The Wiles of the Harlot
1 My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments
2 Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
And call understanding your intimate friend;
5 That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.
6 For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,
7 And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
8 Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
11 She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
12 She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
13 So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
14 "I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
15 "Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have
16 "I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.
17 "I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 "Come, let us drink our fill of love until
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
19 "For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
20 He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home."
21 With her many persuasions she entices
With her flattering lips she seduces him.
22 Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.
26 For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.
The Commendation of Wisdom
1 Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2 On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet,
she takes her stand;
3 Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4 "To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5 "O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
6 "Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right
7 "For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 "All the utterances of my mouth are in
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9 "They are all straightforward to him who
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 "Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11 "For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12 "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.
13 "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14 "Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15 "By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 "By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17 "I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will
18 "Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 "My fruit is better than gold, even
And my yield better than choicest silver.
20 "I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
22 "The LORD possessed me at the beginning
of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 "From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times
of the earth.
24 "When there were no depths I was
When there were no springs abounding
25 "Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
26 While He had not yet made the earth
and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.
27 "When He established the heavens,
I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face
of the deep,
28 When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29 When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress
When He marked out the foundations of
30 Then I was beside Him, as a master
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
32 "Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
33 "Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
34 "Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
35 "For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.
36 "But he who sins against me injures
All those who hate me love death."