1 My children, listen to your father's teaching; pay attention so you will understand. 2 What I am telling you is good, so do not forget what I teach you. 3 When I was a young boy in my father's house and like an only child to my mother, 4 my father taught me and said, "Hold on to my words with all your heart. Keep my commands and you will live. 5 Get wisdom and understanding. Don't forget or ignore my words. 6 Hold on to wisdom, and it will take care of you. Love it, and it will keep you safe. 7 Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding. 8 Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great; hold on to it, and it will bring you honor. 9 It will be like flowers in your hair and like a beautiful crown on your head." 10 My child, listen and accept what I say. Then you will have a long life. 11 I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path. 12 Nothing will hold you back; you will not be overwhelmed. 13 Always remember what you have been taught, and don't let go of it. Keep all that you have learned; it is the most important thing in life. 14 Don't follow the ways of the wicked; don't do what evil people do. 15 Avoid their ways, and don't follow them. Stay away from them and keep on going, 16 because they cannot sleep until they do evil. They cannot rest until they harm someone. 17 They feast on wickedness and cruelty as if they were eating bread and drinking wine. 18 The way of the good person is like the light of dawn, growing brighter and brighter until full daylight. 19 But the wicked walk around in the dark; they can't even see what makes them stumble. 20 My child, pay attention to my words; listen closely to what I say. 21 Don't ever forget my words; keep them always in mind. 22 They are the key to life for those who find them; they bring health to the whole body. 23 Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. 24 Don't use your mouth to tell lies; don't ever say things that are not true. 25 Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good. 26 Be careful what you do, and always do what is right. 27 Don't turn off the road of goodness; keep away from evil paths.
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen to my words of understanding. 2 Be careful to use good sense, and watch what you say. 3 The words of another man's wife may seem sweet as honey; they may be as smooth as olive oil. 4 But in the end she will bring you sorrow, causing you pain like a two-edged sword. 5 She is on the way to death; her steps are headed straight to the grave. 6 She gives little thought to life. She doesn't even know that her ways are wrong. 7 Now, my sons, listen to me, and don't ignore what I say. 8 Stay away from such a woman. Don't even go near the door of her house, 9 or you will give your riches to others, and the best years of your life will be given to someone cruel. 10 Strangers will enjoy your wealth, and what you worked so hard for will go to someone else. 11 You will groan at the end of your life when your health is gone. 12 Then you will say, "I hated being told what to do! I would not listen to correction! 13 I would not listen to my teachers or pay attention to my instructors. 14 I came close to being completely ruined in front of a whole group of people." 15 Be faithful to your own wife, just as you drink water from your own well. 16 Don't pour your water in the streets; don't give your love to just any woman. 17 These things are yours alone and shouldn't be shared with strangers. 18 Be happy with the wife you married when you were young. She gives you joy, as your fountain gives you water. 19 She is as lovely and graceful as a deer. Let her love always make you happy; let her love always hold you captive. 20 My son, don't be held captive by a woman who takes part in adultery. Don't hug another man's wife. 21 The Lord sees everything you do, and he watches where you go. 22 An evil man will be caught in his wicked ways; the ropes of his sins will tie him up. 23 He will die because he does not control himself, and he will be held captive by his foolishness.
1 My child, be careful about giving a guarantee for somebody else's loan, about promising to pay what someone else owes. 2 You might get trapped by what you say; you might be caught by your own words. 3 My child, if you have done this and are under your neighbor's control, here is how to get free. Don't be proud. Go to your neighbor and beg to be free from your promise. 4 Don't go to sleep or even rest your eyes, 5 but free yourself like a deer running from a hunter, like a bird flying away from a trapper. 6 Go watch the ants, you lazy person. Watch what they do and be wise. 7 Ants have no commander, no leader or ruler, 8 but they store up food in the summer and gather their supplies at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you lazy person? When will you get up from sleeping? 10 You sleep a little; you take a nap. You fold your hands and lie down to rest. 11 So you will be as poor as if you had been robbed; you will have as little as if you had been held up. 12 Some people are wicked and no good. They go around telling lies, 13 winking with their eyes, tapping with their feet, and making signs with their fingers. 14 They make evil plans in their hearts and are always starting arguments. 15 So trouble will strike them in an instant; suddenly they will be so hurt no one can help them. 16 There are six things the Lord hates. There are seven things he cannot stand: 17 a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, 18 a mind that thinks up evil plans, feet that are quick to do evil, 19 a witness who lies, and someone who starts arguments among families. 20 My son, keep your father's commands, and don't forget your mother's teaching. 21 Keep their words in mind forever as though you had them tied around your neck. 22 They will guide you when you walk. They will guard you when you sleep. They will speak to you when you are awake. 23 These commands are like a lamp; this teaching is like a light. And the correction that comes from them will help you have life. 24 They will keep you from sinful women and from the pleasing words of another man's unfaithful wife. 25 Don't desire her because she is beautiful. Don't let her capture you by the way she looks at you. 26 A prostitute will treat you like a loaf of bread, and a woman who takes part in adultery may cost you your life. 27 You cannot carry hot coals against your chest without burning your clothes, 28 and you cannot walk on hot coals without burning your feet. 29 The same is true if you have sexual relations with another man's wife. Anyone who does so will be punished. 30 People don't hate a thief when he steals because he is hungry. 31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, and it may cost him everything he owns. 32 A man who takes part in adultery has no sense; he will destroy himself. 33 He will be beaten up and disgraced, and his shame will never go away. 34 Jealousy makes a husband very angry, and he will have no pity when he gets revenge. 35 He will accept no payment for the wrong; he will take no amount of money.