Proverbs 5:15

15 Drink 1water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.

Proverbs 5:15 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 5:15

Drink waters out of thine own cistern
Arguments being used to dissuade from conversation with an adulterous woman, taken from the disgrace, diseases, poverty, and distress of mind on reflection, it brings a man to; the wise man proceeds to direct to marriage, as a proper antidote against it: take a wife and cleave to her, and enjoy all the pleasures and comforts of a marriage state. As every man formerly had his own cistern for the reception of water for his own use, ( 2 Kings 18:31 ) ; so every man should have his own wife, and but one: and as drinking water quenches thirst, and allays heat; so the lawful enjoyments of the marriage bed quench the thirst of appetite, and allay the heat of lust; for which reason the apostle advises men to marry and not burn, ( 1 Corinthians 7:9 ) ; and a man that is married should be content with his own wife, and not steal waters out of another cistern. The allusion may be to a law, which, Clemens of Alexandria F20 says, Plato had from the Hebrews; which enjoined husbandmen not to take water from others to water their lands, till they themselves had dug into the earth, called virgin earth, and found it dry and without water; and running waters out of thine own well;
the pure, chaste, and innocent pleasures of the marriage state, are as different from the embraces of an harlot, who is compared to a deep ditch and a narrow pit, ( Proverbs 23:27 ) ; as clear running waters of a well or fountain from the dirty waters of a filthy puddle; see ( Proverbs 9:17 ) . Some interpret these words, and what follows, of persons enjoying with contentment the good things of life they have for the support of themselves and families; and of a liberal communication of them to the relief of proper objects; but not to spend their substance on harlots. Jarchi understands by the "cistern", the law of Moses: but it may be better applied to the Scriptures in general, from whence all sound doctrine flows, to the comfort and refreshment of the souls of men; and from whence all doctrine ought to be fetched, and not elsewhere.


F20 Stromat. l. 1. p. 274.

Proverbs 5:15 In-Context

13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation."
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 strangers with you.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver. 18; [Proverbs 9:17; Song of Songs 4:12, 15; Jeremiah 2:13]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.