What does Proverbs 7:8 mean?
ESV: passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house
NIV: He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house
NASB: Passing through the street near her corner; And he walks along the way to her house,
CSB: Crossing the street near her corner, he strolled down the road to her house
NLT: He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house.
KJV: Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
NKJV: Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house
Verse Commentary:
This continues Solomon's depiction of how reckless actions, contrary to godly wisdom, result in disaster. Solomon describes a foolish young man walking along the street near the corner where a predatory woman lives. Instead of passing by her corner, he turned down the street that led to her house. Apparently, he intentionally wanted to visit her, perhaps thinking she would satisfy his lust and show him a good time. But he was foolish and did exactly the opposite of what Solomon had counseled in Proverbs 5:8: "Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house."

First Thessalonians 5:22 admonishes believers to "abstain from every form of evil." Instead of putting ourselves at risk by seeing how close to evil we can come without participating in it, we need to stay as far from evil as possible. The young man Solomon observed drawing near the adulteress's house should have maintained a straight course away from her house. Instead, he purposely headed into danger.
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 6/21/2024 4:40:36 PM
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