What does Proverbs 7:5 mean?
ESV: to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.
NIV: They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
NASB: So that they may keep you from an adulteress, From the foreigner who flatters with her words.
CSB: She will keep you from a forbidden woman, a wayward woman with her flattering talk.
NLT: Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.
KJV: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
NKJV: That they may keep you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words.
Verse Commentary:
Solomon credits wisdom and insight (Proverbs 7:4) with demonstrating their value in avoiding temptation, and the consequences which come with it. This forms an interesting contrast to the prior statement. There, wisdom was portrayed as a woman, specifically a sister, or as a close friend. Here, sin and temptation—as well as literal sexual sin—are mentioned in the form of a tempting adulteress.

A sister and a close friend would counsel a young man to stay clear of a tempting situation that might lead to an adulterous affair. And like them, wisdom and insight persuade whoever possesses those qualities to avoid the evil woman and the seductive adulteress. Letting one's lust lead him into adultery is foolish, and it results in personal calamity. An adulterer loses self-respect and others' respect. Adultery results in many personal wounds and possibly disease and death.

Giving God's Word a good reception enables us to see the folly of sin and therefore set up a good defense against falling victim to temptation. Psalm 119:9–11 states, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word…I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 7:1–9 echoes the warnings given in Proverbs chapters 5 and 6. This section emphasizes the value of carefully heeding Solomon's instruction. Such attention to Solomon's teaching equips Solomon's son to avoid falling victim to an adulteress. While the statements here are specifically directed to a man, the principles apply to men and women, alike. The principles can also be more broadly applied to temptation to sin in general, not just temptation to adultery. Godly wisdom is the best defense against falling into temptation.
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 6/13/2024 1:48:49 PM
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