My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbour,
if you have bound yourself to another,
you are snared by the utterance of your lips,
caught by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my child, and save yourself,
for you have come into your neighbour’s power:
go, hurry, and plead with your neighbour.
Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
save 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.
Without having any chief
or officer or ruler,
it prepares its food in summer,
and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want, like an armed warrior.
A scoundrel and a villain
goes around with crooked speech,
winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,
pointing the fingers,
with perverted mind devising evil,
continually sowing discord;
on such a one calamity will descend suddenly;
in a moment, damage beyond repair.
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.
My child, keep your father’s commandment,
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them upon your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the wife of another,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.
Can fire be carried in the bosom
without burning one’s clothes?
Or can one walk on hot coals
without scorching the feet?
So is he who sleeps with his neighbour’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
Thieves are not despised who steal only
to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
they will forfeit all the goods of their house.
But he who commits adultery has no sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
He will get wounds and dishonour,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
He will accept no compensation,
and refuses a bribe no matter how great.