A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
A troublemaker and a villain,
who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
who winks maliciously with his eye,
signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers,
who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
he always stirs up conflict.
Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Warning Against Adultery
My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them always on your heart;
fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,
keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.
For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not accept any compensation;
he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.
Warning Against the Adulterous Woman
My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
At the window of my house
I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
(She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
“Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.
Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.
Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[c]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[d]
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
“The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[e][f]
before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was constantly[g] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
“Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”
Invitations of Wisdom and Folly
Wisdom has built her house;
she has set up[h] its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
from the highest point of the city,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
“Come, eat my food
and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of insight.”
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom[i] your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Folly is an unruly woman;
she is simple and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
calling out to those who pass by,
who go straight on their way,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
“Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is delicious!”
But little do they know that the dead are there,
that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.
Proverbs of Solomon
The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Lazy hands make for poverty,
but diligent hands bring wealth.
He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.[j]
The name of the righteous is used in blessings,[k]
but the name of the wicked will rot.
The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
and a chattering fool comes to ruin.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.
Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.
The wise store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
The wages of the righteous is life,
but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
and spreads slander is a fool.
Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
but the prudent hold their tongues.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
without painful toil for it.
A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,
but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.
What the wicked dread will overtake them;
what the righteous desire will be granted.
When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
but the righteous stand firm forever.
As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so are sluggards to those who send them.
The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short.
The prospect of the righteous is joy,
but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
The righteous will never be uprooted,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.
From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
The Lord detests dishonest scales,
but accurate weights find favor with him.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
all the promise of[l] their power comes to nothing.
The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.
With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.
When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
- Proverbs 7:22 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool
- Proverbs 7:22 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
- Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
- Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
- Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
- Proverbs 8:22 Or The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work; or The Lord brought me forth at the beginning of his work
- Proverbs 8:30 Or was the artisan; or was a little child
- Proverbs 9:1 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew has hewn out
- Proverbs 9:11 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew me
- Proverbs 10:6 Or righteous, / but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence
- Proverbs 10:7 See Gen. 48:20.
- Proverbs 11:7 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum When the wicked die, their hope perishes; / all they expected from