Warning Against the Adulteress
7 My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.
For at the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense,
passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.
And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
“I had to offer sacrifices,
and today I have paid my vows;
so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”
With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.
Proverbs 7 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The ancients used the phrase “apple of the eye” in reference to the pupil due to its shape. They believed it captured what was important to us and showed the way of our heart. For the third time, Solomon warns his son of having the Word of God a part of his life and embraced to help resist temptation toward sin.
As this chapter speaks, although actions show themselves as we can easily walk toward sinful behavior, the heart of the issue is… the heart. It is all too often where we make decisions that are detrimental to our life. So here, Solomon warns of the adulteress and her temptations. In fairly graphic imagery he sums up her antics that giving in her house is the way to hell.
Peeling back the progression of the adulteress tempting the simple young man, her strategies are given. Whether metaphorically or Solomon actually watched this happen or had experienced it, these progressions are often what lead us down giving into temptation.
She was dressed to allure and tempt him. Her approach was bold. She invited him to her place where they would be alone. She answers with ‘reason’ to every objection given and persuades him with smooth talk. The trap is set and he takes it.
Our counter-attack is to be proactive. God’s word must be kept and treasured. It must become what is the apple of our own eye, partaking and reading it daily. It is through the Word we are washed and renewed and it is what will help us stand strong. But it’s more than that. The Word of God is transformative and will help us recognize when we are walking toward things we should not. What we do with our lives and why we do it must reflect the ever-powerful influence of the Word.
Proverbs 7 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Verse 7 reads…
“Once I was looking out the window of my house, 7 and I saw many inexperienced young men, but noticed one foolish fellow in particular.”Proverbs 7:6-7 GNB
The type of person specifically targeted in this chapter is a simple, naive, young man. Spiritually, he is staring down a fork in the road where one path is wisdom and the other is foolishness. The “middle ground” of being simple is not necessarily sinful, but it is a vulnerable place to be because there is little spiritual maturity. It is a place of ignorance.
I liken this to the Corinthians who Paul calls “infants” in their faith and “babies” who are not ready to be fed solid food. The Psalms and Proverbs speak extensively to the difference between wise men and fools coming down to a choice. Yes, youth and inexperience play a factor in those choices but the point of this chapter is to “turn” this young person in the direction of wisdom. By default, we are wired towards sin and without intervention, we will continue to choose folly. It always comes down to a choice.
Many of us have walked a path of foolishness in our own lives and then made the choice to turn toward Godly wisdom. It is so difficult when we see others make the same sin choices we did. This is what we find in Proverbs 7. In the world we live, it is offensive to tell someone not to do what they want. However, it’s actually hateful to watch someone go down the same path you did and NOT say something!
The Scriptures provide a path of insight for those who are standing on middle ground and wondering where to go next. It is an act of sheer grace because we are all “simple people” to the ways of God. Once a simple person begins to experience the Bible, their wisdom and knowledge of God’s ways will increase and the Holy Spirit will lead them down a path of truth.