Proverbs 5:18
Let your fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Let thy fountain . . .—As a reward for purity of life, the blessing of a numerous offspring is invoked. (Comp. Psalm 128:3, where the wife is a “fruitful vine,” and the children numerous and flourishing like olive-branches.)

Proverbs 5:18. Let thy fountain be blessed — Thy wife, as the next clause explains it, shall be blessed with children; or rather, she shall be a blessing and a comfort to thee, as it follows, and not a curse and snare, as a harlot would be. And rejoice, &c. — Seek not to harlots for that comfort and delight which God allows thee to take in thy wife. So here he explains the foregoing metaphor, and applies it to its present design; with the wife of thy youth — Whom thou didst marry in thy youthful days, with whom, therefore, in all reason and justice, thou oughtest still to satisfy thyself, even when she is old.5:15-23 Lawful marriage is a means God has appointed to keep from these destructive vices. But we are not properly united, except as we attend to God's word, seeking his direction and blessing, and acting with affection. Ever remember, that though secret sins may escape the eyes of our fellow-creatures, yet a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, who not only sees, but ponders all his goings. Those who are so foolish as to choose the way of sin, are justly left of God to themselves, to go on in the way to destruction.Wedded love streams forth in blessing on all around, on children and on neighbors and ill the streets, precisely because the wife's true love is given to the husband only. 18. wife … youth—married in youth. Thy fountain; thy wife, as the next clause explains it.

Be blessed; she shall be blessed with children; for barrenness was esteemed a curse and reproach, especially among the Israelites. Or rather, she shall be a blessing and a comfort to thee, as it follows, and not a curse and a snare, as a harlot will be.

Rejoice with the wife; seek not to harlots for that delight which God alloweth thee to take with thy wife. So here he explains the foregoing metaphor, and applies it to his present design.

Of thy youth; which thou didst marry in her and thine own youthful days, with whom therefore in all reason and justice thou art still to satisfy thyself, even when she is old. Or he mentions youth, because that is the season in which men are most prone to unclean practices, against which men are commonly fortified by the infirmities of old age. Let thy fountain be blessed,.... Thy wife; make her happy by keeping to her and from others; by behaving in a loving, affable, and respectful manner to her; by living comfortably with her, and providing well for her and her children: or reckon her a happiness, a blessing that God has bestowed; or

"thy fountain shall be blessed,''

as the Targum; that is, with a numerous offspring, which was always reckoned a blessedness, and was generally the happiness of virtuous women, when harlots were barren;

and rejoice with the wife of thy youth; taken to be a wife in youth, and lived with ever since; do not despise her, nor divorce her, even in old age, but delight in her company now as ever; carry it not morosely and churlishly to her, but express a joy and pleasure in her; see Ecclesiastes 9:9. Jarchi interprets this of the law learned in youth; but it might be much better interpreted of the pure apostolic church of Christ, "the beulah", to whom her sons are married, Isaiah 62:4; to whom they should cleave with delight and pleasure, and not follow the antichristian harlot.

Let thy {k} fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy {l} youth.

(k) Your children who will come from you in great abundance showing that God blesses marriage and curses whoredom.

(l) Who you married in your youth.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 18. - Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. The employment of the ordinary term "wife" in the second hemistich shows in what sense the figure which is used has to be understood. The terms "fountain" and "wife" denote the same person. The wife is here called "thy fountain" (Hebrew, m'kor'ka), just as she has been previously "thine own cistern" (b'or) and "thine own well" (b'er) in ver. 15. The Hebrew makor, "fountain," is derived from the root kur, "to dig." The figure seems to determine that the blessing here spoken of consists in the with being a fruitful mother of children; and hence the phrase means, "Let thy with be blessed," i.e. rendered happy in being the mother of thy children. This is quite consistent with the Hebrew mode of thought. Every Israelitish wife regarded herself, and was regarded by ethers as "blessed," if she bore children, and unhappy if the reverse were the case. Blessed; Hebrew, baruk (Vulgate, benedicta), is the kal participle passive of barak, "to bless." Instead of this, the LXX. reads ἴδια, "Let thy fountain be thine own" - a variation which in no sense conveys the meaning of the original. And rejoice with; rather, rejoice in, the wife being regarded as the sphere within which the husband is to find his pleasure and joy. Umbreit explains, "Let thy wife be extolled." The same construction of the imperative s'makh, from samakh," to be glad, or joyful," with min, occurs in Judges 9:19; Zephaniah 3:14, etc. The Authorized rendering is, however, favoured by the Vulgate, laetare cum, and the LXX., συνευφραίνω μετὰ Compare the exhortation in Ecclesiastes 9:9, "Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest." The wife of thy youth (Hebrew, ishshah n'ureyka) may mean either

(1) the wife to whom thou hast given the fair bloom of thy youth (Umbreit);

(2) the wife chosen in thy youth (Delitzsch); or

(3) thy youthful wife. The former seems the more probable meaning. Compare the expression, "companion of thy youth," in Proverbs 2:17. The poet now tells those whom he warns to hear how the voluptuary, looking back on his life-course, passes sentence against himself.

12 And thou sayest, "Why have I then hated correction,

     And my heart despised instruction!

13 And I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,

     Nor lent mine ear to my instructors?

14 I had almost fallen into every vice

     In the midst of the assembly and the congregation!"

The question 12a (here more an exclamation than a question) is the combination of two: How has it become possible for me? How could it ever come to it that.... Thus also one says in Arab.: Kyf f'alat hadhâ (Fl.). The regimen of איך in 12b is becoming faint, and in 13b has disappeared. The Kal נאץ (as Proverbs 1:30; Proverbs 15:5) signifies to despise; the Piel intensively, to contemn and reject (R. נץ, pungere).

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