Adultery is too expensive
Don’t cosign a friend’s loan1 My child, let’s say you agreed to guarantee a friend’s loan repayment.
You’ve given your word to the stranger who made the loan.
2 If you talked yourself into doing that,
And you let your mouth get you into trouble,
3 Do this, my child. Get out of that agreement.
You are at the mercy of a stranger.
Hurry to your friend, then beg and plead to get out of the deal.
4 Don’t sleep until you get this done.
Keep those eyelids open.
5 Break free, like a gazelle racing out of the hunter’s range,
And like a bird flying out of the net. Go.
You lazy good-for-nothing6 You lazy bum, look at the ants.
You’d be wise to study how they survive.
7 They don’t have a chief,
Or a king telling them what to do.
8 But in the summer, they start making room for food.
And later, they collect the harvest.
9 How long are you going to lay around, you lazy bum?
When are you going to drag your sorry self out of bed?
10 Sleep a little. Nap a little.
Sit a little and play with your fingers.
11 Poverty will fall on you like a robber’s surprise.
Your needs will attack you like a mugger with a knife.
Lifespan of a crook12 Crooks, those terrible human beings,
Live by lies,
13 Winking secret signals,
14 Hatching schemes,
Stirring up trouble.
15 Suddenly, the hammer will drop and they won’t see it coming.
It will break them beyond fixing.
God hates the sinful seven16 Six things God hates to see in people.
Actually, it’s seven that disgust him.
17 Proud eyes of people full of themselves, or a lying mouth,
Or hands covered in blood of the innocent,
18 Or minds obsessed with plotting to do wrong,
Or feet that carry them to nowhere but trouble,
19 Or lying mouths in court,
Or anyone stirring up trouble in the family.
Do what dad and mom say20 My child, listen to your dad’s rules and do what he says.
And don’t forget what your mom taught you.
21 Keep the rules and teachings close to your heart.
Tie them around your neck if it helps.
22 As you walk through your days, they’ll guide you.
When you sleep, they’ll watch over you.
When you’re awake, they’ll talk to you.
23 The rules are a lamp.
The teaching is a light.
Keep them in sight and they’ll help you make course corrections throughout your life.
Don’t build a fire in your pants24 The rules and teaching will protect you from that sinful woman.
She sleeps around and has a polished script to help her do it.
25 No matter how pretty she looks, don’t turn that lust loose inside your head.
When she flashes those eyes at you, look anywhere but there.
26 Sex with a forbidden woman can cost you your last loaf of bread.
If she’s married, it can cost you your life.
27 If you build a fire in your pants,
what makes you think you won’t get burned?
28 Can you walk on fire,
Without burning your feet?
29 If you go into that woman’s house, you’re going to get burned.
Anyone who touches her will pay the price.
A price to pay30 We don’t hate people for stealing,
If they’re hungry and need food.
31 But we make them pay a penalty: seven times the price.
Even if they have to sell everything they own.
32 There’s no excuse for adultery, and in it, no evidence of common sense.
It’s suicide. It destroys a person’s life.
33 It will beat you up then leave you hurt and humiliated.
There will always be some who hold it against you.
34 A jealous husband will explode in rage.
He won’t be kind when he comes calling, to get revenge.
35 Don’t offer him any money. You can’t buy him off.
Don’t give him any gifts. It’s not his birthday.
“Rules” and “teaching” seem to refer to guidance parents give their children (6:20). But some Bible experts say they see more. The words could refer to Wisdom teaching in general, which would include the Book of Proverbs. But they could also refer to God’s individual commands and to the sacred Book of laws that contains them all. “Rule” or “commandment” in Hebrew is mitzvah, the word Old Testament writers use when referring to God’s commandments. “Teaching” in Hebrew is Torah, which is the word Jewish people use to describe the collection of laws of Moses preserved in the first five books in the Bible books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
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