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Proverbs 9:17

17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”

Proverbs 9:17 in Other Translations

17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
17 "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
17 “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!”
17 Steal off with me, I'll show you a good time! No one will ever know - I'll give you the time of your life."
17 "Stolen water is sweet, and bread [eaten] secretly is tasty!"

Proverbs 9:17 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 9:17

Stolen waters are sweet
Wells and fountains of waters in those hot countries were very valuable, and were the property of particular persons; about which there were sometimes great strife and contention; and they were sometimes sealed and kept from the use of others; see ( Genesis 26:18-22 ) ( Song of Solomon 4:12 ) ; now waters got by stealth from such wells and fountains were sweeter than their own, or what might be had in common and without difficulty, to which the proverb alludes. By which in general is meant, that all prohibited unlawful lusts and pleasures are desirable to men, and sweet in the enjoyment of them; and the pleasure promised by them is what makes them so desirable, and the more so because forbidden: and particularly as adultery, which is a sort of theft F18, and a drinking water out of another's cistern, ( Proverbs 5:15 ) ; being forbidden and unlawful, and secretly committed, is sweeter to an unclean person than a lawful enjoyment of his own wife; so false worship, superstition, and idolatry, the inventions of men, and obedience to their commands, which are no other than spiritual adultery, are more grateful and pleasing to a corrupt mind than the true and pure worship of God;

and bread [eaten] in secret is pleasant;
or, "bread of secret places" {s}; hidden bread, as the Targum, Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions; that which is stolen and is another's F20, and is taken and hid in secret places, fetched out from thence, or eaten there: the sweet morsel of sin, rolled in the mouth, and kept under the tongue; secret lusts, private sins, particularly idolatry, to which men are secretly enticed, and which they privately commit, ( Deuteronomy 13:6 ) ; the same thing is designed by this clause as the forager.


F18 "Furtiva Verus", Ovid de Arte Amandi, l. 1. "Furta Jovis, furtiva munuscula", Catullus ad Mantium, Ep. 66. v. 140, 145. So Propertius, l. 2. eleg. 30. v. 28. (gluku ti kleptomenon melhma) (kupridov) , Pindar; for which he was indebted to Solomon, according to Clemens of Alexandria, Paedagog. l. 3. p. 252.
F19 (Myrto) "latebraram", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.
F20 "Quas habeat veneres aliens pecunia nescis", Juvenal. Satyr. 13.

Proverbs 9:17 In-Context

15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way,
16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Cross References 1