Proverbs 31:3

3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.

Proverbs 31:3 in Other Translations

3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.
3 do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
3 Don't dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women, promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.
3 Don't spend your energy on women or your efforts on those who destroy kings.

Proverbs 31:3 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 31:3

Give not thy strength unto women
Strength of body, which is weakened by an excessive use of venery F2 with a multiplicity of women; see, ( Proverbs 5:9 ) ; and strength of mind, reason, and wisdom, which is impaired by conversation with such persons; whereby time is consumed and lost, which should be spent in the improvement of knowledge: or "thy riches", as the Septuagint and Arabic versions, thy substance, which harlots devour, and who bring a man to a piece of bread, as the prodigal was, ( Proverbs 6:26 ) ( Luke 15:30 ) ; and even drain the coffers of kings and princes; nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings;
do not give thy mind to take such courses, and pursue such ways and methods, as bring ruin on kings and kingdoms, as conversation with harlots does; see ( Proverbs 7:26 ) . Some think the design of this advice is to warn against any ambitious views of enlarging his dominions by invading neighbouring countries, and making war with neighbouring kings, to the ruin of them; but the former sense seems best. The Targum is,

``nor thy ways to the daughters of kings.''
Solomon was given to women, who proved very pernicious to him, ( 1 Kings 11:1-5 ) . Some render it, "which destroyeth counsel" F3; for whoredom weakens the mind as well as the body.

F2 "Venus enervat vireis", Avienus.
F3 Don Joseph apud Schindler. col. 990.

Proverbs 31:3 In-Context

1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 17:17; S 1 Kings 11:3; Nehemiah 13:26; Proverbs 5:1-14

Footnotes 1

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