Proverbs 5:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 5:14, NIV: And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God's people.'

Proverbs 5:14, ESV: I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”

Proverbs 5:14, KJV: I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

Proverbs 5:14, NASB: I was almost in total ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation.'

Proverbs 5:14, NLT: I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.'

Proverbs 5:14, CSB: I am on the verge of complete ruin before the entire community."

What does Proverbs 5:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This passage warns against the sin of adultery. Specifically, Solomon is explaining the deep regret and painful consequences which come from that sin (Proverbs 5:7–13). One of the consequences already mentioned is a loss of reputation and honor (Proverbs 5:9). It's curious that even in sex-saturated modern culture, which celebrates casual promiscuity, there is still stigma attached to adultery. "Cheating" in a marriage relationship brings reactions from society at large.

This statement may refer to the shame an adulterer experiences in the eyes of others —or the shame of an adulteress, since this concept applies equally to both sexes. Certainly, he has good reason to feel ashamed of himself and deserving of divine judgment when he enters the sanctuary. However, "the brink of utter ruin" may also mean he is about to be punished by his fellow Israelites for his adulterous behavior. According to Leviticus 20:10 capital punishment was to be imposed on those who committed adultery, and stoning was the usual means of punishment.

When a woman in Jesus' day was caught in the act of adultery, the scribes and Pharisees brought her to where Jesus was teaching and told Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" (John 8:4–5). Jesus responded by writing something on the ground, perhaps the sins of the accusers. He said, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7). Upon hearing that, all the accusers left, and Jesus forgave the woman but told her to go and sin no more (John 8:9–11). There is no sin too great that grace cannot erase!