The False Attractions of Adultery

My son, keep my words

and treasure up my commandments with you;

keep my commandments and live,

keep my teachings as the apple of your eye;

bind them on your fingers,

write them on the tablet of your heart.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

and call insight your intimate friend;

to preserve you from the loose woman,

from the adventuress with her smooth words.

For at the window of my house

I have looked out through my lattice,

and I have seen among the simple,

I have perceived among the youths,

a young man without sense,

passing along the street near her corner,

taking the road to her house

in the twilight, in the evening,

at the time of night and darkness.

10 And lo, a woman meets him,

dressed as a harlot, wily of heart.[a]

11 She is loud and wayward,

her feet do not stay at home;

12 now in the street, now in the market,

and at every corner she lies in wait.

13 She seizes him and kisses him,

and with impudent face she says to him:

14 “I had to offer sacrifices,

and today I have paid my vows;

15 so now I have come out to meet you,

to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.

16 I have decked my couch with coverings,

colored spreads of Egyptian linen;

17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,

aloes, and cinnamon.

18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;

let us delight ourselves with love.

19 For my husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey;

20 he took a bag of money with him;

at full moon he will come home.”

21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;

with her smooth talk she compels him.

22 All at once he follows her,

as an ox goes to the slaughter,

or as a stag is caught fast[b]

23 till an arrow pierces its entrails;

as a bird rushes into a snare;

he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 And now, O sons, listen to me,

and be attentive to the words of my mouth.

25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways,

do not stray into her paths;

26 for many a victim has she laid low;

yea, all her slain are a mighty host.

27 Her house is the way to Sheol,

going down to the chambers of death.


  1. Proverbs 7:10 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  2. Proverbs 7:22 Cn Compare Gk: Heb uncertain