Practical Admonitions

My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,

have given your pledge for a stranger;

if you are snared in the utterance of your lips,[a]

caught in the words of your mouth;

then do this, my son, and save yourself,

for you have come into your neighbor’s power:

go, hasten,[b] and importune your neighbor.

Give your eyes no sleep

and your eyelids no slumber;

save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,[c]

like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the ant, O sluggard;

consider her ways, and be wise.

Without having any chief,

officer or ruler,

she prepares her food in summer,

and gathers her sustenance in harvest.

How long will you lie there, O sluggard?

When will you arise from your sleep?

10 A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

11 and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond,

and want like an armed man.

12 A worthless person, a wicked man,

goes about with crooked speech,

13 winks with his eyes, scrapes[d] with his feet,

points with his finger,

14 with perverted heart devises evil,

continually sowing discord;

15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;

in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

16 There are six things which the Lord hates,

seven which are an abomination to him:

17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that make haste to run to evil,

19 a false witness who breathes out lies,

and a man who sows discord among brothers.

20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,

and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

21 Bind them upon your heart always;

tie them about your neck.

22 When you walk, they[e] will lead you;

when you lie down, they[f] will watch over you;

and when you awake, they[g] will talk with you.

23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,

and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

24 to preserve you from the evil woman,

from the smooth tongue of the adventuress.

25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,

and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;

26 for a harlot may be hired for a loaf of bread,[h]

but an adulteress[i] stalks a man’s very life.

27 Can a man carry fire in his bosom

and his clothes not be burned?

28 Or can one walk upon hot coals

and his feet not be scorched?

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

none who touches her will go unpunished.

30 Do not men despise[j] a thief if he steals

to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry?

31 And if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;

he will give all the goods of his house.

32 He who commits adultery has no sense;

he who does it destroys himself.

33 Wounds and dishonor will he get,

and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

34 For jealousy makes a man furious,

and he will not spare when he takes revenge.

35 He will accept no compensation,

nor be appeased though you multiply gifts.


  1. Proverbs 6:2 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb the words of your mouth
  2. Proverbs 6:3 Or humble yourself
  3. Proverbs 6:5 Cn: Heb hand
  4. Proverbs 6:13 Or taps
  5. Proverbs 6:22 Heb it
  6. Proverbs 6:22 Heb it
  7. Proverbs 6:22 Heb it
  8. Proverbs 6:26 Cn Compare Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb for because of a harlot to a piece of bread
  9. Proverbs 6:26 Heb a man’s wife
  10. Proverbs 6:30 Or Men do not despise