Proverbs 5:22

ESV The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
NIV The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.
NASB His own wrongdoings will trap the wicked, And he will be held by the ropes of his sin.
CSB A wicked man's iniquities will trap him; he will become tangled in the ropes of his own sin.
NLT An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.
KJV His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

What does Proverbs 5:22 mean?

Sin springs a trap on those who disobey God. The idea that ungodly actions bring surprising consequences is a common theme in the book of Proverbs. Part of the purpose behind this metaphor is the idea of suddenness and surprise; another is that of being trapped or entangled.

Sin enslaves (John 8:34), like a jailer who convinces a prisoner to forge the very chains that bind him. The habitual wrongdoer may think he can extricate himself from his sin, but he is wrong. Once consequences come, they're permanent and bring regret (Proverbs 5:11–14).

Samson constantly toyed with sin, in his relationship with Delilah, and thought he would always be able to shake off the consequences (Judges 16:6–14). But when judgment came, it was brutal and inescapable (Judges 16:15–21). When the Philistines pounced on Samson to capture him, Samson mistakenly thought he could get up from Delilah's lap and shake them off, but he was wrong. He had violated his Nazarite vows, and fell helplessly into the hands of his enemies, who imprisoned him and gouged out his eyes.

In much the same way, sin tricks people into thinking they can go on forever without consequences. Those trapped in that attitude are slaves of sin (Romans 6:20–21). Jesus said, "Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin" (John 8:34). However, whoever believes on Jesus as Savior finds freedom to serve God. Jesus also said, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).
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