World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Warning Against Adultery
1My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3For the lips of a forbidden11Hebrew strange; also verse 20 woman drip honey,
and her speech22Hebrew palate is smoother than oil,
4but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to33Hebrew lay hold of Sheol;
6she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
15Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated44Hebrew be led astray; also verse 20 always in her love.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?55Hebrew a foreign woman
21For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders66Or makes level all his paths.
22The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.
Pr 5:1-23. A warning against the seductive arts of wicked women, enforced by considering the advantages of chastity, and the miserable end of the wicked.
2. regard—or, "observe."
3. (Compare Pr 2:16). Her enticing promises are deceitful.
4. her end—literally, "her future," in sense of reward, what follows (compare Ps 37:37; 73:17). Its nature is evinced by the use of figures, opposite those of Pr 5:3. The physical and moral suffering of the deluded profligate are notoriously terrible.
5. feet … , steps—that is, course of life ends in death.
6. her ways … know—Some prefer, "that she may not ponder the path of life," &c.; but perhaps a better sense is, "her ways are varied, so as to prevent your knowledge of her true character, and so of true happiness."
8, 9. Avoid the slightest temptation.
9. thine honour—in whatever consisting, strength (Pr 3:13) or wealth.
thy years—by cutting them off in dissipation.
unto the cruel—for such the sensual are apt to become.
10. wealth—literally, "strength," or the result of it.
11. at the last—the end, or reward (compare Pr 5:4).
mourn—roar in pain.
flesh and … body—the whole person under incurable disease.
12-14. The ruined sinner vainly laments his neglect of warning and his sad fate in being brought to public disgrace.
15-20. By figures, in which well, cistern, and fountain [Pr 5:15, 18] represent the wife, and rivers of waters [Pr 5:16] the children, men are exhorted to constancy and satisfaction in lawful conjugal enjoyments. In Pr 5:16, fountains (in the plural) rather denote the produce or waters of a spring, literally, "what is from a spring," and corresponds with "rivers of waters."
17. only thine own—harlots' children have no known father.
18. wife … youth—married in youth.
19. loving … roe—other figures for a wife from the well-known beauty of these animals.
ravished—literally, "intoxicated," that is, fully satisfied.
21. The reason, God's eye is on you,
22, 23. and He will cause sin to bring its punishment.
go astray—literally, "be drunken." The word "ravished" (Pr 5:19) here denotes fulness of punishment.