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ESV — Proverbs 5

Warning Against Adultery

wMy son, be attentive to my wisdom;

xincline your ear to my understanding,

that you may keep ydiscretion,

and your lips may zguard knowledge.

For the lips of aa forbidden1 woman drip honey,

and her speech2 is bsmoother than oil,

but in the end she is cbitter as dwormwood,

esharp as fa two-edged sword.

Her feet ggo down to death;

her steps follow the path to3 Sheol;

she hdoes not ponder the path of life;

her ways wander, and she does not know it.

And inow, O sons, listen to me,

and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

Keep your way far from her,

and do not go near the door of her house,

lest you give your honor to others

and your years to the merciless,

10  lest strangers take their fill of your strength,

and your jlabors go to the house of a foreigner,

11  and at the end of your life you kgroan,

when your flesh and body are consumed,

12  and you say, l“How I hated discipline,

and my heart mdespised reproof!

13  I did not listen to the voice of my teachers

or incline my ear to my instructors.

14  nI am at the brink of utter ruin

in the assembled congregation.”

15  Drink owater from your own cistern,

flowing water from your own well.

16  Should your psprings be scattered abroad,

streams of water qin the streets?

17  rLet them be for yourself alone,

and not for strangers with you.

18  Let your ofountain be blessed,

and srejoice in tthe wife of your youth,

19  a lovely udeer, a graceful doe.

Let her breasts vfill you at all times with delight;

be intoxicated4 always in her love.

20  Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with wa forbidden woman

and embrace the bosom of wan adulteress?5

21  For xa man's ways are ybefore the eyes of the Lord,

and he zponders6 all his paths.

22  The ainiquities of the wicked bensnare him,

and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.

23  cHe dies for lack of discipline,

and because of his great folly he is dled astray.

Footnotes

[1] 5:3 Hebrew strange; also verse 20
[2] 5:3 Hebrew palate
[3] 5:5 Hebrew lay hold of
[4] 5:19 Hebrew be led astray; also verse 20
[5] 5:20 Hebrew a foreign woman
[6] 5:21 Or makes level