The Wiles of the Prostitute
1My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you [so they are readily available to guide you].
2Keep my commandments and live,
And keep my teaching and law as the apple of your eye.
3Bind them [securely] on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to [skillful and godly] wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And regard understanding and intelligent insight as your intimate friends;
5That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the foreigner [who does not observe God’s laws and] who flatters with her [smooth] words.
6For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice.
7And among the naive [the inexperienced and gullible],
I saw among the youths
A young man lacking [good] sense,
8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
9In the twilight, in the evening;
In the black and dark night.
10And there a woman met him,
Dressed as a prostitute and sly and cunning of heart.
11She was boisterous and rebellious;
She would not stay at home.
12At times she was in the streets, at times in the market places,
Lurking and setting her ambush at every corner.
13So she caught him and kissed him
And with a brazen and impudent face she said to him:
14“I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
15So I came out to meet you [that you might share with me the feast of my offering],
Diligently I sought your face and I have found you.
16I have spread my couch with coverings and cushions of tapestry,
With colored fine linen of Egypt.
17I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us console and delight ourselves with love.
19For my husband is not at home.
He has gone on a long journey;
20He has taken a bag of money with him,
And he will come home on the appointed day.”
21With her many persuasions she caused him to yield;
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
22Suddenly he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter [not knowing the outcome],
Or as one in stocks going to the correction [to be given] to a fool,
23Until an arrow pierced his liver [with a mortal wound];
Like a bird fluttering straight into the net,
He did not know that it would cost him his life.
24Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her [evil, immoral] paths.
26For she has cast down many [mortally] wounded;
Indeed, all who were killed by her were strong.
27Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.