The Book of Proverbs
Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET
CHAPTER 5 Pro 5:1-23
. A warning against the seductive arts of wicked women, enforced by considering the advantages of chastity, and the miserable end of the wicked.
1. This connection of wisdom and understanding is frequent ( Pro 2:2 3:7 ); the first denotes the use of wise means for wise ends; the other, the exercise of a proper discrimination in their discovery.
2. regard--or, "observe."
3. (Compare Pro 2:16 ). Her enticing promises are deceitful.
4. her end--literally, "her future," in sense of reward, what follows (compare Psa 37:37 73:17 ). Its nature is evinced by the use of figures, opposite those of Pro 5:3 . The physical and moral suffering of the deluded profligate are notoriously terrible.
5. feet . . . , steps--that is, course of life ends in death.
6. her ways . . . know--Some prefer, "that she may not ponder the path of life," &c.; but perhaps a better sense is, "her ways are varied, so as to prevent your knowledge of her true character, and so of true happiness."
8, 9. Avoid the slightest temptation.
9. thine honour--in whatever consisting, strength ( Pro 3:13 ) or wealth.
thy years--by cutting them off in dissipation.
unto the cruel--for such the sensual are apt to become.
10. wealth--literally, "strength," or the result of it.
labours--the fruit of thy painful exertions ( Psa 127:2 ). There may be a reference to slavery, a commuted punishment for death due the adulterer ( Deu 22:22 ).
11. at the last--the end, or reward (compare Pro 5:4 ).
mourn--roar in pain.
flesh and . . . body--the whole person under incurable disease.
12-14. The ruined sinner vainly laments his neglect of warning and his sad fate in being brought to public disgrace.
14. evil--for affliction, as in Gen 19:20 49:15 .
15-20. By figures, in which well, cistern, and fountain ( Pro 5:15, 18 ) represent the wife, and rivers of waters ( Pro 5:16 ) the children, men are exhorted to constancy and satisfaction in lawful conjugal enjoyments. In Pro 5:16 , fountains (in the plural) rather denote the produce or waters of a spring, literally, "what is from a spring," and corresponds with "rivers of waters."
17. only thine own--harlots' children have no known father.
18. wife . . . youth--married in youth.
19. loving . . . roe--other figures for a wife from the well-known beauty of these animals.
breasts--(Compare Sgs 1:13 Eze 23:3, 8 ).
ravished--literally, "intoxicated," that is, fully satisfied.
21. The reason, God's eye is on you,
22, 23. and He will cause sin to bring its punishment.
23. without instruction--literally, "in want of instruction," having refused it (compare Job 13:18 Hbr 11:24 ).
go astray--literally, "be drunken." The word "ravished" ( Pro 5:19 ) here denotes fulness of punishment.