Proverbs 6
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Parental Counsel

1My son, if you have become surety (guaranteed a debt or obligation) for your neighbor,

If you have given your pledge for [the debt of] a stranger or another [outside your family],

2If you have been snared with the words of your lips,

If you have been trapped by the speech of your mouth,

3Do this now, my son, and release yourself [from the obligation];

[a]Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,

Go humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor [to pay his debt and release you].

4Give no [unnecessary] sleep to your eyes,

Nor slumber to your eyelids;

5Tear yourself away like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter

And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, O lazy one;

Observe her ways and be wise,

7Which, having no chief,

Overseer or ruler,

8She prepares her food in the summer

And brings in her provisions [of food for the winter] in the harvest.

9How long will you lie down, O lazy one?

When will you arise from your sleep [and learn self-discipline]?

10“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to lie down and rest”--

11So your poverty will come like an approaching prowler who walks [slowly, but surely]

And your need [will come] like an armed man [making you helpless].

12A worthless person, a wicked man,

Is one who walks with a perverse (corrupt, vulgar) mouth.

13Who winks with his eyes [in mockery], who shuffles his feet [to signal],

Who points with his fingers [to give subversive instruction];

14Who perversely in his heart plots trouble and evil continually;

Who spreads discord and strife.

15Therefore [the crushing weight of] his disaster will come suddenly upon him;

Instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing or remedy [because he has no heart for God].

16These six things the LORD hates;

Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him:

17A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue,

And hands that shed innocent blood,

18A heart that creates wicked plans,

Feet that run swiftly to evil,

19A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths],

And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.

20My son, be guided by your father’s [God-given] commandment (instruction)

And do not [b]reject the teaching of your mother;

21Bind them continually upon your heart (in your thoughts),

And tie them around your neck.

22When you walk about, they (the godly teachings of your parents) will guide you;

When you sleep, they will keep watch over you;

And when you awake, they will talk to you.

23For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching [of the law] is light,

And reproofs (rebukes) for discipline are the way of life,

24To keep you from the evil woman,

From [the flattery of] the smooth tongue of an immoral woman.

25Do not desire (lust after) her beauty in your heart,

Nor let her capture you with her eyelashes.

26For on account of a prostitute one is reduced to a piece of bread [to be eaten up],

And the immoral woman hunts [with a hook] the precious life [of a man].

27Can a man take fire to his chest

And his clothes not be burned?

28Or can a man walk on hot coals

And his feet not be scorched?

29So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;

Whoever touches her will not be found innocent or go unpunished.

30People do not despise a thief if he steals

To satisfy himself when he is hungry;

31But when he is found, he must repay seven times [what he stole];

He must give all the property of his house [if necessary to meet his fine].

32But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks common sense and sound judgment and an understanding [of moral principles];

He who would destroy his soul does it.

33Wounds and disgrace he will find,

And his reproach (blame) will not be blotted out.

34For jealousy enrages the [wronged] husband;

He will not spare [the guilty one] on the day of vengeance.

35He will not accept any ransom [offered to buy him off from demanding full punishment];

Nor will he be satisfied though you offer him many gifts (bribes).

[a] 3 Under the ancient laws governing debt, a man obligated for another’s debt could lose his money, land, bed, and clothing; and if these were not sufficient, he and his wife and children could be sold as slaves, not to be released until the next Year of Jubilee--fifty years after the previous one.
[b] 20 Lit forsake.

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