Proverbs 5:10
Lest strangers be filled with your wealth; and your labors be in the house of a stranger;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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!Strangers - The whole gang of those into whose hands the slave of lust yields himself. The words are significant as showing that the older punishment of death Deuteronomy 22:21; Ezekiel 16:38; John 8:5 was not always inflicted, and that the detected adulterer was exposed rather to indefinite extortion. Besides loss of purity and peace, the sin, in all its forms, brings poverty. 10. wealth—literally, "strength," or the result of it.

labours—the fruit of thy painful exertions (Ps 127:2). There may be a reference to slavery, a commuted punishment for death due the adulterer (De 22:22).

Strangers; not only the strange women themselves, but bawds, panders, and other adulterers, who are in league with them.

Thy labours; wealth gotten by thy labours. Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth,.... The adulteress, her husband, children, friends, bawds, and such like persons she is concerned with; these share the wealth of the adulterer, abound with it, and live profusely on it, until he is stripped quite bare and destitute: or, "with thy strength"; See Gill on Proverbs 5:9. Jarchi interprets it of the prophets of Baal, that exact money by their falsehoods; it may well enough be applied to the fornicating merchants of Rome, who wax rich through the abundance of her delicacies and adulteries, Revelation 18:3; persons, strangers indeed to God and Christ, and all true religion;

and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; that is, wealth gotten by hard labour, with toil and sweat, grief and trouble, as the word used (q) signifies; and yet, after all, not enjoyed by himself and his lawful wife and children, but by the strange woman and her accomplices, and spent in maintaining whores, bawds, and bastards; hence the fable of the Harpies eating and spoiling the victuals of Phineus, who were no other than harlots that consumed his substance (r): and sometimes they are carried into a strange country, and possessed by foreigners. These are the wretched effects and miserable consequences of adultery, and therefore by all means to be shunned and avoided. Jarchi understands it of the house of idolatry, or an idol's temple; and everyone knows what vast riches are brought into the temples or churches of the Papists by idolatry.

(q) "dolores tui", Montanus, Cocceius, Michaelis. (r) Heraclitus de Incredibil. c. 3.

Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy {f} labours be in the house of a stranger;

(f) The goods gotten by your travel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. wealth] The word may mean either that which a man acquires, his wealth (A.V. text, R.V. marg.), or that by which he acquires it, his strength (R.V. text, A.V. marg.) of mind and body. Genesis 49:3 would seem to favour the latter rendering here. σῆς ἰσχύος, LXX., viribus tuis, Vulg. The suggestion of Ewald and others that these verses (9, 10) point to the commutation of the capital sentence into one of slavery, whether voluntarily undergone by the adulterer to escape death, or exacted by the injured husband, and that thus the guilty man’s years would be given unto the cruel, and his labours would be in the house of an alien, is not supported by any proof that such commutation was practised. On the contrary the holy law (Deuteronomy 22:22) appears to nave been strictly maintained (Ezekiel 16:38; Ezekiel 16:40; John 8:5); and in Proverbs 6:34-35 we are expressly told that the husband will accept no compensation. While escaping, probably because undetected, the penalty of death, the victim of lust would like the prodigal son “devour his living with harlots,” and so come to be in want and misery.Verse 10. - Another temporal consequence of, and deterrent against, a life of profligacy. Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger. The margin reads, "thy strength" for "thy wealth," but the text properly renders the original koakh, which means "substance," "wealth," "riches" - the youth's possessions in money and property (Delitzsch). The primary meaning of the word is "strength" or "might," as appears from the verb kakhakh, "to exert one's self," from which it is derived, but the parallel atsabeyka, "thy toils," rendered "thy labours," determines its use in the secondary sense here. Compare the similar passage in Hosea 7:9, "Strangers have devoured his strength [koakh, i.e. ' his possessions'], and he knoweth it not" (see also Job 6:22). Koakh is the concrete product resulting from the abstract strength or ability when brought into action. Thy labours (atsabeyka); i.e. thy toils, the product of laborious toil, that which you have gotten by the labour of your hands, and earned with the sweat of your brow. Fleischer compares the Italian i miri sudori, and the French mes sueurs. The singular etsev signifies "heavy toilsome labour," and the plural (atsavim, "labours," things done with toil, and so the idea passes to the resultant of the labour. Compare the very similar expression in Psalm 127:2, lekhem naatsavim, equivalent to "bread obtained by toilsome labour;" Authorized Version, "the bread of sorrows." The Authorized Version properly supplies the verb "be" against those (e.g. Holden et alli) who join on "thy labours" to the previous verb "be filled," as an accusative, and render, "and with thy labours in the house of a stranger." So also the LXX. and the Vulgate, "and thy labours come" (ἕλθωσι, LXX.) or "be" (sint, Vulgate) "to the house of strangers" (εἰς οἴκους ἀλλοτρίων) or, "in a strange house" (in aliena domo). In the latter case the Vulgate is wrong, as nok'ri in the phrase beyth nok'ri is always personal (Delitzsch), and should be rendered, as in the Authorized Version, "in the house of a stranger." The meaning of the verse is that a life of impurity transfers the profligate's substance, his wealth and possessions, to others, who will be satiated at his expense, and, being strangers, are indifferent to his ruin. In Proverbs 5:4 the reverse of the sweet and smooth external is placed opposite to the attraction of the seducer, by whose influence the inconsiderate permits himself to be carried away: her end, i.e., the last that is experienced of her, the final consequence of intercourse with her (cf. Proverbs 23:32), is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. The O.T. language regards bitterness and poison as related both in meaning and in reality; the word לענה (Aq. ἀψίνθιον equals wormwood) means in Arab. the curse. חרב פּיּות is translated by Jerome after the lxx, gladius biceps; but פּיפיּות means double-edged, and חרב שׁני פיות (Judges 3:16) means a doubled-edged sword. Here the plur. will thus poetically strengthen the meaning, like ξίφος πολύστομον, that which devours, as if it had three or four edges (Fl.). The end in which the disguised seduction terminates is bitter as the bitterest, and cutting as that which cuts the most: self-condemnation and a feeling of divine anger, anguish of heart, and destructive judgment. The feet of the adulteress go downward to death. In Hebr. this descendentes ad mortem is expressed by the genitive of connection; מות is the genitive, as in יורדי בור, Proverbs 1:12; elsewhere the author uses יורדות אל, Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 2:18. Death, מות (so named from the stretching of the corpse after the stiffness of death), denotes the condition of departure from this side as a punishment, with which is associated the idea of divine wrath. In שׁאול (sinking, abyss, from שׁאל, R. של, χαλᾶν, vid., under Isaiah 5:14), lie the ideas of the grave as a place of corruption, and of the under-world as the place of incorporeal shadow-life. Her steps hold fast to Hades is equivalent to, they strive after Hades and go straight to it; similar to this is the Arab. expression, hdhâ âldrb yâkhdh âly âlbld: this way leads straight forward to the town (Fl.).
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