Warnings about the Adulteress
1 My son, keep my words
and treasure my commandments within you.
2 Keep my commandments and live;
guard my teachings as the apple a of your eye.
3 Tie them to your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call understanding your kinsman,
5 that they may keep you from the adulteress,
from the stranger with seductive words.
6 For at the window of my house
I looked through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the youths,
a young man lacking judgment,
8 crossing the street near her corner,
strolling down the road to her house,
9 at twilight, as the day was fading
into the dark of the night.
10 Then a woman came out to meet him,
with the attire of a harlot and cunning of heart.
11 She is loud and defiant;
her feet do not remain at home.
12 Now in the street, now in the squares,
she lurks at every corner.
13 She seizes him and kisses him;
she brazenly says to him:
14 “I have made my peace offerings;
today I have paid my vows.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I sought you, and I have found you.
16 I have decked my bed with coverings,
with colored linen from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
with aloes, and with cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning.
Let us delight in loving caresses!
19 For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took with him a bag of money
and will not return till the moon is full.”
21 With her great persuasion she entices him;
with her flattering lips she lures him.
22 He follows her on impulse,
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer bounding into a trap, b
23 until an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare—
not knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now, my sons, listen to me,
and attend to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths.
26 For she has brought many down to death;
her slain are many in number.
27 Her house is the road to Sheol,
descending to the chambers of death.
2 a Literally the pupil
22 b Probable reading (see LXX, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew like fetters to discipline a fool