Proverbs 5

A Warning Against Committing Adultery

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom. Listen carefully to my wise sayings.
2 Then you will continue to have good sense. Your lips will keep on speaking words of knowledge.
3 A woman who commits adultery has lips that drip honey. What she says is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is like bitter poison. She cuts like a sword that has two edges.
5 Her feet go down to death. Her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She doesn't give any thought to her way of life. Her paths are crooked, but she doesn't realize it.
7 My sons, listen to me. Don't turn away from what I say.
8 Stay on a path far away from that evil woman. Don't even go near the door of her house.
9 If you do, you will give your best strength to others. You will give the best years of your life to someone who is mean.
10 Strangers will use up all of your wealth. Your hard work will make someone else rich.
11 At the end of your life you will groan. Your skin and your body will be worn out.
12 You will say, "How I hated to take advice! How my heart refused to be corrected!
13 I would not obey my teachers. I wouldn't listen to those who taught me.
14 I was almost totally destroyed. It happened right in front of the whole community."
15 Drink water from your own well. Drink running water from your own spring.
16 Should your springs pour out into the streets? Should your streams of water pour out in public places?
17 No! Let them belong to you alone. Never share them with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed. May the wife you married when you were young make you happy.
19 She is like a loving doe, a graceful deer. May her breasts always satisfy you. May you always be captured by her love.
20 My son, why be captured by a woman who commits adultery? Why hug the wife of another man?
21 The LORD watches a man's ways. He studies all of his paths.
22 A sinner is trapped by his own evil acts. He is held tight by the ropes of his sins.
23 He will die because he refused to be corrected. His sins will capture him because he was very foolish.

Proverbs 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Exhortations to wisdom. The evils of licentiousness. (1-14) Remedies against licentiousness, The miserable end of the wicked. (15-23)

Verses 1-14 Solomon cautions all young men, as his children, to abstain from fleshly lusts. Some, by the adulterous woman, here understand idolatry, false doctrine, which tends to lead astray men's minds and manners; but the direct view is to warn against seventh-commandment sins. Often these have been, and still are, Satan's method of drawing men from the worship of God into false religion. Consider how fatal the consequences; how bitter the fruit! Take it any way, it wounds. It leads to the torments of hell. The direct tendency of this sin is to the destruction of body and soul. We must carefully avoid every thing which may be a step towards it. Those who would be kept from harm, must keep out of harm's way. If we thrust ourselves into temptation we mock God when we pray, Lead us not into temptation. How many mischiefs attend this sin! It blasts the reputation; it wastes time; it ruins the estate; it is destructive to health; it will fill the mind with horror. Though thou art merry now, yet sooner or later it will bring sorrow. The convinced sinner reproaches himself, and makes no excuse for his folly. By the frequent acts of sin, the habits of it become rooted and confirmed. By a miracle of mercy true repentance may prevent the dreadful consequences of such sins; but this is not often; far more die as they have lived. What can express the case of the self-ruined sinner in the eternal world, enduring the remorse of his conscience!

Verses 15-23 Lawful marriage is a means God has appointed to keep from these destructive vices. But we are not properly united, except as we attend to God's word, seeking his direction and blessing, and acting with affection. Ever remember, that though secret sins may escape the eyes of our fellow-creatures, yet a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, who not only sees, but ponders all his goings. Those who are so foolish as to choose the way of sin, are justly left of God to themselves, to go on in the way to destruction.

Chapter Summary


The general instruction of this chapter is to avoid whoredom, and make use of lawful marriage, and keep to that. It is introduced with an exhortation to attend to wisdom and understanding, Pr 5:1,2; one part of which lies in shunning an adulterous woman; who is described by her flattery, with which she deceives; by the end she brings men to, which is destruction and death; and by the uncertainty of her ways, which cannot be known, Pr 5:3-6. Wherefore men are advised to keep at the utmost distance from her, Pr 5:7,8; lest their honour, strength, wealth, and labours, be given to others, Pr 5:9,10; and repentance and mourning follow, when too late, Pr 5:11-14. And, as a remedy against whoredom, entering into a marriage state is advised to, and a strict regard to that; allegorically expressed by a man's drinking water out of his fountain, and by his wife being as a loving hind and pleasant roe to him, the single object of his affections, Pr 5:15-19. As also the consideration of the divine omniscience is proposed, to deter him from the sin of adultery, Pr 5:20,21; as well as the inevitable ruin wicked men are brought into by it, Pr 5:22,23.

Proverbs 5 Commentaries