corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Proverbs 7

 

 

Verse 1

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Proverbs 7:1-27.-Prefatory exhortation to retaining firmly wisdom as the safeguard against the strange woman (Proverbs 7:1-5). Graphic picture of how she entraps the unwary youth (Proverbs 7:6-23). Concluding summary of warning against her (Proverbs 7:24-27).

My son ... lay up my commandments with thee - (Proverbs 2:1 .)


Verse 2

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Keep my commandments, and live - and so thou shalt live (Proverbs 4:4).

And my law as the apple of thine eye - literally, 'the blackness of the eye' [ 'iyshown (Hebrew #380), from 'aashan, to be black: others take it as the diminutive of 'iysh (Hebrew #376), a man; a little man being seen in the retina; as koree in Greek means both a virgin and the pupil of an eye]. As God would have us to keep His law as the apple of our eye, so He keeps His people (Deuteronomy 32:10), in answer to their prayer (Psalms 17:8), as the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8). We guard the eye as our most precious and tender member from hurt, and prize it most dearly (cf. Galatians 4:15). The pupil is the most precious part of the eye, and carefully guarded by the eyebrows, eyelids, and eyelashes. As we guard the pupil of the eye from the least mote, which is sufficient to hurt it, so God's law is so tender and holy a thing that the least violation of it in thought, word, or deed, is sin; and we are so to keep the law as to avoid any violation of it. The law resembles the pupil of the eye also in its being spiritually the organ of light, without which we should be in utter darkness.


Verse 3

Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Bind them upon thy fingers - as a precious ring, designed to be before the eyes continually as a memorial of one whom thou lovest.

Write them upon the table of thine heart - (note, Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 6:21.) As the fingers refer to having them before the eyes ready to be carried into action, so the heart refers to contemplation.


Verse 4

Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

Say unto wisdom, Thou (art) my sister; and call understanding (thy) kinswoman. Associate wisdom most closely with thee. The same phrase occurs Job 17:14; Song of Solomon 4:9-10, "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse ... How fair is thy love, my sister," etc. Since, O youth, thou delightest in the intimacy of the fairest maidens, lo! here is by far the loveliest one, wisdom (T. Cartwright). The Lord Jesus alludes to this passage, Matthew 12:49-50, "He stretched forth his hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."


Verse 5

That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

That they may keep thee from the strange woman ... (which) flattereth with her words - (Proverbs 6:24.) It is not human wisdom, but only divine, that can secure the young from lust; such is human frailty, and so powerful is temptation.


Verse 6

For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

For at the window of my house I looked through my casement - "the lattice" (Judges 5:28), whence one could see what was going on in the street, without being seen by the passer by. Glass was not as yet used for windows. Job 27:17 is translated by some glass, for "crystal." If this be correct, it is the only mention of glass in the Old Testament. Though known, it seems to have not been much used in Israel in early times. The earliest extant specimen of transparent glass is a bottle from the North-west Palace of Nimroud, having on it the name of Sargon - i:e., older than 702 BC (Layard, 'Nineveh,' 2:, 197, 503.) The parabolic story here vividly represents the silly youth's inexperience, and the whore's cunning and flattery, whereby she entraps him to his ruin. The parent and the magistrate may hence learn to have a vigilant eye on all that affects the well-being of those under their charge.


Verse 7

And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding - (Proverbs 6:32.) Hot blood, strong passions, combined with weak judgment and inexperience, make the young a ready prey to the seducer.


Verse 8

Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

Passing through the street near her corner - in violation of the precept, "Pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away" (Proverbs 4:15; Proverbs 5:8). "Her corner" was in a place where two streets met, and therefore was laid out to catch youths passing by from two or more directions.

And he went the way to her house. "Went" - literally, moved leisurely and with studied gait, with stately air and bearing [ yits


Verse 9

In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

In the twilight, in the evening - (Hebrew, in the evening of the day). In the black and dark night - literally, 'in the blackness,' or 'pupil,' 'apple of the eye' (Proverbs 7:2.), 'of night.' It was at the close of day, when, after twilight is past, "black and dark night" has set in. Lust hates the light, being conscious of its own guilt. Sin hides itself in kindred darkness (Job 24:15; John 3:20). The sinner thinks no eye can see him in the dark; but God's eye is upon him (Psalms 139:12), and God often employs others, as Solomon here, to witness and then expose the sinner's shame.


Verse 10

And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

And, behold, there met him a woman (with) the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. How readily those meet who are akin in feelings and aims! As he seeks evil, so it "meets" him by God's just appointment. The woman had all the open marks of an harlot: the bare neck, and breasts half exposed, the mincing tripping gait, and thin dress, and other incentives to excite admiration and lust: therefore the youth was the more inexcusable in being caught by such a one. She disclosed herself wholly to him, except her "heart." "Subtil" - literally, 'guarded' (Hebrew, n


Verse 11-12

(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

(Parenthetical description of the whorish woman's characteristics.)

(She (is) loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house. "Stubborn." The same word as is applied to Israel represented as an untamed and refractory heifer (Hosea 4:16). Having cast off the wholesome yoke of religious and social restraints, she is ready for every sin. Instead of the soft and gentle voice of feminine modesty, she is "loud," and full of words flowing from assurance. A modest woman shrinks from undue publicity, and is a "keeper at home" (Titus 2:5), and industrious (Proverbs 31:10-31); but she "wanders about from house to house" (1 Timothy 5:13); disliking home labour, she resorts to places of amusement, the dance, etc.

Now (is she) without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner) - where there is a throng of passers to and fro. There is a gradation: first, she is "without" - i:e., out of doors, at her own door or near her house; then she is "in the streets," further away from her own house; then "at every corner lying in wait."


Verse 13

So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

So she caught him, and kissed him - instead of waiting for him to make the first advance, as is the course of natural propriety. The Hebrew adage quaintly says, 'The man seeks what he has lost'-namely, the rib taken from his side for the formation of woman.

(And) with an impudent face said unto him - literally, 'she strengthened her face, and said.' She now outdid even herself in impudence and immodesty.


Verse 14

I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

(I have) peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows - literally, 'Peace offerings (were) upon me.' It so happened that today I have been paying my vows by offering thank offerings, which were incumbent on me to offer, for peace and prosperity vouchsafed to me. Compare the same phrase, Psalms 56:12, "Thy vows (are) upon me." How subtle is her device! She virtually says, 'I have an abundant feast of choice meats ready prepared;' for the choicest and most perfect victims were required for "peace offerings" (Leviticus 22:21), and of these (not so in sin offerings or holocausts) the greatest share was returned to the offerer (Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 7:30; Leviticus 19:6; Leviticus 22:29-30). The indulgence of the palate prepares the way for lust. She indirectly implies her piety. But it is peace offerings or thank offerings, not offerings for sin, that she mentions. The thought of sin must not be suggested to the youth's conscience: that would undo all her scheme. 'Though I indulge in amours, do not think I am averse to the worship of God; nay, I liberally offer to Him: He is now therefore appeased, and will not mind venial offences' (T. Cartwright).


Verse 15

Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. She speaks as if he were pre-eminently and solely the object of her love. I want nothing but thee: so dear art thou to me that I did not send any one, but I am come in person to seek thee. She adds, "thy face," to imply that she is charmed by his beauty of face and person. "I have found thee" is the language of one congratulating herself on the happy Providence which has thrown him in her way, as though God Himself were the author of wickedness (cf. 1 Samuel 23:7; Zechariah 11:5).


Verse 16

I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved (works), with fine linen of Egypt. The history (1 Kings 10:28) especially mentions that "Solomon had ... brought out of Egypt ... linen yarn; the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price." "Carved works" means tapestry worked in variegated colours (Maurer). But the Hebrew for "carved (works)" is ordinarily used of carving wood or stones, so that the reference will thus be to the "carved" pillars of the bed. However, as it comes between "tapestry" and "linen," it may refer to the tapestry, metaphorically said to be carved, as resembling carved stones.


Verse 17

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

I have perfumed my bed. She appeals to every sense. She allures his taste with meats; his eye with the sight of the richly ornamented tapestry and couch; his touch with the softness of the linen; his smell with the perfumes of the bed: all to inflame his passions. Luxury is the soft bed into which Satan throws his dupes when he lulls them in the sleep of death (Amos 6:4).


Verse 18

Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us solace ourselves with loves. The first clause marks the insatiable lust and abundance of the loves; the second, their sweetness. The Hebrew for "love" ( dodiym (Hebrew #1730)) is distinct from that for "loves" ( 'aahaabiym (Hebrew #159)). Let us take our fill of (or let us make ourselves drunk with) blandishments; let us exhilarate ourselves with loves.


Verse 19

For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

For the goodman (is) not at home, he is gone a long journey. She thus removes any fear that the youth may feel. Instead of saying, 'my husband,' she contemptuously calls him "the goodman," as though he were unconnected with her.


Verse 20

He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

He hath taken a bag of money with him - literally, in his hand. This shows he is gone a long journey, and for some time, or he would not need so much money.

(And) will come home at the day appointed - or else, at the day of the full moon. Not until then; so you need have no fear [ keece' (Hebrew #3677), either from kaacah (Hebrew #3680), to cover, when the moon is covered by the sun; or from kaacac (Hebrew #3699), to count; hence, to fix or appoint a time].


Verse 21

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. "Her speech" - Hebrew, liqchaach (Hebrew #3948), 'taking speech,' captivating speech. Though fear and conscience in him strove against her, "she caused him to yield ... she forced him." Observe the gradation of the verbs, the latter being the climax. Oh that ministers of the Lord had the same diligence and zeal in good as Satan's emissaries have in evil!


Verse 22

He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks. "Straightway" implies the youth's precipitancy, and his rash inconsiderateness as to the grievousness of the sin and its penalty: "as the ox goeth to the slaughter," full of alacrity, because he fancies he is being led to the stall or to the pasturage. "As a fool to the correction of the stocks" - literally, 'as the stocks,' or 'fetters (go) to the correction of the fool' or 'malefactor;' as the fetter or stocks wherewith he is punished follow his foot. The youth sports with his fetters, or is proud of them, and thinks they are put on him as an ornament, or in play (Gejer). The same Hebrew [ `


Verse 23

Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it (is) for his life.

He knoweth not that his following her is at the cost of the present and eternal life. The "dart" of the husband, the magistrate, Satan, and, above all, God (Job 16:13), strikes the youth in body, in resources, in reputation, and, worst of all, in soul. The "liver" is mentioned as a vital part (Lamentations 2:11). 'It is the seat of love; where, therefore, the youth sinned by love, there he is transfixed with pain' (Gejer).


Verse 24

Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth - which, though pungent, are nevertheless faithful and salutary: do not hearken to the "fair speech and flattering lips" (Proverbs 7:21) of the harlot.


Verse 25

Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. Neither err in heart (the first clause), nor in movements (the second clause). Suppress the thoughts, appetites, and first motions. "Decline" expresses the beginning of the sin; 'go astray,' its continuance.


Verse 26

For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

For she hath cast down many wounded; yea, many strong (men) have been slain by her - as Solomon himself subsequently was (Nehemiah 13:26). So Samson and David previously. It is better to learn by the awful example of others than by our own suffering. Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. "Many strong men," etc.-literally, 'all;' i:e., 'strong men of all kinds;' or 'all' means very many. Gejer, Piscator, Maurer, etc., take it, 'all slain by her are numerous' [as `aatsam (Hebrew #6105) often means].


Verse 27

Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Her house (is) the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death - (Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 9:18.)

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 7:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-7.html. 1871-8.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology