Proverbs 7

Avoid loose women

1 My son, keep my words; store up my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and live, and my instruction like the pupil of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister"; call understanding "friend,"
5 so she might guard you against the mysterious woman, from the foreign woman who flatters you.
6 When from the window of my house, from behind the screen, I gazed down,
7 I looked among the naive young men and noticed among the youth, one who had no sense.
8 He was crossing the street at her corner and walked down the path to her house
9 in the early evening, at the onset of night and darkness.
10 All of a sudden a woman approaches him, dressed like a prostitute and with a cunning mind.
11 She is noisy and defiant; her feet don't stay long in her own house.
12 She has one foot in the street, one foot in the public square. She lies in wait at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him. Her face is brazen as she speaks to him:
14 "I've made a sacrifice of well-being; today I fulfilled my solemn promises.
15 So I've come out to meet you, seeking you, and I have found you.
16 I've spread my bed with luxurious covers, with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I've sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let's drink deep of love until morning; let's savor our lovemaking.
19 For my husband isn't home; he's gone far away.
20 He took a pouch of money with him; he won't come home till full moon."
21 She seduces him with all her talk. She entices him with her flattery.
22 He goes headlong after her, like an ox to the slaughter, like a deer leaping into a trap,
23 until an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird hurrying to the snare, not aware that it will cost him his life.
24 Now children, listen to me, and pay attention to my speech.
25 Don't turn your heart to her ways; don't wander down her paths.
26 She has caused many corpses to fall; she has killed many people.
27 Her house is a path to the grave, going down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Invitations to learn wisdom. (1-5) The arts of seducers, with warnings against them. (6-27)

Verses 1-5 We must lay up God's commandments safely. Not only, Keep them, and you shall live; but, Keep them as those that cannot live without them. Those that blame strict and careful walking as needless and too precise, consider not that the law is to be kept as the apple of the eye; indeed the law in the heart is the eye of the soul. Let the word of God dwell in us, and so be written where it will be always at hand to be read. Thus we shall be kept from the fatal effects of our own passions, and the snares of Satan. Let God's word confirm our dread of sin, and resolutions against it.

Verses 6-27 Here is an affecting example of the danger of youthful lusts. It is a history or a parable of the most instructive kind. Will any one dare to venture on temptations that lead to impurity, after Solomon has set before his eyes in so lively and plain a manner, the danger of even going near them? Then is he as the man who would dance on the edge of a lofty rock, when he has just seen another fall headlong from the same place. The misery of self-ruined sinners began in disregard to God's blessed commands. We ought daily to pray that we may be kept from running into temptation, else we invite the enemies of our souls to spread snares for us. Ever avoid the neighbourhood of vice. Beware of sins which are said to be pleasant sins. They are the more dangerous, because they most easily gain the heart, and close it against repentance. Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it. Were a man to live as long as Methuselah, and to spend all his days in the highest delights sin can offer, one hour of the anguish and tribulation that must follow, would far outweigh them.

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 7

The sum of this chapter is to exhort men to attend to the doctrines and precepts of Wisdom, in order to avoid the adulterous woman; the exhortation to keep them with care, affection, and delight, in order to answer the end, is in Pr 7:1-5. A story is told, of Solomon's own knowledge, of a young man ensnared and ruined by a lewd woman; it begins Pr 7:6. The young man is described as foolish, and as throwing himself in the way of temptation, Pr 7:7-9; the harlot that met him is described by her attire, her subtlety, her voice, her inconstancy, her impudence, and pretensions to piety, Pr 7:10-14. The arguments she made use of to prevail upon him to go with her are taken partly from the elegance of her bed, the softness of it, and its sweet perfume, and satiety of love to be enjoyed in it, Pr 7:15-18; and partly from the absence of her husband, who was gone a long journey, and had made provision for it for a certain time, Pr 7:19,20. By which arguments she prevailed upon him to his utter ruin: which is illustrated by the similes of an ox going to the slaughter, a fool to the stocks, and a bird to the snare, Pr 7:21-23. And the chapter is concluded with an exhortation to hearken to the words of Wisdom, and to avoid the ways and paths of the harlot, by which many and mighty persons have been ruined; they being the direct road to hell and death, Pr 7:24-27.

Proverbs 7 Commentaries