The Proverbs

Chapter 5

Solomon exhorts to wisdom, 1, 2. He shows the mischief of lewdness and riot, 3-14. He exhorts to contentedness, liberality, and chastity, 15-21. The wicked are overtaken with their own sins, 22, 23.

My son, attend to my wisdom/
and bow your ear to my understanding,

So that you may regard discretion,/
and that your lips may keep knowledge.

For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honey-comb,/
and her mouth is smoother than oil,

But her end is bitter as wormwood,/
sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death./
Her steps take hold upon hell.

Lest you should ponder the path of life,/
her ways are movable, so that you cannot know them.

Hear me now therefore, O children,/
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

Keep your way far from her,/
and do not come near the door of her house,

Lest you give your honor to others/
and your years to the cruel,

10 Lest strangers be filled with your wealth/
and your labors be in the house of a stranger,

11 And you mourn at the last/
when your flesh and your body are consumed,

12 And say, "How I have hated instruction,/
and my heart despised reproof,

13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,/
nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!

14 I was almost in all evil/
in the midst of the congregation and assembly."

15 Drink waters out of your own cistern,/
and running waters out of your own well.

16 Let your fountains be dispersed abroad,/
and rivers of waters in the streets.

17 Let them be only your own,/
and not for strangers with you.

18 Let your fountain be blessed,/
and rejoice with the wife of your youth.

19 Let her be as the loving doe and pleasant deer./
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times,/
and be ravished always with her love.

20 And why will you, my son, be ravished with a strange woman/
and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD,/
and he ponders all his goings.

22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself,/
and he shall be held with the cords of his sins.

23 He shall die without instruction,/
and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 5[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

The general instruction of this chapter is to avoid whoredom and make use of lawful marriage, and keep to that. It is introduced with an exhortation to attend to wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 5:1-2); one part of which lies in shunning an adulterous woman, who is described by her flattery, with which she deceives, by the end she brings men to, which is destruction and death, and by the uncertainty of her ways, which cannot be known (Proverbs 5:3-6). Therefore men are advised to keep at the utmost distance from her (Proverbs 5:7-8); lest their honor, strength, wealth, and labors be given to others (Proverbs 5:9-10); and repentance and mourning follow, when too late (Proverbs 5:11-14). And, as a remedy against whoredom, entering into a marriage state is advised to, and a strict regard to that, allegorically expressed by a man's drinking water out of his fountain, and by his wife being as a loving hind and pleasant roe to him, the single object of his affections (Proverbs 5:15-19); as also the consideration of the divine omniscience is proposed to deter him from the sin of adultery (Proverbs 5:20-21); as well as the inevitable ruin wicked men are brought into by it (Proverbs 5:22-23).

[v.16] - Other translations render this verse in the form of a question, as in, "Should your springs be dispersed abroad, and streams of water in the streets?" LXX: "Let not waters out of your fountain be spilled by you, but let your waters go into your streets."