Proverbs 5

Warning Against Adultery

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
7 Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.
8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity[a] to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another.
11 At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”
15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.

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.

Cross References 22

  • 1. S Proverbs 1:8
  • 2. Proverbs 4:20; Proverbs 22:17
  • 3. S Psalms 55:21; Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 7:5
  • 4. Ecclesiastes 7:26
  • 5. S Psalms 9:17; S Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 7:26-27
  • 6. Proverbs 9:13; Proverbs 30:20
  • 7. Proverbs 1:8-9; Proverbs 7:24
  • 8. S Proverbs 2:16-19; Proverbs 6:20-29; Proverbs 7:1-27
  • 9. Proverbs 29:3
  • 10. Proverbs 1:29; Proverbs 12:1
  • 11. Proverbs 1:24-27; Proverbs 6:33
  • 12. Proverbs 31:3
  • 13. Song of Songs 4:12-15
  • 14. S Deuteronomy 20:7; Proverbs 2:17; Ecclesiastes 9:9; Malachi 2:14
  • 15. Song of Songs 2:9; Song of Songs 4:5; Song of Songs 8:14
  • 16. S Psalms 119:168; Hosea 7:2
  • 17. Jeremiah 29:23
  • 18. S Job 10:4; S Job 14:16; Job 31:4; Job 34:21; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 16:17; Jeremiah 32:19; S Hebrews 4:13
  • 19. Psalms 9:16
  • 20. Numbers 32:23; S Job 18:9; Psalms 7:15-16; S Proverbs 1:31-32
  • 21. S Job 4:21; Job 36:12; Proverbs 10:21
  • 22. Job 34:21-25; Proverbs 11:5

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 5

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