What does Proverbs 1:15 mean?
ESV: my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,
NIV: my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths;
NASB: My son, do not walk on the way with them. Keep your feet from their path,
CSB: my son, don't travel that road with them or set foot on their path,
NLT: My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.
KJV: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
Verse Commentary:
This is Solomon's plea to his children to not even pay attention to these kinds of temptations. The terms he uses here are "do not walk," and "hold back your foot." In other words, don't even let them get a word out, don't listen at all, stay completely away from the path. In no way, shape, or form should we cooperate with those who are pursuing evil.

Again, the fact that this is coming from Solomon has to be kept in mind. His personal history was one of a man who experimented with pleasure, power, and sin. In the end, he found all of those to be a waste of time. Solomon knows from experience that once you start on the wrong path it is very difficult to get off of it. The father's plea then is to stay away from the path to begin with. This is an all-too-common plea from parents to their children: "Don't make the same mistakes I did."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 1:8–19 is a warning against foolishness and the allure of sinful behavior. Solomon begins this warning by appealing to his children to honor their parents' teaching. As any parent knows, it’s often best to outline a negative behavior before stating the consequences of that behavior. The example used seems extreme, but it is meant to point towards an obvious conclusion.
Chapter Summary:
Proverbs Chapter 1 provides a clear description of the purpose of the book. It is stated plainly who wrote the book, the lineage of Solomon, and to whom he was writing. Solomon gives four distinct purpose statements in the opening verses. The essence of these is to explain why he is writing the book as well as the source of his inspiration. Solomon concludes with a warning against sinfulness and a personal plea for his children to act wisely.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs Chapter 1 is clearly born out of Solomon’s life history. Solomon held himself back from no earthly pleasure, he had everything he could ever desire, and in the end he saw the foolishness of his actions. Chapter 1 is Solomon’s reflection on his own life, how he had all the wisdom of God available to him, and yet chose to follow after foolish desires. Other chapters detail the advice which this experience allows Solomon to give.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 4/13/2024 8:05:57 AM
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