Proverbs 7

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

1 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard 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 to insight, “You are my relative.”
5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
6 At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said:
14 “Today I fulfilled my vows, and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.”
21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading 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.

Cross References 21

  • 1. S Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 2:1
  • 2. Proverbs 4:4
  • 3. Deuteronomy 6:8; S Proverbs 3:3
  • 4. ver 21; S Job 31:9; S Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 6:24
  • 5. S Proverbs 1:22; S Proverbs 6:32
  • 6. Job 24:15
  • 7. Proverbs 9:13; 1 Timothy 5:13
  • 8. Proverbs 8:1-36; Proverbs 23:26-28
  • 9. S Genesis 39:12
  • 10. S Proverbs 1:20
  • 11. S Leviticus 7:11-18
  • 12. S Esther 1:6; Isaiah 57:7; Ezekiel 23:41; Amos 6:4
  • 13. S Genesis 37:25
  • 14. S Genesis 39:7
  • 15. S ver 5; Proverbs 5:3
  • 16. S Job 18:10
  • 17. S Job 15:22; S Job 16:13
  • 18. S Proverbs 6:26; Ecclesiastes 7:26; Ecclesiastes 9:12
  • 19. Proverbs 1:8-9; Proverbs 5:7; Proverbs 8:32
  • 20. Proverbs 5:7-8
  • 21. Judges 16:19; S Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 9:18; Revelation 22:15

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew "fool"
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is 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