Proverbs 7

1 My son, obey my words, and treasure my commands.
2 Keep my commands and live;[a] protect my teachings as you would the pupil of your eye.[b]
3 Tie them to your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.[c]
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding [your] relative.
5 She will keep you from a forbidden woman, a stranger with her flattering talk.[d]

A Story of Seduction

6 At the window of my house I looked through my lattice.
7 I saw among the inexperienced,[e] I noticed among the youths, a young man lacking sense.
8 Crossing the street near her corner, he strolled down the road to her house
9 at twilight, in the evening, in the dark of the night.
10 A woman came to meet him, dressed like a prostitute, having a hidden agenda.[f]
11 She is loud and defiant; her feet do not stay at home.
12 Now in the street, now in the squares,[g] she lurks at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him; she brazenly says[h] [i] to him,
14 "I've made fellowship offerings;[j] today I've fulfilled my vows.[k]
15 So I came out to meet you, to search for you, and I've found you.
16 I've spread coverings on my bed- richly colored linen from Egypt.
17 I've perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let's drink deeply of lovemaking until morning. Let's feast on each other's love!
19 My husband isn't home; he went on a long journey.
20 He took a bag of money with him and will come home at the time of the full moon."
21 She seduces him with her persistent pleading; she lures with her flattering[l] talk.
22 He follows her impulsively like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer bounding toward a trap[m]
23 until an arrow pierces its[n] liver,[o] like a bird darting into a snare- he doesn't know it will cost him his life.
24 Now, [my] sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Don't let your heart turn aside to her ways; don't stray onto her paths.
26 For she has brought many down to death; her victims are countless.[p]
27 Her house is the road to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death.[q]

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 17

  • [a]. Pr 3:1-2; 4:4; 6:23; 19:16
  • [b]. Dt 32:10; Ps 17:8
  • [c]. Pr 3:3; 6:21; Dt 6:6,8
  • [d]. Pr 5:3,20; 6:24; 7:5,21
  • [e]. Or simple, or gullible, or naive
  • [f]. Or prostitute, with a guarded heart
  • [g]. Pr 5:16
  • [h]. Lit she makes her face strong and says
  • [i]. Pr 21:29
  • [j]. Meat from a fellowship offering had to be eaten on the day it was offered; therefore she is inviting him to a feast at her house.
  • [k]. Lv 7:11-18; Dt 23:18-19; Ps 56:12
  • [l]. Lit smooth
  • [m]. Text emended; lit like shackles for the discipline of a fool; Hb obscure
  • [n]. Or his
  • [o]. Pr 2:16-19; 5:3-6; 23:27-28
  • [p]. Or and powerful men are all her victims
  • [q]. Pr 5:5; 9:18

Chapter Summary


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

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