|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 17. - Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. By confining yourself to chaste intercourse with your lawful wife, be assured that your offspring is your own. Promiscuous and unlawful intercourse throws doubt upon the paternity of children. Thy children may be thine, they may belong to another. The natural pride which is felt in a legitimate offspring is the motive put forward to commend the husband to confine himself exclusively to his wife. Grotius on this verse remarks, "Ibi sere ubi prolem metas" - "Sow there where you may reap an offspring." Them; i.e. the children referred to figuratively in the preceding verse, from which the subject of this verse is supplied. The repetition of the pronoun which occurs in the original, "let them belong to thee, to thee," is emphatic, and exclusive of others. The latter clause of the verse, "and not strangers' with thee," covers the whole ground. The idea of their being strangers' is repulsive, and so gives further point to the exhortation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. Or "they shall be thine own" (u), as the Targum; meaning not the cistern, the well, or the wife, but the fountains and rivers, or the children; by a man's cleaving to his own wife, who is a chaste and virtuous woman, he is satisfied that the children he has by her are his own, and not another's; whereas if he has to do with a common harlot, it is uncertain whose children they are, she prostituting herself to many: it may be applied to the peculiar possession and steadfast retention of the truths of the Gospel, in opposition to all divers and strange doctrines propagated by others; see Revelation 2:25.
(u) "erunt tui", Mercerus, Cocceius; "erunt tibi", Baynus; "existent tibi", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. only thine own—harlots' children have no known father.
Proverbs 5:17 Parallel Commentaries
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