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< Previous Chapter: Proverbs 4
(Leviticus 20:10–21;1 Corinthians 5:1–8)
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 Though the lips of the forbidden woman a drip honey
and her speech b is smoother than oil,
4 in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to Sheol. c
6 She does not consider the path of life;
she does not know that her ways are unstable.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me,
and do not turn aside from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your path far from her;
do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you concede your vigor to others,
and your years to one who is cruel;
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth,
and your labors enrich the house of a foreigner.
11 At the end of your life you will groan
when your flesh and your body are spent,
12 and you will say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my mentors.
14 I am on the brink of utter ruin
in the midst of the whole assembly.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
and running water from your own well.
16 Why should your springs flow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth:
19 A loving doe, a graceful fawn—
may her breasts satisfy you always;
may you be captivated d by her love forever.
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress,
or embrace the bosom of a stranger? e
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and the LORD examines f all his paths.
22 The iniquities of a wicked man entrap him;
the cords of his sin entangle him.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
led astray by his own great folly.
3 a Or the adulteress
3 b Or her palate
5 c Or lay hold of Sheol
19 d Or be led astray ; also in verse 20
20 e Or a foreign woman or another man’s wife
21 f Or ponders or makes level