Proverbs 5

CHAPTER V

Farther exhortations to acquire wisdom, 1, 2.

The character of a loose woman, and the ruinous consequences

of attachment to such, 3-14.

Exhortations to chastity and moderation, 15-21.

The miserable end of the wicked, 22, 23.

NOTES ON CHAP. V

Verse 1. Attend unto my wisdom] Take the following lessons from

my own experience.

Verse 3. The lips of a strange woman] One that is not thy own,

whether Jewess or heathen.

Drop as a honey-comb] She uses the most deceitful, flattering,

and alluring speeches: as the droppings of the honey out of the

comb are the sweetest of all.

Verse 4. Bitter as wormwood] Kelanah, like the

detestable herb wormwood, or something analogous to it:

something as excessive in its bitterness, as honey is in its

sweetness.

Verse 5. Her feet go down to death] She first, like a serpent,

infuses her poison, by which the whole constitution of her

paramour is infected, which soon or late brings on death.

Her steps take hold on hell.] First, the death of the body; and

then the damnation of the soul. These are the tendencies of

connections with such women.

Verse 6. Lest thou shouldest ponder] To prevent thee from

reflecting on thy present conduct, and its consequences, her ways

are moveable-she continually varies her allurements.

Thou canst not know them.] It is impossible to conceive all her

tricks and wiles: to learn these in all their varieties, is a part

of the science first taught in that infernal trade.

Verse 7. Hear me-O ye children] banim, sons, young men in

general: for these are the most likely to be deceived and led

astray.

Verse 8. Come not nigh the door of her house] Where there are

generally such exhibitions as have a natural tendency to excite

impure thoughts, and irregular passions.

Verse 9. Lest thou give thine honour] The character of a

debauchee is universally detested: by this, even those of noble

blood lose their honour and respect.

Thy years unto the cruel] Though all the blandishments of love

dwell on the tongue, and the excess of fondness appear in the

whole demeanour of the harlot and the prostitute; yet cruelty

has its throne in their hearts; and they will rob and murder (when

it appears to answer their ends) those who give their strength,

their wealth, and their years to them. The unfaithful wife has

often murdered her own husband for the sake of her paramour, and

has given him over to justice in order to save herself. Murders

have often taken place in brothels, as well as robberies; for the

vice of prostitution is one of the parents of cruelty.

Verse 11. When thy flesh and thy body are consumed] The word

shear, which we render body, signifies properly the remains,

residue, or remnant of a thing: and is applied here to denote the

breathing carcass, putrid with the concomitant disease of

debauchery: a public reproach which the justice of God entails on

this species of iniquity. The mourning here spoken of is of the

most excessive kind: the word naham is often applied to the

growling of a lion, and the hoarse incessant murmuring of the

sea. In the line of my duty, I have been often called to attend

the death-bed of such persons, where groans and shrieks were

incessant through the jaculating pains in their bones and flesh.

Whoever has witnessed a closing scene like this will at once

perceive with what force and propriety the wise man speaks. And

How have I hated instruction, and despised the voice of my

teachers! is the unavailing cry in that terrific time. Reader,

whosoever thou art, lay these things to heart. Do not enter into

their sin: once entered, thy return is nearly hopeless.

Verse 14. I was almost in all evil] This vice, like a whirlpool,

sweeps all others into its vortex.

In the midst of the congregation and assembly.] In the mydel of

the Curche and of the Synagoge-Old MS. Bible. Such persons,

however sacred the place, carry about with them eyes full of

adultery, which cannot cease from sin.

Verse 15. Drink waters out of thine own cistern] Be satisfied

with thy own wife; and let the wife see that she reverence her

husband; and not tempt him by inattention or unkindness to seek

elsewhere what he has a right to expect, but cannot find, at home.

Verse 16. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad] Let thy

children lawfully begotten be numerous.

Verse 17. Let them be only thine own] The off-spring of a

legitimate connection; a bastard brood, however numerous, is no

credit to any man.

Verse 18. Let thy fountain be blessed] yehi

mekorecha baruch. Sit vena tua benedicta. Thy vein; that which

carries off streams from the fountain of animal life, in order to

disperse them abroad, and through the streets. How delicate and

correct is the allusion here! But anatomical allusions must not be

pressed into detail in a commentary on Scripture.

Verse 19. The loving hind and pleasant roe] By aiyeleth,

the deer; by yaalah, the ibex or mountain goat, may

be meant.

Let her breasts satisfy thee] As the infant is satisfied with

the breasts of its mother; so shouldst thou be with the wife of

thy youth.

Verse 21. For the ways of a man] Whether they are public or

private, God sees all the steps thou takest in life.

Verse 22. He shall be holden with the cords of his sins.] Most

people who follow unlawful pleasures, think they can give them up

whenever they please; but sin repeated becomes customary; custom

soon engenders habit; and habit in the end assumes the form of

necessity; the man becomes bound with his own cords, and so is

led captive by the devil at his will.

Verse 23. He shall die without instruction] This is most likely,

and it is a general case; but even these may repent and live.

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