Proverbs 5:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

New Living Translation
For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn't realize it.

English Standard Version
she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.

New American Standard Bible
She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

King James Bible
Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
She doesn't consider the path of life; she doesn't know that her ways are unstable.

International Standard Version
You aren't thinking about where her life is headed; her steps wander, but you do not realize it.

NET Bible
Lest she should make level the path leading to life, her paths are unstable but she does not know it.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And she treads not in the way of life, for her paths lead them astray and they are unknown.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
She doesn't even think about the path of life. Her steps wander, and she doesn't realize it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Lest she should walk the even path of life, Her ways wander, but she knoweth it not.

New American Standard 1977
She does not ponder the path of life;
            Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
lest thou should ponder the path of life, her ways are unstable; thou shalt not know them.

King James 2000 Bible
Lest you should ponder the path of life, her ways are unstable, that you can not know them.

American King James Version
Lest you should ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that you can not know them.

American Standard Version
So that she findeth not the level path of life: Her ways are unstable, and'she knoweth it not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They walk not by the path of life, her steps are wandering, and unaccountable.

Darby Bible Translation
Lest she should ponder the path of life, her ways wander, she knoweth not [whither].

English Revised Version
So that she findeth not the level path of life: her ways are unstable and she knoweth it not.

Webster's Bible Translation
Lest thou shouldst ponder the path of life, her ways are movable, that thou canst not know them.

World English Bible
She gives no thought to the way of life. Her ways are crooked, and she doesn't know it.

Young's Literal Translation
The path of life -- lest thou ponder, Moved have her paths -- thou knowest not.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:1-14 Solomon cautions all young men, as his children, to abstain from fleshly lusts. Some, by the adulterous woman, here understand idolatry, false doctrine, which tends to lead astray men's minds and manners; but the direct view is to warn against seventh-commandment sins. Often these have been, and still are, Satan's method of drawing men from the worship of God into false religion. Consider how fatal the consequences; how bitter the fruit! Take it any way, it wounds. It leads to the torments of hell. The direct tendency of this sin is to the destruction of body and soul. We must carefully avoid every thing which may be a step towards it. Those who would be kept from harm, must keep out of harm's way. If we thrust ourselves into temptation we mock God when we pray, Lead us not into temptation. How many mischiefs attend this sin! It blasts the reputation; it wastes time; it ruins the estate; it is destructive to health; it will fill the mind with horror. Though thou art merry now, yet sooner or later it will bring sorrow. The convinced sinner reproaches himself, and makes no excuse for his folly. By the frequent acts of sin, the habits of it become rooted and confirmed. By a miracle of mercy true repentance may prevent the dreadful consequences of such sins; but this is not often; far more die as they have lived. What can express the case of the self-ruined sinner in the eternal world, enduring the remorse of his conscience!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are movable, that thou canst not know them. This verse should be rather rendered, she walks not in the path of life, her ways fiuctuate, she knows not. It consists of a series of independent proposiyions or statements, all of which are descriptive of the singularly fatuous conduct of "the strange woman." In the previous verse the teacher has said that her conduct leads to ruin; he here further emphasizes the idea by putting forward the same truth from the opposite, or, as we may say, from the negative point of view, and so completes the picture. "The words," as Plumptre remarks, "describe with terrible vividness the state of heart and soul which prostitution brings on its victims." Her course is one o(persistent, wilful, headstrong, blind folly and wickedness. Lest; pen; here "not," equivalent to לא (lo). So the LXX., Vulgate, Targum, Syriac. The use of pen, in this sense is, however, unique (Gesenius). Delitzsch and Zockler, following Luther, Geier, Holden, etc., assign to it an emphatic negative force, as, "She is far removed from entering," or, "she never treadeth." Others take pen as a dependent prohibitive particle, equivalent to the Latin ne forte, "lest," as in the Authorized Version, and employed to connect the sentence which it introduces either with the preceding verse (as Schultens) or with the second hemistich, on which it is made dependent (Holden, Wordsworth, Aben Ezra, loc., Michaelis, etc.). Thou shouldest ponder; t'phalles, connected by makkeph with pen, as usual (Lee), is either second person masculine or third person feminine. The latter is required here, the subject of the sentence being "the strange woman," as appears clearly from the second hemistich, "her ways," etc. The verb patas (cf. Proverbs 14:26) here means "to prepare," i.e. to walk in, or to travel over. Thus Gesenius renders, "She (the adulteress) prepareth not (for herself) the way of life:" i.e. she does not walk in the way of life; cf. the LXX. εἰσέρχεται, Vulgate ambulant (sc. gressus ejus), and other ancient versions, all of which understand the verb in this sense. The meaning of the phrase, pen t'phalles, is, therefore, "she walks not" in the way of life - the way that has life for its object, and which in itself is full of life and safety. Far from doing this, the teacher goes on to say, her ways are movable; literally, go to and fro, or fluctuate; i.e. they wilfully stagger hither and thither, like the steps of a drunkard, or like the uncertain steps of the blind, for the verb nua is so used in the former sense in Isaiah 24:20; Isaiah 29:9; Psalm 107:27; and in the latter in Lamentations 4:14. Her steps are slippery (LXX., σφαλέραι), or wander (Vulgate, vagi); they are without any definite aim; she is always straying in the vagrancy of sin (Wordsworth); cf. Proverbs 7:12. That thou canst not know them (lo theda); literally, she knows not. The elliptical form of this sentence in the original leaves it open to various interpretations. It seems to refer to the way of life; she knows not the way of life, i.e. she does not regard or perceive the way of life. The verb yada often has this meaning. The meaning may be obtained by supplying mah, equivalent to quicquam, "anything," as in Proverbs 9:13, "She knows not anything," i.e. she knows nothing. The objection to this is that it travels unnecessarily out of the sentence to find the object which ought rather to be supplied from the context. The object may possibly be the staggering of her feet: she staggers hither and thither without her perceiving it (Delitzsch); or it may, lastly, be indefinite: she knows not whittler her steps conduct her (Wordsworth and Zockler).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life,.... Consider and meditate which is the way to get out of her hands and ways, and escape death, and obtain eternal life; lest those she has drawn into her wicked course of life should be religiously inclined, and think of quitting such a course, and inquire after the way of life and salvation; and be weighing in their minds which is most eligible, to continue with her whose feet lead to death, or to take the path of life: to prevent all this, if possible,

her ways are movable: she appears in different shapes; changes her dress and habitation; makes use of a thousand arts to ensnare men, to entangle their affections, and retain them in her nets; she first puts them upon one thing, and then on another; she leads them into various mazes and labyrinths of sin, till they have lost all sense of religion, and sight of the path of life;

that thou canst not know them; her ways, arts, and devices. Or, "thou canst not know" (k); that is, the way of life, or how to get out of her ways into that. Or, "thou knowest not"; where she goes, whither she leads thee, and what will be the end and issue of such a course of life. The Targum understands it, and so some other interpreters, of the harlot herself, paraphrasing the whole thus;

"in the way of life she walks not; her ways are unstable, and she knows not''

the way of life, nor where her ways will end; or, "cares not" (l) what becomes of her. And so, in like manner, the former part of the verse is understood and interpreted, "lest she ponder the path of life" (m); or as others, "she does not ponder the path of life" (n); The ways of the antichristian harlot are with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; and her chief care is to keep persons in ignorance, and from pondering the path of life or true religion, and to retain them in her idolatry, 2 Thessalonians 2:9.

(k) "non scires", Cocceius; "non cognosces", Baynus. (l) "Haud curat", Schultens. (m) "iter vitae ne forte libraverit", Schultens. (n) "Viam vitae non appendit, vel ponderat", Gejerus; so Luther; "iter vitae non expandit", Noldius, p. 249. No. 2008.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. her ways … know—Some prefer, "that she may not ponder the path of life," etc.; but perhaps a better sense is, "her ways are varied, so as to prevent your knowledge of her true character, and so of true happiness."

Proverbs 5:6 Additional Commentaries
Avoid Immorality
5Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol. 6She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. 7Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth.…
Cross References
2 Peter 2:14
With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood!

Proverbs 2:19
None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.

Proverbs 4:26
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.

Proverbs 5:21
For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths.

Proverbs 9:13
Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing.

Proverbs 30:20
"This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'
Treasury of Scripture

Lest you should ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that you can not know them.


Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.

Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet to your testimonies.

the path

Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness tends to life: so he that pursues evil pursues it …

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of …


Proverbs 6:12,13 A naughty person, a wicked man, walks with a fraudulent mouth…

Proverbs 7:10-21 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, …

2 Thessalonians 2:9,10 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power …

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