Proverbs 5

Proverbs 5

Warning Against Adultery

  My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
    incline your ear to my understanding,
  that you may keep discretion,
    and your lips may guard knowledge.
  For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil,
  but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
    sharp as a two-edged sword.
  Her feet go down to death;
    her steps follow the path to Sheol;
  she does not ponder the path of life;
    her ways wander, and she does not know it.
  And now, O sons, listen to me,
    and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
  Keep your way far from her,
    and do not go near the door of her house,
  lest you give your honor to others
    and your years to the merciless,
  lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
  and at the end of your life you groan,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,
  and you say, “How I hated discipline,
    and my heart despised reproof!
  I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
    or incline my ear to my instructors.
  I am at the brink of utter ruin
    in the assembled congregation.”
  Drink water from your own cistern,
    flowing water from your own well.
  Should your springs be scattered abroad,
    streams of water in the streets?
  Let them be for yourself alone,
    and not for strangers with you.
  Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
    a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
  Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated always in her love.
  Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
    and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
  For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
    and he ponders all his paths.
  The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
    and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
  He dies for lack of discipline,
    and because of his great folly he is led astray.


Proverbs 5 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Upon an initial read of this chapter, it seems as if Solomon is painting a negative picture of women in general. But when we consider the instruction within the context of Solomon’s life, we gain a greater understanding. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He willingly chose this path of lust and adultery despite God’s warnings. Knowing this helps put in perspective the instruction given. Notice how he first describes this temptation as the sweet lips of “forbidden women.”

Forbidden women in Solomon’s day would have been Gentiles and prostitutes and we know for a fact Solomon took the former to be his wife. He is instructing from his own experiences and this carries a lot of weight. But I believe he is speaking to an even higher standard. Proverbs 5 gives a strong warning against adultery of any kind, no matter who the “forbidden woman” may be.

“Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well.  16  Should your springs flow in the streets, streams of water in the public squares?  17  They should be for you alone and not for you to share with strangers.”

Proverbs 5:15-17 HCSB 

Take a moment and consider what Solomon is writing. A married man must draw his physical, emotional, and spiritual satisfaction from his wife alone. Again, this means a lot coming from the wisest man to ever live, however, it means even more coming from a man who willfully chased after every woman he desired. I think many men would expect Solomon to write, “My life has been filled with any and every woman I desired, and it was everything I hoped for!” But his advice goes against the grain of his life experiences.

“Then he turns the tables a bit. How would it be, the teacher asks, if his own wife were to become the “strange woman” for other men? Should his springs flow down the streets? his waters be in the public squares? “No!” the teacher says. Let these waters be yours alone, not something you share with strangers.”

Nelson’s Commentary

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This excerpt of scripture speaks volumes of life choices we make being out of the will of God and the destruction it brings to our lives. From personal experience I know the sufferings it brings and the hurt it causes in our relationships with others some mended others forgiven but forever broken.