Chapter 5

1My son, listen to my wisdom; Incline your ear to my insight,

אבְּנִי לְחָכְמָתִי הַקְשִׁיבָה לִתְבוּנָתִי הַט־אָזְנֶךָ׃

2That you may have foresight, While your lips hold fast to knowledge.

בלִשְׁמֹר מְזִמּוֹת וְדַעַת שְׂפָתֶיךָ יִנְצֹרוּ׃

3For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey; Her mouth is smoother than oil;

גכִּי נֹפֶת תִּטֹּפְנָה שִׂפְתֵי זָרָה וְחָלָק מִשֶּׁמֶן חִכָּהּ׃

4But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.

דוְאַחֲרִיתָהּ מָרָה כַלַּעֲנָה חַדָּה כְּחֶרֶב פִּיּוֹת׃

5Her feet go down to Death; Her steps take hold of Sheol.

הרַגְלֶיהָ יֹרְדוֹת מָוֶת שְׁאוֹל צְעָדֶיהָ יִתְמֹכוּ׃

6She does not chart a path of life; Her course meanders for lack of knowledge.

ואֹרַח חַיִּים פֶּן־תְּפַלֵּס נָעוּ מַעְגְּלֹתֶיהָ לֹא תֵדָע׃

7So now, sons, pay heed to me, And do not swerve from the words of my mouth.

זוְעַתָּה בָנִים שִׁמְעוּ־לִי וְאַל־תָּסוּרוּ מֵאִמְרֵי־פִי׃

8Keep yourself far away from her; Do not come near the doorway of her house

חהַרְחֵק מֵעָלֶיהָ דַרְכֶּךָ וְאַל־תִּקְרַב אֶל־פֶּתַח בֵּיתָהּ׃

9Lest you give up your vigor to others, Your years to a ruthless one;

טפֶּן־תִּתֵּן לַאֲחֵרִים הוֹדֶךָ וּשְׁנֹתֶיךָ לְאַכְזָרִי׃

10Lest strangers eat their fill of your strength, And your toil be for the house of another;

יפֶּן־יִשְׂבְּעוּ זָרִים כֹּחֶךָ וַעֲצָבֶיךָ בְּבֵית נָכְרִי׃

11And in the end you roar, When your flesh and body are consumed,

יאוְנָהַמְתָּ בְאַחֲרִיתֶךָ בִּכְלוֹת בְּשָׂרְךָ וּשְׁאֵרֶךָ׃

12And say, “O how I hated discipline, And heartily spurned rebuke.

יבוְאָמַרְתָּ אֵיךְ שָׂנֵאתִי מוּסָר וְתוֹכַחַת נָאַץ לִבִּי׃

13I did not pay heed to my teachers, Or incline my ear to my instructors.

יגוְלֹא־שָׁמַעְתִּי בְּקוֹל מוֹרָי וְלִמְלַמְּדַי לֹא־הִטִּיתִי אָזְנִי׃

14Soon I was in dire trouble Amidst the assembled congregation.”

ידכִּמְעַט הָיִיתִי בְכָל־רָע בְּתוֹךְ קָהָל וְעֵדָה׃

15Drink water from your own cistern, Running water from your own well.

טושְׁתֵה־מַיִם מִבּוֹרֶךָ וְנֹזְלִים מִתּוֹךְ בְּאֵרֶךָ׃

16Your springs will gush forth In streams in the public squares.

טזיָפוּצוּ מַעְיְנֹתֶיךָ חוּצָה בָּרְחֹבוֹת פַּלְגֵי־מָיִם׃

17They will be yours alone, Others having no part with you.

יזיִהְיוּ־לְךָ לְבַדֶּךָ וְאֵין לְזָרִים אִתָּךְ׃

18Let your fountain be blessed; Find joy in the wife of your youth—

y'-HEE m'-ko-r'-KHA va-RUKH us-MAKH may-AY-shet n'-u-RE-kha

יחיְהִי־מְקוֹרְךָ בָרוּךְ וּשְׂמַח מֵאֵשֶׁת נְעוּרֶךָ׃

 5:18   Find joy in the wife of your youth

King Shlomo compares the wife of one’s youth to a fountain, a source of life-giving water, because she is a source of continued life through the children she bears. Water is a precious commodity in Israel, as rain falls in unpredictable and sometimes limited quantities, and only in its season. Being dependent on the Lord for rain ensures that His children must maintain a close connection with Him in the Land of Israel, and recognize the He is the true source of life and all of its blessings.

19A loving doe, a graceful mountain goat. Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be infatuated with love of her always.

יטאַיֶּלֶת אֲהָבִים וְיַעֲלַת־חֵן דַּדֶּיהָ יְרַוֻּךָ בְכָל־עֵת בְּאַהֲבָתָהּ תִּשְׁגֶּה תָמִיד׃

20Why be infatuated, my son, with a forbidden woman? Why clasp the bosom of an alien woman?

כוְלָמָּה תִשְׁגֶּה בְנִי בְזָרָה וּתְחַבֵּק חֵק נָכְרִיָּה׃

21For a man's ways are before the eyes of Hashem; He surveys his entire course.

כאכִּי נֹכַח עֵינֵי יְהֹוָה דַּרְכֵי־אִישׁ וְכָל־מַעְגְּלֹתָיו מְפַלֵּס׃

22The wicked man will be trapped in his iniquities; He will be caught up in the ropes of his sin.

כבעַווֹנוֹתָיו יִלְכְּדֻנוֹ אֶת־הָרָשָׁע וּבְחַבְלֵי חַטָּאתוֹ יִתָּמֵךְ׃

23He will die for lack of discipline, Infatuated by his great folly.

כגהוּא יָמוּת בְּאֵין מוּסָר וּבְרֹב אִוַּלְתּוֹ יִשְׁגֶּה׃