Lessons for Daily Life
1My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
2if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said—
3follow my advice and save yourself,
for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
go and beg to have your name erased.
4Don’t put it off; do it now!
Don’t rest until you do.
5Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net.
6Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
7Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
8they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
9But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
12What are worthless and wicked people like?
They are constant liars,
13signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14Their perverted hearts plot evil,
and they constantly stir up trouble.
15But they will be destroyed suddenly,
broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.
16There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.
20My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
22When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
23For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life.
24It will keep you from the immoral woman,
from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25Don’t lust for her beauty.
Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,
but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28Can he walk on hot coals
and not blister his feet?
29So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
He who embraces her will not go unpunished.
30Excuses might be found for a thief
who steals because he is starving.
31But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
for he destroys himself.
33He will be wounded and disgraced.
His shame will never be erased.
34For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35He will accept no compensation,
nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.