What does Proverbs 7:9 mean?
ESV: in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
NIV: at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in.
NASB: In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and the darkness.
CSB: at twilight, in the evening, in the dark of the night.
NLT: It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell.
KJV: In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
NKJV: In the twilight, in the evening, In the black and dark night.
Verse Commentary:
Solomon sees the foolish young man move toward the adulteress woman's house under the cover of darkness. Darkness seems to be the preferred time for illicit affairs and criminal activity. In Scripture, darkness represents sin. Jesus said, "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed" (John 3:19–20).

However, the darkness cannot hide sinners and their evil practices from the all-seeing eye of God. The psalmist credited God with seeing him as clearly at night as in the day. He wrote in Psalm 139:11–12: "If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,' even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with 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.
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