Proverbs 7:23

23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a 1bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

Proverbs 7:23 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 7:23

Till a dart strike through his liver
The fountain of blood, and so of life; which, being pierced through and poured out, is certain death, ( Lamentations 2:11 ) ; the meaning is, till he is slain either by the hand of God, or by the civil magistrate, or by the jealous husband; and be thrust through by him, as Zimri and Cozbi were by Phinehas. The "liver" may be particularly mentioned, not only for the reason before given, but because it is the seat of lust F12; so he is stricken in the part where his lust begins, where he has been smitten by Cupid's darts: or this dart through the liver may denote some disease, infecting the blood through sinful lust. The Targum is,

``as an hart into whose liver an arrow flies;''
or is wounded by an arrow in the liver, as the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions: and so the meaning is, that this young man went as swiftly after the harlot as a hart does when it is wounded; as a bird hasteth to the snare;
it has its eye upon the bait, and flies swiftly to that, insensible of the snare that is laid for it; and knoweth not that it [is] for his life;
the bird knows not that the snare is set for its life, as Jarchi; or the fool knows not that it is for his soul; that it shall die, which hates correction, as Aben Ezra. The man that goes after the harlot knows not, or does not consider, that it is to the destruction of his precious and immortal soul; so the Targum,
``he knows not that it tends to the death of his soul;''
and to the same sense the Syriac and Arabic versions; the second death, which adulterers and idolaters shall have their part in, ( Revelation 21:8 ) . The souls of men, and the ruin of them, are what the whore of Rome deals in, ( Revelation 18:13 ) ; she goes into perdition, into the bottomless pit, herself, and carries all her worshippers with her, ( Revelation 17:8 ) ( 14:9-11 ) .

F12 "Spleu ridere facit, cogit amare jecur", Ovid. "Si torrere jecur quaeris idoneum", Horat. Carmin. l. 4. Ode 1. v. 12. "Cum tibi flagrans amor et libido saeviet circa jecur ulcerosum". lbid l. 1. Ode 25. v. 13, 15.

Proverbs 7:23 In-Context

21 With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him.
22 Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Ecclesiastes 9:12
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