23:1 O that one would set scourges over my mind, And the discipline of wisdom over my heart,
23:2 That they do not spare me for my ignorances, And do not overlook my sins;
23:3 That my ignorances not be multiplied, And that my sins do not abound, Lest I fall in the sight of my adversaries, And my enemy rejoice over me.
23:4 O Lord, Father, and Master of my life, Do not abandon me to their counsel.
23:5 Do not give me a proud look, And turn away lust from me.
23:6 May the lust of the body not overtake me, And do not give me over to a shameless soul.
23:7 Hear, my children, [concerning] the discipline of the mouth, He who keeps [it] will not be ensnared;
23:8 But the sinner is ensnared by his lips, And the fool stumbles through his mouth.
23:9 Do not accustom your mouth to an oath, And do not make a habit of naming the Holy One.
23:10 For as a servant who is continually scourged Does not lack [the marks of] a blow, So he who swears and continually names [the Holy One] Is not cleansed from sin.
23:11 A man of many oaths is filled with iniquity, And the scourge does not depart from his house; If he offends his sin will be upon him, And if he disregards it he sins doubly; And if he swears without need he will not be justified, And his house will be filled with calamities.
23:12 There is a manner of speech that is to be compared with death, Do not let it be found in the heritage of Jacob. He who keeps his soul from this will live, And not wallow in sins.
23:13 Do not accustom your mouth to vulgar speech, For there is a sinful thing in that.
23:14 Remember your father and your mother When you sit in council among the mighty, Lest you stumble among them, And show yourself a fool in your manner [of speech], And wish you had not been born, And curse the day of your birth.
23:15 A man who is accustomed to disgraceful talk Will not learn wisdom all his days.
23:16 Two types [of men] multiply sins, And a third brings wrath: A lustful soul burning like fire, Which is not quenched until it is consumed; A fornicator in the body of his flesh, For he does not cease until the fire consumes him;
23:17 [And] the fornicator to whom all bread is sweet, For he will not leave off until he dies.
23:18 [There is] a man who goes astray from his own bed, And says in his soul: "Who sees me? Darkness is around me, and the walls hide me, And no man sees me, of what shall I be afraid? The Most High does not remember my sins."
23:19 And he does not perceive that the eyes of the Lord Are ten thousand times brighter than the sun, Beholding all the ways of men, And looking into secret places.
23:20 For all things are known to him before they are created, So also [he sees them] after they are perfected;
23:21 Such a man will be punished in the streets of the city, And, where he does not suspect it, will be taken.
23:22 So also a wife who leaves her husband, And brings in an heir by a stranger;
23:23 First, she is disobedient to the law of the Most High, Second, she trespasses against her own husband, Third, she commits adultery through her fornication, And brings in children by a stranger.
23:24 She will be led into the assembly, And upon her children there will be visitation.
23:25 Her children will not spread out their roots, And her branches will bear no fruit.
23:26 She will leave her memory for a curse, And her reproach will not be blotted out.
23:27 And those who are left behind will know That nothing is better than the fear of the Lord, And nothing sweeter than to observe The commandments of the Lord.
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