Proverbs 7

Listen to Proverbs 7

Warning Against the Adulteress

1 1My son, keep my words and 2treasure up my commandments with you;
2 3keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as 4the apple of your eye;
3 5bind them on your fingers; 6write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from 7the forbidden[a] woman, from 8the adulteress[b] with her smooth words.
6 For at 9the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice,
7 and I have seen among 10the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man 11lacking sense,
8 passing along the street 12near her corner, taking the road to her house
9 in 13the twilight, in the evening, at 14the time of night and darkness.
10 And behold, the woman meets him, 15dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.[c]
11 She is 16loud and 17wayward; 18her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market, and 19at every corner she 20lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with 21bold face she says to him,
14 "I had to 22offer sacrifices,[d] and today I have 23paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with 24coverings, colored linens from 25Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with 26myrrh, aloes, and 27cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For 28my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home."
21 With much seductive speech she persuades him; with 29her smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast[e]
23 till an arrow pierces its liver; as 30a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 And 31now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are 32a mighty throng.
27 Her house is 33the way to Sheol, 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.

Cross References 33

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Hebrew strange
  • [b]. Hebrew the foreign woman
  • [c]. Hebrew guarded in heart
  • [d]. Hebrew peace offerings
  • [e]. Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as an anklet for the discipline of a fool

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.