Proverbs 4; Proverbs 5; Proverbs 6

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Proverbs 4

1 Listen, [my] sons, to a father's discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding,
2 for I am giving you good instruction. Don't abandon my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother,
4 he taught me and said: "Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; don't forget or turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Don't abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you.
7 Wisdom is supreme-so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you.
9 She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty."
10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years.
11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; don't let go. Guard it, for it is your life.
14 Don't set foot on the path of the wicked; don't proceed in the way of evil ones.
15 Avoid it; don't travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by.
16 For they can't sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.
19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don't know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings.
21 Don't lose sight of them; keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one's whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.
24 Don't let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don't let your lips talk deviously.
25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.
26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.
27 Don't turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Proverbs 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen closely to my understanding
2 so that [you] may maintain discretion and your lips safeguard knowledge.
3 Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil,
4 in the end she's as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol.
6 She doesn't consider the path of life; she doesn't know that her ways are unstable.
7 So now, [my] sons, listen to me, and don't turn away from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her. Don't go near the door of her house.
9 Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others and your years to someone cruel;
10 strangers will drain your resources, and your earnings will end up in a foreigner's house.
11 At the end of your life, you will lament when your physical body has been consumed,
12 and you will say, "How I hated discipline, and how my heart despised correction.
13 I didn't obey my teachers or listen closely to my mentors.
14 I was on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community."
15 Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well.
16 Should your springs flow in the streets, streams of water in the public squares?
17 They should be for you alone and not for you [to share] with strangers.
18 Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful fawn- let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever.
20 Why, my son, would you be infatuated with a forbidden woman or embrace the breast of a stranger?
21 For a man's ways are before the Lord's eyes, and He considers all his paths.
22 A wicked man's iniquities entrap him; he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin.
23 He will die because there is no instruction, and be lost because of his great stupidity.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Proverbs 6

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger,
2 you have been trapped by the words of your lips- ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3 Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor's power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.
4 Don't give sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids.
5 Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a fowler's trap.
6 Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise.
7 Without leader, administrator, or ruler,
8 it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest.
9 How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest,
11 and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit.
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, who goes around speaking dishonestly,
13 who winks his eyes, signals with his feet, and gestures with his fingers,
14 who plots evil with perversity in his heart- he stirs up trouble constantly.
15 Therefore calamity will strike him suddenly; he will be shattered instantly-beyond recovery.
16 Six things the Lord hates; in fact, seven are detestable to Him:
17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil,
19 a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.
20 My son, keep your father's command, and don't reject your mother's teaching.
21 Always bind them to your heart; tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you.
23 For a commandment is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective instructions are the way to life.
24 They will protect you from an evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a stranger.
25 Don't lust in your heart for her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyelashes.
26 For a prostitute's fee is only a loaf of bread, but an adulteress goes after [your] very life.
27 Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned?
28 Can a man walk on coals without scorching his feet?
29 So it is with the one who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People don't despise the thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry.
31 Still, if caught, he must pay seven times as much; he must give up all the wealth in his house.
32 The one who commits adultery lacks sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
33 He will get a beating and dishonor, and his disgrace will never be removed.
34 For jealousy enrages a husband, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not be appeased by anything or be persuaded by lavish gifts.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.