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1My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,

have given your pledge for a stranger;

2if you are snared in the utterance of your lips,

caught in the words of your mouth;

3then do this, my son, and save yourself,

for you have come into your neighbor’s power:

go, hasten, and importune your neighbor.

4Give your eyes no sleep

and your eyelids no slumber;

5save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,

like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, O sluggard;

consider her ways, and be wise.

7Without having any chief,

officer or ruler,

8she prepares her food in summer,

and gathers her sustenance in harvest.

9How long will you lie there, O sluggard?

When will you arise from your sleep?

10A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

11and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond,

and want like an armed man.

12A worthless person, a wicked man,

goes about with crooked speech,

13winks with his eyes, scrapes with his feet,

points with his finger,

14with perverted heart devises evil,

continually sowing discord;

15therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;

in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

16There are six things which the Lord hates,

seven which are an abomination to him:

17haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,

18a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that make haste to run to evil,

19a false witness who breathes out lies,

and a man who sows discord among brothers.

20My son, keep your father’s commandment,

and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

21Bind them upon your heart always;

tie them about your neck.

22When you walk, they will lead you;

when you lie down, they will watch over you;

and when you awake, they will talk with you.

23For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,

and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

24to preserve you from the evil woman,

from the smooth tongue of the adventuress.

25Do not desire her beauty in your heart,

and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;

26for a harlot may be hired for a loaf of bread,

but an adulteress stalks a man’s very life.

27Can a man carry fire in his bosom

and his clothes not be burned?

28Or can one walk upon hot coals

and his feet not be scorched?

29So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;

none who touches her will go unpunished.

30Do not men despise a thief if he steals

to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry?

31And if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;

he will give all the goods of his house.

32He who commits adultery has no sense;

he who does it destroys himself.

33Wounds and dishonor will he get,

and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

34For jealousy makes a man furious,

and he will not spare when he takes revenge.

35He will accept no compensation,

nor be appeased though you multiply gifts.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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