Proverbs 6–7

1 My son, if you put up a security for your friend,

if you have shaken hands with a stranger,

2 you are snared with the words of your mouth;

you are taken with the words of your mouth.

3 Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself;

when you have come into the hand of your friend,

go and humble yourself;

plead with your friend.

4 Give no sleep to your eyes,

nor slumber to your eyelids.

5 Deliver yourself as a doe from the hand of the hunter,

and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!

Consider her ways and be wise.

7 Which, having no guide,

overseer, or ruler,

8 provides her bread in the summer,

and gathers her food in the harvest.

9 How long will you sleep, O sluggard?

When will you arise out of your sleep?

10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to sleep—

11 so will your poverty come upon you like a stalker,

and your need as an armed man.

12 A wayward person, a wicked man,

walks with a perverse mouth.

13 He winks with his eyes,

he signals with his feet,

he motions with his fingers;

14 perversity is in his heart,

he devises mischief continually, he sows discord.

15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;

in a moment he will be broken without remedy.

16 These six things the Lord hates,

yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

17 a proud look,

a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked imaginations,

feet that are swift in running to mischief,

19 a false witness who speaks lies,

and he who sows discord among brethren.

20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,

and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.

21 Bind them continually upon your heart,

and tie them around your neck.

22 When you go, they will lead you;

when you sleep, they will keep you;

and when you awake, they will speak with you.

23 For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light;

and reproofs of instruction are the way of life,

24 to keep you from the evil woman,

from the flattery of the tongue of a seductress.

25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,

nor let her allure you with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a piece of bread,

and the adulteress will prey upon his precious life.

27 Can a man take fire in his bosom,

and his clothes not be burned?

28 Can one walk upon hot coals,

and his feet not be burned?

29 So he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;

whoever touches her will not be innocent.

30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals

to satisfy himself when he is hungry.

31 But if he is found, he will restore sevenfold;

he will give all the substance of his house.

32 But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;

he who does it destroys his own soul.

33 A wound and dishonor will he get,

and his reproach will not be wiped away.

34 For jealousy is the rage of a man;

therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35 He will not regard any ransom,

nor will he rest content, though you give many gifts.

Chapter 7

1 My son, keep my words,

and lay up my commandments within you.

2 Keep my commandments and live,

and my teaching as the apple of your eye.

3 Bind them on your fingers;

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

and call understanding your kinswoman,

5 that they may keep you from the immoral woman,

from the seductress who flatters with her words.

6 For at the window of my house

I looked through my casement,

7 and saw among the simple ones,

I discerned among the youths,

a young man void of understanding,

8 passing through the street near her corner;

and he went the way to her house

9 in the twilight, in the evening,

in the black and dark night.

10 And there a woman met him,

with the attire of a harlot, and subtle of heart.

11 She is loud and stubborn;

her feet do not abide in her house.

12 Now she is without, now in the streets,

and lies in wait at every corner.

13 So she caught him, and kissed him;

and with an impudent face said to him:

14 “I have peace offerings with me;

this day have I paid my vows.

15 Therefore I came out to meet you,

diligently to seek your face, and I have found you.

16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry,

with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bed

with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

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

let us solace ourselves with love.

19 For my husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey;

20 he has taken a bag of money with him,

and will come home at the day appointed.”

21 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,

with the flattering of her lips she seduced him.

22 He went after her straightway,

as an ox goes to the slaughter,

or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,

23 until a dart struck through his liver.

As a bird hastens to the snare,

he did not know that it would cost him his life.

24 Listen to me now therefore, O children,

and attend to the words of my mouth:

25 do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,

do not go astray in her paths;

26 for she has cast down many wounded,

and many strong men have been slain by her.

27 Her house is the way to Sheol,

going down to the chambers of death.

2 Corinthians 2

1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. 2 For if I make you sorrowful, who then will there be to make me rejoice, but the one whom I have made sorrowful? 3 I wrote concerning this matter to you, so that when I came, I would not be grieved by those in whom I ought to rejoice, having confidence in you all, that my joy is your joy. 4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly for you.

5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but to some extent all of you, not to put it too severely. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by many on such a man is sufficient. 7 So on the contrary, you ought to forgive him and comfort him, lest perhaps he might be swallowed up with excessive sorrow. 8 Therefore I ask you to confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, so that I might know that you are proving yourselves by whether you are being obedient in all things. 10 Whomever you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if I forgave someone anything, for your sakes I forgave it in Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother. So taking my leave of them, I went from there into Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ and through us reveals the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God a sweet fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who perish. 16 To the one we are the fragrance of death, which brings death, and to the other the fragrance of life, which brings life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many are who peddle the word of God. Instead, being sent by God, we sincerely speak in Christ in the sight of God.