December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 2 My son, if you have become surety to your neighbor, given your hand in pledge to another,
- You have been snared by the utterance of your lips, caught by the words of your mouth;
- So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's power: Go, hurry, stir up your neighbor!
- Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids;
- Free yourself as a gazelle from the snare, or as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
- Go to the ant, O sluggard, study her ways and learn wisdom;
- For though she has no chief, no commander or ruler,
- She procures her food in the summer, stores up her provisions in the harvest.
- How long, O sluggard, will you rest? when will you rise from your sleep?
- 3 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest--
- Then will poverty come upon you like a highway man, and want like an armed man.
- A scoundrel, a villain, is he who deals in crooked talk.
- He winks his eyes, shuffles his feet, makes signs with his fingers;
- He has perversity in his heart, is always plotting evil, sows discord.
- Therefore suddenly ruin comes upon him; in an instant he is crushed beyond cure.
- 4 There are six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him;
- Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood;
- A heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil,
- The false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.
- 5 Observe, my son, your father's bidding, and reject not your mother's teaching;
- Keep them fastened over your heart always, put them around your neck;
- For the bidding is a lamp, and the teaching a light, and a way to life are the reproofs of discipline;
- To keep you from your neighbor's wife, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
- Lust not in your heart after her beauty, let her not captivate you with her glance!
- 6 For the price of a loose woman may be scarcely a loaf of bread, But if she is married, she is a trap for your precious life.
- Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his garments not burned?
- Or can a man walk on live coals, and his feet not be scorched?
- So with him who goes in to his neighbor's wife-- none who touches her shall go unpunished.
- Men despise not the thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry;
- Yet if he be caught he must pay back sevenfold; all the wealth of his house he may yield up.
- But he who commits adultery is a fool; he who would destroy himself does it.
- A degrading beating will he get, and his disgrace will not be wiped away;
- For vindictive is the husband's wrath, he will have no pity on the day of vengeance;
- He will not consider any restitution, nor be satisfied with the greatest gifts.
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1 [1-19] These verses interrupt the discourse of chapters Proverb 6:2-7, which should be read apart from them; they contain four shorter proverbs akin to those in Prov 30.
2  Given your hand in pledge: literally, "struck your hands"; this was probably the legal method for closing a contract.
3  This verse may be regarded as the sluggard's reply or as a continuation of the remonstrance.
4 [16-19] The seven vices symbolized for the most part by bodily organs are pride, lying, murder, intrigue, readiness to do evil, false witness, and the stirring up of discord.
5 [6:20-7:27] Parental training and the love of wisdom are an invaluable and constant help for the young (Proverb 6:20-23; 7:1-4). They are the best defense against adultery (Proverb 6:24; 7:5, 24-25), which involves the guilty in many dangers and punishments (Proverb 6:26-35; 7:6-27). Cf Proverb 5:1-20.
6  Some interpret the verse in a progressive sense, i.e., to satisfy the increasing demands of a courtesan a man is reduced to poverty; if the woman is married, even his very life is endangered.
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