Proverbs 7

The Wiles of the Harlot

1 My son, 1keep my words And treasure my commandments within you.
2 2Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching 3as the apple of your eye.
3 4Bind them on your fingers; 5Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," And call understanding your intimate friend;
5 That they may keep you from an adulteress, From the foreigner who flatters with her words.
6 For 6at the window of my house I looked out 7through my lattice,
7 And I saw among the 8naive, And discerned among the youths A young man 9lacking sense,
8 Passing through the street near 10her corner; And he takes the way to 11her house,
9 In the 12twilight, in the evening *, In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him, 13Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
11 She is 14boisterous and rebellious, Her 15feet do not remain at home;
12 She is now in the streets, now 16in the squares, And 17lurks by every corner.
13 So she seizes him and kisses him And with a 18brazen face she says to him:
14 "I was due to offer 19peace offerings; Today I have 20paid my vows.
15 "Therefore * I have come out to meet you, To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
16 "I have spread my couch with 21coverings, With colored 22linens of Egypt.
17 "I have sprinkled my bed With 23myrrh, aloes and 24cinnamon.
18 "Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
19 "For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long * journey;
20 He has taken a 25bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home."
21 With her many persuasions she entices him; With her 26flattering 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 27bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24 Now therefore, my sons, 28listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart 29turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths.
26 For many are the victims she has cast down, And 30numerous are all her slain.
27 Her 31house is the way to Sheol, Descending 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 31

  • 1. Proverbs 2:1; Proverbs 6:20
  • 2. Proverbs 4:4
  • 3. Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalms 17:8; Zechariah 2:8
  • 4. Deuteronomy 6:8; Deuteronomy 11:18; Proverbs 6:21
  • 5. Proverbs 3:3
  • 6. Judges 5:28
  • 7. Song of Songs 2:9
  • 8. Proverbs 1:22
  • 9. Proverbs 6:32; Proverbs 9:4
  • 10. Proverbs 7:12
  • 11. Proverbs 7:27
  • 12. Job 24:15
  • 13. Genesis 38:14, 15; 1 Timothy 2:9
  • 14. Proverbs 9:13
  • 15. 1 Timothy 5:13; Titus 2:5
  • 16. Proverbs 9:14
  • 17. Proverbs 23:28
  • 18. Proverbs 21:29
  • 19. Leviticus 7:11
  • 20. Leviticus 7:16
  • 21. Proverbs 31:22
  • 22. Isaiah 19:9; Ezekiel 27:7
  • 23. Psalms 45:8
  • 24. Exodus 30:23
  • 25. Genesis 42:35
  • 26. Proverbs 5:3; Proverbs 6:24
  • 27. Ecclesiastes 9:12
  • 28. Proverbs 5:7
  • 29. Proverbs 5:8
  • 30. Proverbs 9:18
  • 31. Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 9:18; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Revelation 22:15

Footnotes 17

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