What does Proverbs 7:7 mean?
ESV: and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense,
NIV: I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense.
NASB: And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths A young man lacking sense,
CSB: I saw among the inexperienced, I noticed among the youths, a young man lacking sense.
NLT: I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense.
KJV: And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
NKJV: And saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, A young man devoid of understanding,
Verse Commentary:
As part of explaining how his wisdom comes from experience, Solomon has been using the metaphor of looking out his window to observe the world (Proverbs 7:6). Among those observations are gullible youths, and especially those who lack good sense. This image of a reckless young man will be the basis of another warning about adultery, coming soon in this chapter (Proverbs 7:10–23).

Not all young men are senseless, but some are. The same could be said of young women. In fact, no matter what age a man or woman is, he or she can be senseless. But youth is a period of life in which emotions are sometimes more prone to govern a person's actions. Instead of pursuing the right way, unguarded emotions can lead a young man down a disastrous road. The story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–24) illustrates this truth. Wanting to satisfy his lust for riotous living, the prodigal left home with his share of the father's inheritance and traveled to a far country, where he wasted his money and became destitute and desperate. He learned the hard way that he had foolishly listened to his emotions instead of his head.

At the same time, a young man may be wise beyond his years. Certainly, Timothy was young when he was a pastor. The congregation needed to recognize Timothy's calling, therefore Paul told Timothy to let no one despise him for his youth (1 Timothy 4:12).
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 5/28/2024 8:11:53 PM
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