Proverbs 7

CHAPTER VII

A farther exhortation to acquire wisdom, in order to be

preserved from impure connections, 1-5.

The character of a harlot, and her conduct towards a youth who

fell into her snare, 6-23.

Solemn exhortations to avoid this evil, 24-27.

NOTES ON CHAP. VII

Verse 1. My son, keep my words] See Pr 2:1.

Verse 2. As the apple of thine eye.] As the pupil of the eye,

which is of such essential necessity to sight, and so easily

injured.

Verse 3. Bind them upon thy fingers] See on Pr 3:3.

Verse 4. Thou art my sister] Thou art my dearest friend, and I

will treat thee as such.

Verse 5. The strange woman] The prostitute, the adulteress.

Verse 6. I looked through my casement] The casement is a small

aperture in a large window, or a window opening on hinges. Here it

means the lattice, for they had no glass windows in the East. And

the latticed windows produced a double advantage: 1. Making the

apartments sufficiently private; and 2. Admitting fresh air to

keep them cool.

Verse 7. Among the simple ones] The inexperienced, inconsiderate

young men.

A young man void of understanding] chasar leb,

"destitute of a heart." He had not wisdom to discern the evil

intended; nor courage to resist the flatteries of the seducer.

Verse 8. He went the way to her house.] She appears to have had

a corner house sufficiently remarkable; and a way from the main

street to it.

Verse 9. In the twilight, in the evening] Some time after

sun-setting; before it was quite dark.

In the black and dark night] When there were neither lamps nor

moon-shine.

Verse 10. A woman with the attire of a harlot] It appears that

sitting in some open place, and covering the face, or having a

veil of a peculiar kind on, was the evidence of a harlot,

Ge 38:14, 15-19. No doubt, in Solomon's time, they had other

distinctions. In all other countries, and in all times, the show

of their countenance did testify against them; they declared their

sin as Sodom; they hid it not. However, this does not seem to have

been a mere prostitute; for she was, according to her own

declaration, a married woman, and kept house, Pr 7:19, if her

assertions relative to this were not falsehoods, and calculated

the better to render him secure, and prevent the suspicion of

endangering himself by cohabiting with a common woman; which I am

rather inclined to think was the case, for she was subtle of

heart.

Verse 11. She is loud and stubborn] homiyah, she is

never at rest, always agitated; busily employed to gain her end,

and this is to go into the path of error: sorereth,

"turning aside;" preferring any way to the right way. And,

therefore, it is added, her feet abide not in her house; she gads

abroad; and this disposition probably first led her to this vice.

Verse 12. Now is she without] She is continually exposing

herself, and showing by her gait and gestures what she is, and

what she wants. These two verses are a parenthesis, intended to

show the character of the woman.

Verse 13. So she caught him] Laid fast hold on him, and kissed

him, to show that she was affectionately attached to him.

And with an impudent face] heezzah paneyha, "she

strengthened her countenance," assumed the most confident look she

could; endeavoured to appear friendly and sincere.

Verse 14. I have peace-offerings with me] More literally, "the

sacrifices of the peace-offerings are with me." Peace-offerings,

shelamim, were offerings the spiritual design of which was

to make peace between God and man, to make up the breach between

them which sin had occasioned; See Clarke on Le 7:38, where

every kind of sacrifice offered under the law is explained. When

the blood of these was poured out at the altar, and the fat burnt

there, the breast and right shoulder were the priest's portion;

but the rest of the carcass belonged to the sacrificer, who might

carry it home, and make a feast to his friends. See Le 3:1-11.

Much light is cast on this place by the fact that the gods in many

parts of the East are actually worshipped in brothels, and

fragments of the offerings are divided among the wretches who fall

into the snare of the prostitutes.-WARD'S Customs.

Have I payed my vows] She seems to insinuate that she had made a

vow for the health and safety of this young man; and having done

so, and prepared the sacrificial banquet, came actually out to

seek him, that he might partake of it with her, Pr 7:15. But, as

she intended to proceed farther than mere friendship, she was

obliged to avail herself of the night season, and the absence of

her husband.

Verse 16. I have decked my bed] arsi, "my couch or sofa;"

distinguished from mishcabi, "my bed," Pr 7:17,

the place to sleep on, as the other was the place to recline on

at meals. The tapestry, marbaddim, mentioned here

seems to refer to the covering of the sofa; exquisitely woven and

figured cloth. chatuboth etun, the Targum

translates painted carpets, such as were manufactured in Egypt;

some kind of embroidered or embossed stuff is apparently meant.

Verse 17. I have perfumed any bed with Myrrh] mor, "aloes,"

ahalim, and "cinnamon," kinnamon. We have taken

our names from the original words; but probably the ahalim may not

mean aloes, which is no perfume; but sandal wood, which is very

much used in the East. She had used every means to excite the

passions she wished to bring into action.

Verse 18. Come, let us take our fill of love] nirveh

dodim, "Let us revel in the breasts;" and then it is added, "Let

us solace ourselves with loves," nithallesah

boohabim; "let us gratify each other with loves, with the utmost

delights." This does not half express the original; but I forbear.

The speech shows the brazen face of this woman, well translated by

the Vulgate, "Veni, inebriemur uberibus; et fruamur cupidinis

amplexibus." And the Septuagint has expressed the spirit of it:

ελθεκαιαπολαυσωμενφιλιαςδευροκαιεγκυλισθωμενερωτι.

"Veni, et fruamur amicitia-Veni, et colluctemur cupidine." Though

varied in the words, all the versions have expressed the same

thing. In the old MS. Bible, the speech of this woman is as

follows:- I have arrayed with cordis my litil bed, and spred with

peyntid tapetis of Egipt: I have springid my ligginge place with

mirre and aloes and canelcum, and be we inwardly drunken with

Tetis, and use we the coveytied clippingis to the tyme that the

dai wax light. The original itself is too gross to be literally

translated; but quite in character as coming from the mouth of an

abandoned woman.

Verse 19. For the good man] Literally, "For the man is not in

his house."

Verse 20. He hath taken] Literally, "The money bag he hath taken

in his hand." He is gone a journey of itinerant merchandising.

This seems to be what is intended.

And will come home at the day appointed.] leyom

hakkase, the time fixed for a return from such a journey. The

Vulgate says, "at the full moon." The Targum, "the day of the

assembly." In other words, He will return by the approaching

festival.

Verse 21. With her much fair speech] With her blandishments and

lascivious talk, she overcame all his scruples, and constrained

him to yield.

Verse 22. As an ox goeth to the slaughter] The original of this

and the following verse has been variously translated. Dr. Grey

corrects and translates thus: "He goeth after her straightway, as

an OX goeth to the SLAUGHTER; as a DOG to the CHAIN; and as a DEER

till the DART strike through his liver; as a BIRD hasteneth to the

SNARE, and knoweth not that it is for its life." Very slight

alterations in the Hebrew text produce these differences; but it

is not necessary to pursue them; all serve to mark the stupidity

and folly of the man who is led away by enticing women or who

lives a life of intemperance.

Verse 24. Hearken unto me now, therefore, O ye children] Ye that

are young and inexperienced, seriously consider the example set

before your eyes, and take warning at another's expense.

Verse 26. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong

men have been slain by her.] That is, such like women have been

the ruin of many. chalalim, which we render wounded, also

signifies soldiers or men of war; and atsumim, which we

render strong men, may be translated heroes. Many of those who

have distinguished themselves in the field and in the cabinet have

been overcome and destroyed by their mistresses. History is full

of such examples.

Verse 27. Her house is the way to hell] sheol, the

pit, the grave, the place of the dead, the eternal and

infernal world. And they who, through such, fall into the grave,

descend lower, into the chambers of death; the place where

pleasure is at an end, and illusion mocks no more.

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