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The False Attractions of Adultery

1My child, keep my words

and store up my commandments with you;

2keep my commandments and live,

keep my teachings as the apple of your eye;

3bind them on your fingers,

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

and call insight your intimate friend,

5that they may keep you from the loose woman,

from the adulteress with her smooth words.

6For at the window of my house

I looked out through my lattice,

7and I saw among the simple ones,

I observed among the youths,

a young man without sense,

8passing along the street near her corner,

taking the road to her house

9in the twilight, in the evening,

at the time of night and darkness.

10Then a woman comes toward him,

decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart.

11She is loud and wayward;

her feet do not stay at home;

12now in the street, now in the squares,

and at every corner she lies in wait.

13She seizes him and kisses him,

and with impudent face she says to him:

14“I had to offer sacrifices,

and today I have paid my vows;

15so now I have come out to meet you,

to seek you eagerly, and I have found you!

16I have decked my couch with coverings,

colored spreads of Egyptian linen;

17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,

aloes, and cinnamon.

18Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;

let us delight ourselves with love.

19For my husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey.

20He took a bag of money with him;

he will not come home until full moon.”

21With much seductive speech she persuades him;

with her smooth talk she compels him.

22Right away he follows her,

and goes like an ox to the slaughter,

or bounds like a stag toward the trap

23until an arrow pierces its entrails.

He is like a bird rushing into a snare,

not knowing that it will cost him his life.

24And now, my children, listen to me,

and be attentive to the words of my mouth.

25Do not let your hearts turn aside to her ways;

do not stray into her paths.

26For many are those she has laid low,

and numerous are her victims.

27Her house is the way to Sheol,

going down to the chambers of death.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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