What does Proverbs 6:24 mean?
ESV: to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
NIV: keeping you from your neighbor's wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
NASB: To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the foreign woman.
CSB: They will protect you from an evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a wayward woman.
NLT: It will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
KJV: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Verse Commentary:
Here, once again (Proverbs 5:1–6), Solomon addresses the wisdom of staying clear of those who tempt us towards adultery. In the context of this passage, he speaks to his sons and / or students, so he uses the imagery of an adulteress. It's hardly controversial to say that men are more prone to sexual temptation than women; however, the point made here is not restricted to men. The warnings about adultery apply equally to males and females. Leading up to this moment, Solomon has stressed the importance of listening to his advice (Proverbs 6:20–23), which speaks to how damaging sexual sin can be.

Scripture specifically calls out this person as an "evil woman" and an "adulteress." The reference may identify either a prostitute (Proverbs 6:26) or a promiscuous married woman (Proverbs 6:29). The concept would apply to all extramarital sex, however, even if the partner is unmarried. Solomon credits wisdom derived from God's Word with enabling his son to refuse the evil woman's smooth tongue. The adulteress may use flattery to draw her victim into her snare, or she may promise him a pleasant experience. Proverbs 7:21 says, "with much seductive speech she persuades him."

Armed with Scripture, a man knows God has commanded, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14) and "you shall not covet your neighbor's wife" (Exodus 20:17). The Word of God is a powerful sword a believer can use to deflect Satan's temptations (Ephesians 6:17). When Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph, Joseph refused her efforts. He chose to obey God, saying, "How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 6:20–35 returns to the topic of adultery, something Solomon also discussed in chapter 5. He warns his son to abide by the teaching he received from his parents, because they will guide him and keep him from the adulteress. Further, he cites the harmful and irreversible consequences of adultery.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter provides teaching on two aspects of wealth management. The first is avoiding putting one's property in debt for the sake of some other person's risky investment. The other warns against laziness, indicating that it puts a person at risk for sudden ruin. Solomon then poetically explains attitudes and actions which God finds especially repulsive. Next, Solomon returns to the subject of adultery. He reiterates the inherent risks of sexual immorality, including the catastrophic consequences which it brings. That lesson continues into the following chapter.
Chapter Context:
This chapter of Proverbs continues the wise sayings Solomon addresses to his son. In chapter 5 he addresses adultery and marriage. In this chapter he addresses financial matters, work ethics, characteristics and conduct the Lord despises, and sexual immorality. A common theme of these lessons is to avoid the natural consequences of foolish choices. The next chapter describes the adulteress's ways and the pitfalls involved in committing adultery with her.
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 9:45:09 AM
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