1My son, if thou become surety for thy friend, Thou shalt deliver thy hand to an enemy.
2For a man’s own lips become a strong snare to him, And he is caught with the lips of his own mouth.
3My son, do what I command thee, and deliver thyself; For on thy friend’s account thou art come into the power of evil men: Faint not, But stir up even thy friend for whom thou art become surety.
4Give not sleep to thine eyes, Nor slumber with thine eyelids;
5That thou mayest deliver thyself as a doe out of the toils, And as a bird out of a snare.
6Go to the ant, O sluggard; And see, and emulate his ways, And become wiser than he.
7For whereas he has no husbandry, Nor anyone to compel him, And is under no master,
8He prepares food for himself in the summer, And lays by abundant store in harvest.
8aOr go to the bee, And learn how diligent she is, And how earnestly she is engaged in her work;
8bWhose labors kings and private men use for health, And she is desired and respected by all:
8cThough weak in body, She is advanced by honoring wisdom.
9How long wilt thou lie, O sluggard? And when wilt thou awake out of sleep?
10Thou sleepest a little, and thou restest a little, and thou slumberest a short time, And thou foldest thine arms over thy breast a little.
11Then poverty comes upon thee as an evil traveler, And want as a swift courier:
11aBut if thou be diligent, thy harvest shall arrive as a fountain, And poverty shall flee away as a bad courier.
12A foolish man and a transgressor Goes in ways that are not good.
13And the same winks with the eye, and makes a sign with his foot, And teaches with the beckonings of his fingers.
14His perverse heart devises evils: At all times such a one causes troubles to a city.
15Therefore his destruction shall come suddenly; Overthrow and irretrievable ruin.
16For he rejoices in all things which God hates, And he is ruined by reason of impurity of soul.
17The eye of the haughty, a tongue unjust, Hands shedding the blood of the just;
18And a heart devising evil thoughts, And feet hastening to do evil—are hateful to God.
19An unjust witness kindles falsehoods, And brings on quarrels between brethren.
20My son, keep the laws of thy father, And reject not the ordinances of thy mother:
21But bind them upon thy soul continually, And hang them as a chain about thy neck.
22Whensoever thou walkest, lead this along and let it be with thee; And when thou sleepest let it keep thee; That it may talk with thee when thou wakest.
23For the commandment of the law is a lamp and a light; A way of life; reproof also and correction:
24To keep thee continually from a married woman, And from the calumny of a strange tongue.
25Let not the desire of beauty overcome thee, Neither be thou caught by thine eyes, Neither be captivated with her eyelids.
26For the value of a harlot is as much as of one loaf; And a woman hunts for the precious souls of men.
27Shall anyone bind fire in his bosom, And not burn his garments?
28Or will anyone walk on coals of fire, And not burn his feet?
29So is he that goes in to a married woman; He shall not be held guiltless, neither anyone that touches her.
30It is not to be wondered at if one should be taken stealing, For he steals that when hungry he may satisfy his soul:
31But if he should be taken, he shall repay sevenfold, And shall deliver himself by giving all his goods.
32But the adulterer through want of sense procures destruction to his soul.
33He endures both pain and disgrace, And his reproach shall never be wiped off.
34For the soul of her husband is full of jealousy: He will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35He will not forego his enmity for any ransom: Neither will he be reconciled for many gifts.