Proverbs 7

1 My child, keep my words and store up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call insight your intimate friend,
5 that they may keep you from the loose woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
6 For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice,
7 and I saw among the simple ones, I observed among the youths, a young man without sense,
8 passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house
9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
10 Then a woman comes toward him, decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart.
11 She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares, and at every corner she lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with impudent face she says to him:
14 "I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you!
16 I have decked my couch with coverings, colored spreads of Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took a bag of money with him; he will not come home until full moon."
21 With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 Right away he follows her, and goes like an ox to the slaughter, or bounds like a stag toward the trap
23 until an arrow pierces its entrails. He is like a bird rushing into a snare, not knowing that it will cost him his life.
24 And now, my children, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your hearts turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths.
26 for many are those she has laid low, and numerous are her victims.
27 Her house is the 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.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Heb [strange]
  • [b]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [c]. Cn Compare Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain

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