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Proverbs 7

1 1

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

1

My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.

2 Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

3 Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and to insight, “You are my relative.”

5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

5

6

At the window of my house
I looked down through the lattice.

7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.

8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house

9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.

9

10

Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.

11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;

12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)

13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:

13

14

“Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.

15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!

16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!

19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.

20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”

20

21

With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.

22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]

23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.

23

24

Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.

25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.

26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.

27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.

Footnotes:

a. Proverbs 7:22 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool
b. Proverbs 7:22 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
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