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Warning against Impurity and Infidelity

 5

My child, be attentive to my wisdom;

incline your ear to my understanding,

2

so that you may hold on to prudence,

and your lips may guard knowledge.

3

For the lips of a loose woman drip honey,

and her speech is smoother than oil;

4

but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,

sharp as a two-edged sword.

5

Her feet go down to death;

her steps follow the path to Sheol.

6

She does not keep straight to the path of life;

her ways wander, and she does not know it.

 

7

And now, my child, listen to me,

and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

8

Keep your way far from her,

and do not go near the door of her house;

9

or you will give your honor to others,

and your years to the merciless,

10

and strangers will take their fill of your wealth,

and your labors will go to the house of an alien;

11

and at the end of your life you will groan,

when your flesh and body are consumed,

12

and you say, “Oh, how I hated discipline,

and my heart despised reproof!

13

I did not listen to the voice of my teachers

or incline my ear to my instructors.

14

Now I am at the point of utter ruin

in the public assembly.”

 

15

Drink water from your own cistern,

flowing water from your own well.

16

Should your springs be scattered abroad,

streams of water in the streets?

17

Let them be for yourself alone,

and not for sharing with strangers.

18

Let your fountain be blessed,

and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

19

a lovely deer, a graceful doe.

May her breasts satisfy you at all times;

may you be intoxicated always by her love.

20

Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman

and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?

21

For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord,

and he examines all their paths.

22

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them,

and they are caught in the toils of their sin.

23

They die for lack of discipline,

and because of their great folly they are lost.


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Verses 1–14

Solomon cautions all young men, as his children, to abstain from fleshly lusts. Some, by the adulterous woman, here understand idolatry, false doctrine, which tends to lead astray men's minds and manners; but the direct view is to warn against seventh-commandment sins. Often these have been, and still are, Satan's method of drawing men from the worship of God into false religion. Consider how fatal the consequences; how bitter the fruit! Take it any way, it wounds. It leads to the torments of hell. The direct tendency of this sin is to the destruction of body and soul. We must carefully avoid every thing which may be a step towards it. Those who would be kept from harm, must keep out of harm's way. If we thrust ourselves into temptation we mock God when we pray, Lead us not into temptation. How many mischiefs attend this sin! It blasts the reputation; it wastes time; it ruins the estate; it is destructive to health; it will fill the mind with horror. Though thou art merry now, yet sooner or later it will bring sorrow. The convinced sinner reproaches himself, and makes no excuse for his folly. By the frequent acts of sin, the habits of it become rooted and confirmed. By a miracle of mercy true repentance may prevent the dreadful consequences of such sins; but this is not often; far more die as they have lived. What can express the case of the self-ruined sinner in the eternal world, enduring the remorse of his conscience!

Verses 15–23

Lawful marriage is a means God has appointed to keep from these destructive vices. But we are not properly united, except as we attend to God's word, seeking his direction and blessing, and acting with affection. Ever remember, that though secret sins may escape the eyes of our fellow-creatures, yet a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, who not only sees, but ponders all his goings. Those who are so foolish as to choose the way of sin, are justly left of God to themselves, to go on in the way to destruction.




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