Proverbs for Lent

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Proverbs 6

Practical Admonitions

6My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbour,
if you have bound yourself to another,*
2you are snared by the utterance of your lips,*
caught by the words of your mouth.
3So do this, my child, and save yourself,
for you have come into your neighbour’s power:
go, hurry,* and plead with your neighbour.
4Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
5save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,*
like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, you lazybones;
consider its ways, and be wise.
7Without having any chief
or officer or ruler,
8it prepares its food in summer,
and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
9How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want, like an armed warrior.

12A scoundrel and a villain
goes around with crooked speech,
13winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,
pointing the fingers,
14with perverted mind devising evil,
continually sowing discord;
15on such a one calamity will descend suddenly;
in a moment, damage beyond repair.

16There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
19a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.

20My child, keep your father’s commandment,
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21Bind them upon your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22When you walk, they* will lead you;
when you lie down, they* will watch over you;
and when you awake, they* will talk with you.
23For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24to preserve you from the wife of another,*
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,*
but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.
27Can fire be carried in the bosom
without burning one’s clothes?
28Or can one walk on hot coals
without scorching the feet?
29So is he who sleeps with his neighbour’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30Thieves are not despised who steal only
to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
31Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
they will forfeit all the goods of their house.
32But he who commits adultery has no sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33He will get wounds and dishonour,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
35He will accept no compensation,
and refuses a bribe no matter how great.

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