|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:6-27 Here is an affecting example of the danger of youthful lusts. It is a history or a parable of the most instructive kind. Will any one dare to venture on temptations that lead to impurity, after Solomon has set before his eyes in so lively and plain a manner, the danger of even going near them? Then is he as the man who would dance on the edge of a lofty rock, when he has just seen another fall headlong from the same place. The misery of self-ruined sinners began in disregard to God's blessed commands. We ought daily to pray that we may be kept from running into temptation, else we invite the enemies of our souls to spread snares for us. Ever avoid the neighbourhood of vice. Beware of sins which are said to be pleasant sins. They are the more dangerous, because they most easily gain the heart, and close it against repentance. Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it. Were a man to live as long as Methuselah, and to spend all his days in the highest delights sin can offer, one hour of the anguish and tribulation that must follow, would far outweigh them.
Verse 22. - He teeth after her straightway; suddenly, as though, casting aside all scruples, he gave himself up to the temptation, and with no further delay accompanied her to the house. Septuagint, "He followed, being cajoled (κεπφωθείς), ensnared like a silly bird" (see the article on Cepphus Larus, in Erasmus's 'Adag ,' s.v. "Garrulitas"). As an ox goeth to the slaughter. He no more realizes the serious issue of his action than an irrational beast which, without prevision of the future, walks contentedly to the slaughter house, and is stupidly placid in the face of death. Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks. There is some difficulty in the translation of this clause. The Authorized Version, with which Delitzsch virtually agrees, is obtained by transposition of the nouns, the natural rendering of the Hebrew being "as fetters to the correction of a fool." The sense thus obtained is obvious: the youth follows the woman, as a fool or a criminal is led unresisting to confinement and degradation. Doubtless there is some error in the text, as may be seen by comparison of the versions. Septuagint (with which the Syriac agrees), "As a dog to chains, or as a hart struck to the liver with an arrow;" Vulgate, "As a frisking lamb, and not knowing that as a fool he is being dragged to bondage." The commentators are much divided. Fleischer, "As if in fetters to the punishment of the fool," i.e. of himself; Ewald, "As when a steel trap (springs up) for the correction of a fool," i.e. when a hidden trap suddenly catches an incautious person wandering where he has no business. The direct interpretation, that the youth follows the harlot, as fetters the proper punishment of fools, is unsatisfactory, because the parallelism leads us to expect a living being instead of "fetters." We are constrained to fall back on the Authorized Version as exhibiting the best mode of reconstructing a corrupt text. The youth, with his insensate passion, is compared to the madman or idiot who is taken away, unconscious of his fate, to a shameful deprivation of liberty.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He goeth after her straightway,.... Or "suddenly" (g); and inconsiderately, giving himself no time to think of what would be the sad consequences of it;
as an ox goeth to the slaughter; as senseless and stupid as that; and as ignorant of the issue as that is, led by the butcher, as if it was going to a pasture, when it is going to the slaughter house. So such persons as are ensnared by harlots; they follow them in a view of pleasure, but it ends in ruin; if not in the loss of bodily life, by the revengeful husband or civil magistrate; yet in the destruction of their immortal souls;
or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; a drunken besotted fool, who, while he is leading to the stocks, is insensible whither he is going; but when he has been there awhile, and is come out of his drunken fit, then he is sensible of his punishment and his shame. Or, "as the stocks are for the correction of a fool" (h): or, as a man goes to "the stocks, to the correction of a fool" (i); so the young man went after the harlot: or, as "one fettered" (k), goes thither, bound hand and foot; he cannot help himself, nor avoid the shame. It denotes both the power of sin, there is no withstanding its allurements and blandishments, when once given way to, and the shame that attends or follows it. The Targum is,
"as a dog to a chain;''
and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions.
(g) "subito", Baynus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis. (h) "sicut compes ad castigationem stulti", Pagninus, Montanus, Baynus. (i) "Abiens post cam, quasi veniens ad compedes ad castigationem stultorum", Gejerus. (k) "Velut compeditus", Junius & Tremellius; "velut in compede ibat", Michaelis; "tanquam constricto ad pedes capite", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. straightway—quickly, either as ignorant of danger, or incapable of resistance.
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