1My son, if you have become surety (guaranteed a debt or obligation) for your neighbor,
If you have given your pledge for [the debt of] a stranger or another [outside your family],
2If you have been snared with the words of your lips,
If you have been trapped by the speech of your mouth,
3Do this now, my son, and release yourself [from the obligation];
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor [to pay his debt and release you].
4Give no [unnecessary] sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;
5Tear yourself away like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6Go to the ant, O lazy one;
Observe her ways and be wise,
7Which, having no chief,
Overseer or ruler,
8She prepares her food in the summer
And brings in her provisions [of food for the winter] in the harvest.
9How long will you lie down, O lazy one?
When will you arise from your sleep [and learn self-discipline]?
10“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to lie down and rest”—
11So your poverty will come like an approaching prowler who walks [slowly, but surely]
And your need [will come] like an armed man [making you helpless].
12A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is one who walks with a perverse (corrupt, vulgar) mouth.
13Who winks with his eyes [in mockery], who shuffles his feet [to signal],
Who points with his fingers [to give subversive instruction];
14Who perversely in his heart plots trouble and evil continually;
Who spreads discord and strife.
15Therefore [the crushing weight of] his disaster will come suddenly upon him;
Instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing or remedy [because he has no heart for God].
16These six things the Lord hates;
Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him:
17A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
18A heart that creates wicked plans,
Feet that run swiftly to evil,
19A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths],
And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.
20My son, be guided by your father’s [God-given] commandment (instruction)
And do not reject the teaching of your mother;
21Bind them continually upon your heart (in your thoughts),
And tie them around your neck.
22When you walk about, they (the godly teachings of your parents) will guide you;
When you sleep, they will keep watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you.
23For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching [of the law] is light,
And reproofs (rebukes) for discipline are the way of life,
24To keep you from the evil woman,
From [the flattery of] the smooth tongue of an immoral woman.
25Do not desire (lust after) her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her capture you with her eyelashes.
26For on account of a prostitute one is reduced to a piece of bread [to be eaten up],
And the immoral woman hunts [with a hook] the precious life [of a man].
27Can a man take fire to his chest
And his clothes not be burned?
28Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?
29So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her will not be found innocent or go unpunished.
30People do not despise a thief if he steals
To satisfy himself when he is hungry;
31But when he is found, he must repay seven times [what he stole];
He must give all the property of his house [if necessary to meet his fine].
32But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks common sense and sound judgment and an understanding [of moral principles];
He who would destroy his soul does it.
33Wounds and disgrace he will find,
And his reproach (blame) will not be blotted out.
34For jealousy enrages the [wronged] husband;
He will not spare [the guilty one] on the day of vengeance.
35He will not accept any ransom [offered to buy him off from demanding full punishment];
Nor will he be satisfied though you offer him many gifts (bribes).