Proverbs 6:23-28

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?

Proverbs 6:23-28 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 6:23-28 In-Context

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.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Psalms 19:8; Psalms 119:105
  • 2. Proverbs 10:17
  • 3. Genesis 39:8; S Psalms 55:21; Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 7:5
  • 4. Proverbs 7:22-23; Proverbs 29:3