Proverbs 7:22-23

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.

Proverbs 7:22 in Other Translations

KJV
22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
ESV
22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast
NLT
22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap,
MSG
22 Before you know it, he's trotting behind her, like a calf led to the butcher shop, Like a stag lured into ambush
CSB
22 He follows her impulsively like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer bounding toward a trap

Proverbs 7:22-23 Meaning and Commentary

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 7:22-23 In-Context

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 stepping into a noose
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.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Job 18:10
  • 2. S Job 15:22; S Job 16:13
  • 3. S Proverbs 6:26; Ecclesiastes 7:26; Ecclesiastes 9:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew "fool"
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.