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1My son, keep my words

and treasure 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;

5to preserve you from the loose woman,

from the adventuress with her smooth words.

6For at the window of my house

I have looked out through my lattice,

7and I have seen among the simple,

I have perceived 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.

10And lo, a woman meets him,

dressed as a harlot, wily of heart.

11She is loud and wayward,

her feet do not stay at home;

12now in the street, now in the market,

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 till 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;

at full moon he will come home.”

21With much seductive speech she persuades him;

with her smooth talk she compels him.

22All at once he follows her,

as an ox goes to the slaughter,

or as a stag is caught fast

23till an arrow pierces its entrails;

as a bird rushes into a snare;

he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24And now, O sons, listen to me,

and be attentive to the words of my mouth.

25Let not your heart turn aside to her ways,

do not stray into her paths;

26for many a victim has she laid low;

yea, all her slain are a mighty host.

27Her house is the way to Sheol,

going down to the chambers of death.

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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