What does Proverbs 7:25 mean?
ESV: Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths,
NIV: Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.
NASB: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths.
CSB: Don't let your heart turn aside to her ways; don't stray onto her paths.
NLT: Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path.
KJV: Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
Verse Commentary:
Solomon understood that obedience or disobedience is a matter of the heart. If his sons loved his teachings, they would obey them and not go astray. He mentions specifically the sins of turning aside to the prostitute's ways and straying into her paths. The foolish young man he had described earlier had done both. He turned aside from the street near her corner and took the road to her house (Proverbs 7:7–8). After succumbing to her smooth, flattering words and appealing looks (Proverbs 7:10–20), he went astray, and followed her to her boudoir (Proverbs 7:21–23), resulting in all the disasters which accompany adultery. While adultery is the thematic element of this passage, the general concept of sin—whether it's greed, anger, or idolatry—comes with the same dangers.

If we receive Jesus' words into our hearts, we will follow Him wherever He leads. Christ referred to His sheep in John 10:3 as hearing His voice. In verse 4 He declared that He goes before His sheep, and His sheep follow Him. The Lord, the Good Shepherd, never leads His people astray. He always leads them by the still waters, in the paths of righteousness; and even when they walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with them (Psalm 23:2–5).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 7:24–27 concludes another plea from Solomon, urging his sons to heed and keep his words. Most recently, he described a specific situation in which the wisdom of his words should have been applied. He referred to the temptation of being drawn into an adulterous relationship. Now he concludes Proverbs 7 as he began: urging his son to heed his words. He explains that failure to do so leads to a fall into adultery with its devastating consequences.
Chapter Summary:
Repeating a theme common to the early chapters of Proverbs, Solomon once again presents a dire warning about the dangers of adultery. This comes in the form of a story about a foolish young man being seduced by a predatory woman. Solomon says this is something he has seen—meaning this is likely a summary of many such examples he has witnessed in his life. The result of these reckless sins is misery and death, for both men and women alike.
Chapter Context:
In Proverbs 5 and 6 Solomon warns his son against adultery. He describes the evil woman, the adulteress, as deceptive and dangerous. While this is valid in a literal sense, it also serves as a general warning about the seductive nature of sin. In this chapter he continues his counsel about adultery, stressing the tactics used in temptation and how falling to them leads to death. The following chapter will return to the personification of wisdom as a woman, begging to be honored.
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 3/1/2024 3:44:40 AM
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