sometimes don’t make any sense to the ear, but they sure ain’t nonsense.
1My child, be careful about giving a guarantee for somebody else.
Be careful about promising to pay what someone else owes.
2You might get trapped by what you say.
You might be caught by your own words.
3My child, you might do this and be under somebody’s control.
Then here is how to get free.
Go to your neighbor and don’t be proud.
Beg him to free you from your promise.
4Don’t go to sleep.
Don’t even rest your eyes.
5But free yourself like a deer running from a hunter.
Free yourself like a bird flying away from a trapper.
6Go watch the ants, you lazy person.
Watch what they do and be wise.
7Ants have no commander.
They have no leader or ruler.
8But they store up food in the summer.
They gather their supplies at harvest.
9How long will you lie there, you lazy person?
When will you get up from sleeping?
10You sleep a little; you take a nap.
You fold your hands and rest.
11So you will be as poor as if you had been robbed.
You will have as little as if you had been held up.
12Some people are wicked and no good.
They go around telling lies.
13They wink with their eyes and signal with their feet.
They make signs with their fingers.
14They make evil plans in their hearts.
They are always causing trouble.
15So trouble will strike them in an instant.
Suddenly they will be hurt beyond cure.
16There are six things the Lord hates.
There are seven things he cannot stand:
17a proud look,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill innocent people,
18a mind that thinks up evil plans,
feet that are quick to do evil,
19a witness who tells lies
and a man who causes trouble among brothers.
Warning About Adultery
20My son, keep your father’s commands.
Don’t forget your mother’s teaching.
21Remember their words forever.
Let it be as if they were tied around your neck.
22They will guide you when you walk.
They will guard you while you sleep.
They will speak to you when you are awake.
23Their commands are like a lamp.
Their teaching is like a light.
And the correction that comes from them
helps you have life.
24Such teaching will keep you from sinful women
and from the pleasing words of another man’s unfaithful wife.
25Don’t want her because she is beautiful.
Don’t let her capture you by the way she looks at you.
26A prostitute may leave you with only a loaf of bread.
And a woman who takes part in adultery may cost you your life.
27You cannot carry hot coals against your chest
without burning your clothes.
28And you cannot walk on hot coals
without burning your feet.
29The same thing happens if you commit adultery with another man’s wife.
Anyone who does so will be punished.
30People do not hate a thief
when he steals because he is hungry.
31But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole.
It may cost him everything he owns.
32A man who takes part in adultery doesn’t have any sense.
He will destroy himself.
33He will be beaten up and disgraced.
And his shame will never go away.
34Jealousy makes a husband very angry.
He will have no mercy when he gets even.
35He will accept no payment for the wrong.
He will take no money, no matter how much it is.