What does Proverbs 7:27 mean?
ESV: Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
NIV: Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
NASB: Her house is the way to Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death.
CSB: Her house is the road to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death.
NLT: Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.
KJV: Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
In this verse Solomon warns his sons about what happens to those who choose to have sexual relations with an adulterous woman. As with other lessons in this book, Solomon is directly speaking to a man—but the principles apply to both sexes. Men and women can fall prey to seduction, and both genders can sin by tempting others. These principles can also apply more broadly to any type of sin, not just sexual sin.
Solomon indicates that this woman's house is the way to Sheol and goes down to the chambers of death. Her clients put themselves on a fast road to death and the grave. Perhaps this fate comes about at the hands of an irate husband who takes revenge on whoever commits adultery with his wife (Proverbs 6:34–35). Death could result from poverty if the woman's client wasted his money on her. Death by suicide is another possibility. Feeling the sting of guilt and disgrace, the woman's client might become so depressed that he ends his life. Another possibility is disease contracted from the woman. A venereal disease might cause his body to waste away.
These general outcomes are all one reason sin is often summarized with the analogy of adultery. What started out as something desirable ends in destruction. Proverbs 14:12 proclaims, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."
In the more metaphorical sense, we know that all sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). Temptation promises us satisfaction and pleasure in sin, but sin always takes more than it gives (James 1:13–15). Spiritually speaking, the only escape from spiritual death is through Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life and paid the penalty for our sin, "that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Believers in Jesus do still fall into sin, but He is faithful to cleanse and restore us (1 John 1:9).
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.
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.
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.
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 11/30/2023 5:02:56 AM
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