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vii Wisdom and the Strange Woman


My son, keep my words,
And lay up my commandments with thee.
Keep my commandments, and live;
And my law, as the apple of thine eye.
Bind them upon thy fingers;
Write them upon the table of thine heart.
Say unto Wisdom, Thou art my sister;
And call Understanding thy kinswoman:
That they may keep thee from the Strange Woman,
From the stranger which flattereth with her words.


For at the window of my house
I looked forth through my lattice;
And I beheld among the simple ones,
I discerned among the youths,
A young man,
Void of understanding,

Passing through the street near her corner,
And he went the way to her house;
In the twilight, in the evening of the day,
In the blackness of night and the darkness;
And behold, there met him a Woman
With the attire of an harlot, and wily of heart.

She is clamorous and wilful;
Her feet abide not in her house;
Now she is in the streets, now in the broad places, And lieth in wait at every corner.
So she caught him, and kissed him,
With an impudent face she said unto him:

|Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me;
This day have I paid my vows;
Therefore came I forth to meet thee,
Diligently to seek thy face,
And I have found thee.
I have spread my couch with carpets of tapestry,
With striped cloths of the yarn of Egypt;
I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love
Until the morning;
Let us solace ourselves with loves;
For the goodman is not at home,
He is gone a long journey:
He hath taken a bag of money with him;
He will come home at the full moon.|

With her much fair speech she causeth him to yield, With the flattering of her lips she forceth him away.

He goeth after her straightway,
As an ox goeth to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the correction of the fool; Till an arrow strike through his liver;
As a bird hasteth to the snare,
And knoweth not that it is for his life.


Now therefore, my sons, hearken unto me,
And attend to the words of my mouth.
Let not thine heart decline to her ways,
Go not astray in her paths.
For she hath cast down many wounded:
Yea, all her slain are a mighty host.
Her house is the way to Sheol,
Going down to the chambers of death.


Doth not Wisdom cry,
And Understanding put forth her voice?
In the top of high places by the way,
Where the paths meet,
She standeth;
Beside the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the coming in at the doors,
She crieth aloud:

Unto you, O men, I call;
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O ye simple, understand subtilty;
And ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Hear, for I will speak excellent things;
And the opening of my lips shall be right things.
For my mouth shall utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverse in them.
They are all plain to him that understandeth,
And right to them that find knowledge
Receive my instruction, and not silver;
And knowledge rather than choice gold.
For wisdom is better than rubies;
And all the things that may be desired are not to be compared unto her.


I Wisdom have made subtilty my dwelling,
And find out knowledge and discretion.

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogancy,
And the evil way,
And the froward mouth, do I hate.

Counsel is mine,
And sound knowledge;
I am understanding,
I have might.

By me kings reign,
And princes decree justice;
By me princes rule,
And nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

I love them that love me;
And those that seek me diligently shall find me.

Riches and honour are with me;
Durable riches and righteousness;
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold;
And my revenue than choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of judgement:
That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance, And that I may fill their treasuries.


The LORD formed me in the beginning of his way,
Before his works of old.

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning,
Or ever the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.

Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, was I brought forth:
While as yet he had not made the earth,
Nor the fields,
Nor the beginning of the dust of the world.

When he established the heavens, I was there:
When he set a circle upon the face of the deep:
When he made firm the skies above:
When the fountains of the deep became strong:
When he gave to the sea its bound,
That the waters should not transgress his commandment:

When he marked out the foundations of the earth,
Then I was by him,
As a master workman,
And I was daily his delight,
Sporting always before him;
Sporting in his habitable earth;
And my delight was with the sons of men.


Now therefore, my sons, hearken unto me:
For blessed are they that keep my ways.
Hear instruction, and be wise,
And refuse it not.
Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoso findeth me findeth life,
And shall obtain favour of the LORD;
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul; All they that hate me love death.

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