Proverbs 5:1-23 - Outline of Proverbs (Book Notes menu page)
The Wisdom of Experience - The Choice of Two Women

In Proverbs ch. 4, the parental wisdom of experience was addressed to the children, with a focus on two imcompatible paths: The Way of Wisdom (also called the Path of the Just, 4:11-13,18) and the Path of the Wicked (4:14-17,19). The instruction, of ch. 4, expands upon the warning given to sons (in 2:10-15), concerning 'the Way of the Evil man.'

Proverbs ch. 5 expands upon another warning, also given in ch. 2, concerning the 'strange woman' (ie., the prostitute or the sexual partner) who is a stranger to you, because she is not your wife; and who is also a stranger to God because, by her way of life, she shows that she has forsaken His Word (2:16-19).

This is sex education, according to the Bible... not instruction in how to do it, but rather sober words of warning:
5:1-6 - The Seductive Dangers of the Stranger -
the lips - of wisdom are contrasted with the lips of the strange woman.
Wisdom appeals, to those who hear, with sound words that lead to health, honor and life.
The strange woman's seductive appeals, lead the fool to disease, dishonor and death.
  • The sweetness of her appeal soon turns bitter.
  • The welcoming, easy smoothness of her love is a lie which hides an instrument of death. Eccl 7:26; Prov 9:17,18
lest {beware lest, (the root word means: turn away)}-
Her 'moveable' {ie., wavering, wandering, shifting} ways put a man off guard, so that he does not ponder {weigh, evaluate} where the path of his life will end. If a man will heed the Word of God, he will avoid this dead end path, for "the LORD... pondereth all his goings" (v.21). (See a fuller description of her moveable ways in 7:10-21)
5:7-11 - Warnings to avoid the Strange Woman
Remove thy way far from her, and come not near the door of her house...
Similar counsel was given in the previous chapter, about avoiding the path of the wicked man (4:14,15).
lest {beware lest} thou...-
  • give thine honor unto others -
    We are all aware of once respectable politicians, business men, and church leaders, who disgraced themselves as husbands... and found themselves displaced from their role(s) by other men, whose honor was untainted. Prov 6:29-35
  • give thy years to the cruel.- Remember the sorrows which Samson brought upon himself, through his dalliance with Delilah...
    He lost far more than his hair. Judg 16:20,21
  • give thy wealth {lit., strength} to strangers - eg., division of property in divorce, alimony, child support, legal fees and fines...
  • give thy labors to strangers - Prov 31:1-3
  • mourn {ie., groan} when thy flesh is consumed -
        eg., by venereal disease, by regret at the end of your days for the way you wasted them.
...saying...- The expression of Grief and Regret is heard in the following verses (5:12-14), regarding...
  • The rejection of instruction (God's Word), which I...
    • hated
    • despised
    • did not obey (HB=shema, hear, give heed to} the voice (words) of my instructors.
    • did not incline toward {ie., turn toward} the life examples and experience of my instructors.
  • The squandering of privileged position (as one brought up among God's people).
    Paraphrase of v.14: 'I allowed myself to be almost wholly immersed in evil, while I was among those who gathered in the Holy House, to worship the Holy God.'
5:15-19 - The Sanctity of Marriage
The exclusive nature of marriage (5:15-17)...
  • v.15 - Sexual Satisfaction is to be confined to marriage -
  • v.16,17 - That which springs from that relationship (ie., children) are to be between you and your spouse... not from multiple partners (not strangers' children with thee).
    Thy fountain - compare word use elsewhere: The children of Israel are called the fountain of Israel (Psa 68:26). Similar language is used in the blessing of Rebekah (by her family, as she was about to leave them to marry Isaac) that her children would be multiplied (Gen 24:60).
Sexual Satisfaction is an important element of marriage (5:18,19)
The sexual relationship, in marriage, between one man and one woman, is...
  • blessed - by God, Heb 13:4
  • for enjoyment - 'rejoice with the wife of thy youth.' The implication:
This mutual enjoyment is with one woman, who is your first wife, with whom you remain faithful. Mal 2:14,15; 1Pet 3:7
Let her...
  • be loving {amorous, romantic}.
  • be pleasant {graceful, favorable}.
  • satisfy thee {HB=ravah, be satiated, saturated, filled to overflowing} with her love.
Be thou...
  • ravished {HB=shagah, to err, stray, translated 'go astray' in v.23}
    ie., Let your wandering desires always lead you to embrace her, and her alone.
5:20-23 - The All Seeing Eye of God
Why...? What intelligent reason can you give to embrace a strange woman? (v.20)
There is no wisdom in that way... For...
  • The LORD sees, and weighs a man's ways (v.21).
    Each of us will give account to Him for the way we spent our brief lives on earth. Eccl 9:9; 11:9,10; Heb 4:13
  • The wicked...
    • is taken {seized, entrapped} by His own depravity (v.22),
    • is held captive by his sins {sinful condition},
    • shall die... (v.23)
      • for want of instruction (not that he had not heard, but that he did not heed God's Word). The word 'instruction' {HB=muwcar} is often rendered 'correction' or 'chastening' (eg., Job 5:17; Jer 5:3; compare Heb 12:5,6). Judgment falls without warning upon those who despise the chastening of the Lord.
      • for the greatness {abundance, overflowing} of his foolishness by which he went astray {or, was ravished (with the strange woman)}. Gal 6:7,8

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