Adultery is too expensive
Don’t cosign a friend’s loan1My 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.
2If you talked yourself into doing that,
And you let your mouth get you into trouble,
3Do 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.
4Don’t sleep until you get this done.
Keep those eyelids open.
5Break 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-nothing6You lazy bum, look at the ants.
You’d be wise to study how they survive.
7They don’t have a chief,
Or a king telling them what to do.
8But in the summer, they start making room for food.
And later, they collect the harvest.
9How long are you going to lay around, you lazy bum?
When are you going to drag your sorry self out of bed?
10Sleep a little. Nap a little.
Sit a little and play with your fingers.
11Poverty will fall on you like a robber’s surprise.
Your needs will attack you like a mugger with a knife.
Lifespan of a crook12Crooks, those terrible human beings,
Live by lies,
13Winking secret signals,
Stirring up trouble.
15Suddenly, the hammer will drop and they won’t see it coming.
It will break them beyond fixing.
God hates the sinful seven16Six things God hates to see in people.
Actually, it’s seven that disgust him.
17Proud eyes of people full of themselves, or a lying mouth,
Or hands covered in blood of the innocent,
18Or minds obsessed with plotting to do wrong,
Or feet that carry them to nowhere but trouble,
19Or lying mouths in court,
Or anyone stirring up trouble in the family.
Do what dad and mom say20My child, listen to your dad’s rules and do what he says.
And don’t forget what your mom taught you.
21Keep the rules and teachings close to your heart.
Tie them around your neck if it helps.
22As 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.
23The 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 pants24The rules and teaching will protect you from that sinful woman.
She sleeps around and has a polished script to help her do it.
25No 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.
26Sex with a forbidden woman can cost you your last loaf of bread.
If she’s married, it can cost you your life.
27If you build a fire in your pants,
what makes you think you won’t get burned?
28Can you walk on fire,
Without burning your feet?
29If you go into that woman’s house, you’re going to get burned.
Anyone who touches her will pay the price.
A price to pay30We don’t hate people for stealing,
If they’re hungry and need food.
31But we make them pay a penalty: seven times the price.
Even if they have to sell everything they own.
32There’s no excuse for adultery, and in it, no evidence of common sense.
It’s suicide. It destroys a person’s life.
33It will beat you up then leave you hurt and humiliated.
There will always be some who hold it against you.
34A jealous husband will explode in rage.
He won’t be kind when he comes calling, to get revenge.
35Don’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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