Proverbs 5:15-23

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 5:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
ESV
15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
NLT
15 Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
MSG
15 Do you know the saying, "Drink from your own rain barrel, draw water from your own spring-fed well"?
CSB
15 Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well.

Proverbs 5:15-23 Meaning and Commentary

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 5:15-23 In-Context

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.

Cross References 10

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