Proverbs 7:26

ESV for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng.
NIV Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.
NASB For many are the victims she has brought to ruin, And numerous are all those slaughtered by her.
CSB For she has brought many down to death; her victims are countless.
NLT For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims.
KJV For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

What does Proverbs 7:26 mean?

The story Solomon told of a foolish young man falling prey to a predatory woman (Proverbs 7:10–23) is nothing unusual in human experience. People of all eras, and all social classes, and both sexes, have fallen prey to temptation—to adultery and to many other sins. Highlighting that fact, Solomon indicates the adulterous woman of his story victimized many clients. Her "slain" account to a large number (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

At one point, Solomon indicates that the woman was dressed "as" a prostitute; either because that was her profession, or simply because she was trying to entice someone (Proverbs 7:10). Although prostitution began thousands of years ago, it continues today, and its victims abound throughout the world. In 2012 it was estimated that there were 42 million prostitutes in the world—each of them, in their own way, is a victim of a sinful and God-hating world. Likely, that number is higher today. Unfortunately, prostitutes' clients are countless and willing. They are drawn into illicit sex by their evil desire.

The principles Solomon shares about avoiding sexual sin also apply to avoiding any type sin. The acts of the adulterous woman are common to the way we experience temptation to sin in a more general sense. James writes: "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death" (James 1:13–15). Illicit sex, whether paid for or not, does not build up self-esteem; it destroys. Also, along with their victims' lives, these sins destroy families. A wise person builds a strong defense against becoming a victim by storing God's Word in his heart (Psalm 119:11).
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