting at a corner, sometimes in the streets, sometimes in the market place. 13She threw her arms round the young man, kissed him, looked him straight in the eye, and said, 14“I made my offerings today and have the meat from the sacrifices. 15So I came out looking for you. I wanted to find you, and here you are! 16I've covered my bed with sheets of coloured linen from Egypt. 17I've perfumed it with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come on! Let's make love all night long. We'll be happy in each other's arms. 19My husband isn't at home. He's gone away on a long journey. 20He took plenty of money with him and won't be back for two weeks.” 21So she tempted him with her charms, and he gave in to her smooth talk. 22Suddenly he was going with her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, like a deer prancing into a trap7.22 Probable text like a deer prancing into a trap; Hebrew unclear. 23where an arrow would pierce its heart. He was like a bird going into a net — he did not know that his life was in danger.
24Now then, my sons, listen to me. Pay attention to what I say. 25Do not let such a woman win your heart; don't go wandering after her. 26She has been the ruin of many men and caused the death of too many to count. 27If you go to her house, you are on the way to the world of the dead. It is a short cut to death.
Listen! Wisdom is calling out.
Reason is making herself heard.
2On the hilltops near the road
and at the crossroads she stands.
3At the entrance to the city,
beside the gates, she calls:
4“I appeal to all of you;
I call to everyone on earth.
5Are you immature? Learn to be mature.
Are you foolish? Learn to have sense.
6Listen to my excellent words;
all I tell you is right.
7What I say is the truth;
lies are hateful to me.
8Everything I say is true;
nothing is false or misleading.
9To those with insight, it is all clear;
to the well-informed, it is all plain.
10Choose my instruction instead of silver;
choose knowledge rather than the finest gold.
11“I am Wisdom, I am better than jewels;
nothing you want can compare with me.
12I am Wisdom, and I have insight;
I have knowledge and sound judgement.
13To honour the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil ways and false words.
14I make plans and carry them out.
I have understanding, and I am strong.
15I help kings to govern
and rulers to make good laws.
16Every ruler on earth governs with my help,
officials and nobles alike.
17I love those who love me;
whoever looks for me can find me.
18I have riches and honour to give,
prosperity and success.
19What you get from me is better than the finest gold,
better than the purest silver.
20I walk the way of righteousness;
I follow the paths of justice,
21giving wealth to those who love me,
filling their houses with treasures.
“The LORD created me first of all,
the first of his works, long ago.
23I was made in the very beginning,
at the first, before the world began.
24I was born before the oceans,
when there were no springs of water.
25I was born before the mountains,
before the hills were set in place,
26before God made the earth and its fields
or even the first handful of soil.
27I was there when he set the sky in place,
when he stretched the horizon across the ocean,
28when he placed the clouds in the sky,
when he opened the springs of the ocean
29and ordered the waters of the sea
to rise no further than he said.
I was there when he laid the earth's foundations.
30I was beside him like an architect,8.30 an architect; or a little child.
I was his daily source of joy,
always happy in his presence —
31happy with the world
and pleased with the human race.
32“Now, young people, listen to me.
Do as I say, and you will be happy.
33Listen to what you are taught.
Be wise; do not neglect it.
34Those who listen to me will be happy —
those who stay at my door every day,
waiting at the entrance to my home.
35Those who find me find life,
and the LORD will be pleased with them.
36Those who do not find me hurt themselves;
anyone who hates me loves death.”