1 My son, suppose you have pledged to guarantee your neighbor's debt, or you have shaken hands in agreement with a stranger,
2 then you've trapped yourself by what you promised, you've been caught by what you said.
3 So this is what you have to do. You need to get out of it, because you've put yourself in that person's power. Go to your neighbor in all humility and ask him to release you from the commitment.
4 Don't delay, saying that you'll sleep on it. Don't rest until you've done it.
5 Get out of it like a gazelle escaping from a trap, like a bird from a bird-catcher's net.
6 Go and observe the ants, you slacker! Learn from what they do and become wise.
7 They don't have a leader, an officer, or a ruler,
8 yet they work hard during the summer getting their food, gathering what they need during the harvest.
9 So how long are you going to lie there, you slacker? When are you going to get up from your sleep?
10 You may say, “Please, just a little more sleep, a little longer snooze, a little more folding of the arms to rest”—
11 and poverty will attack you like a robber, destitution like an armed warrior.
12 Rebellious and wicked people go around telling lies,
13 winking slyly, giving sneaky foot gestures, rudely pointing with their fingers.
14 Their warped minds plot evil schemes; they're always causing trouble.
15 As a result, disaster falls suddenly on such people; in just a moment they're destroyed without hope of healing.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven things that he absolutely detests:
17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that murder the innocent,
18 a mind that plots evil schemes, feet that hurriedly run to do wrong,
19 a false witness that speaks lies, those who caused arguments in families.
20 My son, pay attention to your father's instruction, and don't reject your mother's teaching.
21 Keep them always in mind. Tie them around your neck.
22 They will lead you as you walk along; they will watch over you as you sleep; when you wake up they will talk with you.
23 For the instruction is a lamp, and the teaching is a light. The correction that comes from discipline is the way to life.
24 It will protect you from an evil woman and the seductive words of a prostitute.
25 Don't let your mind lust after her beauty, or let her hypnotize you with her fluttering eyelashes.
26 You can buy a prostitute for the price of a loaf of bread, but adultery with another man's wife can cost you your life.
27 Can you put fire in your lap and not burn your clothes?
28 Can you walk on hot coals and not scorch your feet?
29 It's the same for anyone who sleeps with another man's wife. No one who touches her will remain unpunished.
30 People don't condemn a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he's hungry.
31 But if he's caught, he has to pay back seven times what he stole, even if it means handing over everything he has in his house.
32 Any man who commits adultery with a woman has no sense; he who does so destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and dishonored. His disgrace will never be removed.
34 For jealousy makes a husband furious, and he won't hold back when he takes revenge.
35 He refuses any compensation, and won't be paid off, however big the amount.