Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you'll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight - guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion.
They'll be with you to fend off the Temptress - that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.
As I stood at the window of my house looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by, I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived, then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on, the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him - she'd been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him.
Brazen and brash she was, restless and roaming, never at home,
Walking the streets, loitering in the mall, hanging out at every corner in town.
She threw her arms around him and kissed him, boldly took his arm and said,
"I've got all the makings for a feast - today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid,
So now I've come to find you, hoping to catch sight of your face - and here you are!
I've spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed, colorful imported linens.
My bed is aromatic with spices and exotic fragrances.
Come, let's make love all night, spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking!
My husband's not home; he's away on business, and he won't be back for a month."
Soon she has him eating out of her hand, bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he's trotting behind her, like a calf led to the butcher shop, Like a stag lured into ambush
and then shot with an arrow, Like a bird flying into a net not knowing that its flying life is over.
So, friends, listen to me, take these words of mine most seriously.
Don't fool around with a woman like that; don't even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell; she's the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell, fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)