Proverbs Chapter 7 to 8 : English Standard Version   | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other VersionsWarning Against the Adulteress

7:1 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; 2keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, 5to keep you from the forbidden[1] woman, from the adulteress[2] with her smooth words.

6For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, 7and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, 8passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house 9in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.

10And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.[3] 11She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; 12now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. 13She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, 14“I had to offer sacrifices,[4] and today I have paid my vows; 15so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. 16I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. 19For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.”

21With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. 22All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast[5] 23  till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 25Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, 26for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. 27Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.

8 The Blessings of Wisdom

8:1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: 4“To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. 5O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. 6Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, 7for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. 9They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. 10Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, 11for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. 13The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. 14I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength. 15By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; 16by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.[6] 17I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. 18Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. 19My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, 21granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

22“The Lord possessed[7] me at the beginning of his work,[8] the first of his acts of old. 23Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. 27When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28when he made firm the skies above, when he established[9] the fountains of the deep, 29when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30  then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his[10] delight, rejoicing before him always, 31rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.

32“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. 35For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

[1] Hebrew strange  [2] Hebrew the foreign woman  [3] Hebrew guarded in heart  [4] Hebrew peace offerings  [5] Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as an anklet for the discipline of a fool  [6] Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint govern the earth  [7] Or fathered; Septuagint created  [8] Hebrew way  [9] The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  [10] Or daily filled with

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