My child, 1 if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger -
2 if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said -
3 follow my advice and save yourself,
for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
go and beg to have your name erased.
4 Don’t put it off; do it now!
Don’t rest until you do.
5 Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net.
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
7 Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
8 they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest -
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
What are worthless and wicked people like?
They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.
There are six things the Lord hates -
no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.