1 O Lord, Father and Master of my life,
Abandon me not to their counsel:
Suffer me not to fall by them.
2 Who will set scourges over my thought,
And a discipline of wisdom over my heart?
That they spare me not for my ignorances,
And my heart pass not by their sins:
3 That my ignorances be not multiplied,
And my sins abound not;
And I will fall before my adversaries,
And my enemy rejoice over me. *
4 O Lord, Father and God of my life,
Give me not a †
proud look, ‡
And turn away concupiscense from me. §
Let not *
greediness and chambering overtake me;
And give me not over to a shameless mind.
7 Hear you°, my children, the discipline of the mouth;
And he that keeps it will not be taken.
The sinner will be †
overtaken in his lips;
And the reviler and the proud man will stumble therein.
9 Accustom not your mouth to an oath;
And be not accustomed to the naming of the Holy One.
10 For as a servant that is continually scourged will not lack a bruise,
So he also that swears and names God continually will not be cleansed from sin.
11 A man of many oaths will be filled with iniquity;
And the scourge will not depart from his house:
If he shall offend, his sin will be upon him;
And if he disregard it, he has sinned doubly;
And if he has sworn in vain, he will not be justified;
For his house will be filled with calamities.
12 There is a manner of speech that is clothed about with death:
Let it not be found in the heritage of Jacob;
For all these things will be far from the godly,
And they will not wallow in sins.
13 Accustom not your mouth to gross rudeness,
For therein is the word of sin.
14 Remember your father and your mother,
For you sit in the midst of great men;
That you be not forgetful before them,
And become a fool by your custom;
So will you wish that you had not been born,
And curse the day of your nativity.
15 A man that is accustomed to words of reproach
Will not be corrected all the days of his life.
16 Two sorts of men multiply sins,
And the third will bring wrath:
A hot mind, as a burning fire, will not be quenched till it be consumed:
A fornicator in the body of his flesh will never cease till he has ‡
burned out the fire.
17 All bread is sweet to a fornicator:
He will not leave off till he die.
18 A man that goes astray from his own bed,
Saying in his heart, Who sees me?
Darkness is round about me, and the walls hide me,
And no man sees me; of whom am I afraid?
The Most High will not remember my sins;
19 —And the eyes of men are his terror,
And he knows not that the eyes of the Lord are ten thousand times brighter than the sun,
Beholding all the ways of men,
And looking into secret places.
20 All things were known to him or ever they were created;
And in like manner also after they were perfected.
21 This man will be punished in the streets of the city;
And where he suspected not he will be taken.
22 So also a wife that leaves her husband,
And brings in an heir by a stranger.
23 For first, she was disobedient in the law of the Most High;
And secondly, she trespassed against her own husband;
And thirdly, she played the adulteress in whoredom,
And brought in children by a stranger.
24 She shall be brought out into the congregation;
And upon her children will there be visitation.
25 Her children will not spread into roots,
And her branches will bear no fruit.
26 She will leave her memory for a curse;
And her reproach will not be blotted out.
27 And those who are left behind will know that there is nothing better than the fear of the Lord,
And nothing sweeter than to take heed to the commandments of the Lord. 28 §