Don't Be Foolish
1 My child, suppose you agree
to pay the debt of someone,
who cannot repay a loan.
2 Then you are trapped
by your own words,
3 and you are now in the power
of someone else.
Here is what you should do:
Go and beg for permission
to call off the agreement.
4 Do this before you fall asleep
or even get sleepy.
5 Save yourself, just as a deer
or a bird tries to escape
from a hunter.

6 You lazy people can learn
by watching an anthill.
7 Ants don't have leaders,
8 but they store up food
during harvest season.
9 How long will you lie there
doing nothing at all?
When are you going to get up
and stop sleeping?
10 Sleep a little. Doze a little.
Fold your hands
and twiddle your thumbs.
11 Suddenly, everything is gone,
as though it had been taken
by an armed robber.

12 Worthless liars go around
13 winking and giving signals
to deceive others.
14 They are always thinking up
something cruel and evil,
and they stir up trouble.
15 But they will be struck
by sudden disaster
and left without a hope.

16 There are six or seven
kinds of people
the Lord doesn't like:
17 Those who are too proud
or tell lies or murder,
18 those who make evil plans
or are quick to do wrong,
19 those who tell lies in court
or stir up trouble
in a family.

20 Obey the teaching
of your parents—
21 always keep it in mind
and never forget it.
22 Their teaching will guide you
when you walk,
protect you when you sleep,
and talk to you
when you are awake.

23 The Law of the Lord is a lamp,
and its teachings
shine brightly.
Correction and self-control
will lead you through life.
24 They will protect you
from the flattering words
of someone else's wife.
25 Don't let yourself be attracted
by the charm and lovely eyes
of someone like that.
26 A woman who sells her love
can be bought for as little
as the price of a meal.
But making love
to another man's wife
will cost you everything.
27 If you carry burning coals,
you burn your clothes;
28 if you step on hot coals,
you burn your feet.
29 And if you go to bed
with another man's wife,
you pay the price.

30 We don't put up with thieves,
not even with one who steals
for something to eat.
31 And thieves who get caught
must pay back
seven times what was stolen
and lose everything.
32 But if you go to bed
with another man's wife,
you will destroy yourself
by your own stupidity.
33 You will be beaten
and forever disgraced,
34 because a jealous husband
can be furious and merciless
when he takes revenge.
35 He won't let you pay him off,
no matter what you offer.