Proverbs 6:20-35

Warning Against Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

Proverbs 6:20-35 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 6

In this chapter the wise man dissuades from rash suretyship; exposes the sin of idleness; describes a wicked man; makes mention of seven things hateful to God; exhorts to attend to parental instructions and precepts, and cautions against adultery. Suretyship is described, Pr 6:1; and represented as a snare and a net, in which men are taken, Pr 6:2; and advice is given what to do in such a case, for safety in it, and deliverance from it, Pr 6:3-5; The sin of slothfulness is exposed, by observing the industry of the ant, Pr 6:6-8; by expostulating with the sluggard for his continuance in sloth, and by mimicking him, Pr 6:9,10; and by the poverty it brings upon him, Pr 6:11. Then a naughty wicked man is described, by his mouth, eyes, feet, fingers, and heart, whose ruin is sudden and inevitable, Pr 6:11-15. The seven things hateful to God are particularly named, Pr 6:16-19. And next the exhortation in some preceding chapters is reassumed, to attend to the instructions of parents; which will be found ornamental, pleasant, and useful, Pr 6:20-23. Especially to preserve from the lewd woman cautioned against, Pr 6:24,25; whose company is dissuaded from; on account of the extreme poverty and distress she brings persons to, and even danger of life, Pr 6:26; from the unavoidable ruin such come into, Pr 6:27-29; from the sin of uncleanness being greater than that of theft, Pr 6:30,31; from the folly the adulterer betrays; from the destruction of his soul, and the disgrace he brings on himself, Pr 6:32,33; and from the rage and irreconcilable offence of the husband of the adulteress, Pr 6:34,35.

Proverbs 6:20-35 In-Context

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
20 My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

Cross References 16

  • 1. S Proverbs 3:21
  • 2. Proverbs 1:8
  • 3. Deuteronomy 6:8; S Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 7:1-3
  • 4. S Psalms 19:8; Psalms 119:105
  • 5. Proverbs 10:17
  • 6. Genesis 39:8; S Psalms 55:21; Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 7:5
  • 7. Proverbs 7:22-23; Proverbs 29:3
  • 8. S Exodus 20:14
  • 9. Proverbs 2:16-19; S Proverbs 5:8
  • 10. Exodus 22:1-14
  • 11. S Exodus 20:14
  • 12. Proverbs 7:7; Proverbs 9:4,16
  • 13. Proverbs 5:9-14
  • 14. S Numbers 5:14
  • 15. S Genesis 34:7
  • 16. Job 31:9-11; Song of Songs 8:7