Proverbs 6:27

ESV Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?
NIV Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
NASB Can anyone take fire in his lap And his clothes not be burned?
CSB Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned?
NLT Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire?
KJV Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
NKJV Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned?

What does Proverbs 6:27 mean?

This passage of Proverbs warns of the dangers associated with adultery (Proverbs 6:20–26). This statement is echoed by a common proverb in modern English, which says "if you play with fire, you're going to get burned." In much the same way, those who dabble in sexual sin don't need to wonder "if" there will be consequences, only "when" and "how drastic" they will be. Solomon compares adultery to fire being carried next to the chest. In both cases the adulterer and the person carrying fire will get burned. Engaging in immoral sex is like carelessly handling something only to have it harm you.

This truth was demonstrated in the lives of Solomon's own parents. After committing adultery with Bathsheba, David experienced the distressing consequences of his sin. In Psalm 32 he described what he experienced as physical and emotional suffering (Psalm 32:3), guilt and loss of energy (Psalm 32:4). In his prayer of confession in Psalm 51, David refers to the uncleanness he felt following his act of adultery (Psalm 51:2), the constant pain of being confronted by his sin (Psalm 51:3), the loss of joy (Psalm 51:8, 12), and the feeling of being estranged from God (Psalm 51:11). David learned that the momentary pleasure of sin brings long days and nights of physical and spiritual suffering (2 Samuel 12:7–15).
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