Hear me now therefore, O you children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE). Eighth Discourse:—Against Adultery, and in Praise of Marriage (Proverbs 5:7-23).
(7) Hear me now therefore, O ye children.—In this verse Solomon apparently ceases to report the words of his father, and resumes his speech in his own person.
and depart not from the words of my mouth; the warnings, directions, and exhortations given to avoid the whorish woman; the doctrines of Christ, the truths of the Gospel: these should not be forsaken, but abode by; and also his precepts and ordinances, which should be closely attended unto.Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. ye children] Rather, my sons, R.V., as the same Heb. word is rendered throughout these exhortations.Verses 7-14. - The ruinous consequences of indulgence in illicit pleasures. Verse 7. - The subject of which the teacher is heating demands the utmost attention of youth. Enough, it might be supposed, had been said to deter from intercourse with the "strange woman." She has been portrayed in her real colours, plunging recklessly into ruin herself, and carrying her victims with her; deceitful, full of intrigues, neither walking in nor knowing the way of life. But the warning is amplified and made more impressive. There is another side of the picture, the complete bodily and temporal ruin of her victim. The argumentum ad hominem is applied. There is an appeal to personal interest in the details which follow, which ought not to fail in holding youth back. The form of the address which is repeated is very similar to that in Proverbs 7:24. The plural form, "O ye children" (cf. Proverbs 4:1 and Proverbs 7:24), immediately passes into the singular for the reason mentioned before, that, though the address is made to all, yet each individually is to apply it to himself. Proverbs 4:24, Proverbs 4:25, Proverbs 4:26-27 :
1 My son, attend unto my wisdom,
And incline thine ear to my prudence,
2 To observe discretion,
And that thy lips preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the adulteress distil honey,
And smoother than oil is her mouth;
4 But her end is bitter like wormwood,
Sharper than a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
Her steps cleave to Hades.
6 She is far removed from entering the way of life,
Her steps wander without her observing it.
Wisdom and understanding increase with the age of those who earnestly seek after them. It is the father of the youth who here requests a willing ear to his wisdom of life, gained in the way of many years' experience and observation. In Proverbs 5:2 the inf. of the object is continued in the finitum, as in Proverbs 2:2, Proverbs 2:8. מזמּות (vid., on its etymon under Proverbs 1:4) are plans, projects, designs, for the most part in a bad sense, intrigues and artifices (vid., Proverbs 24:8), but also used of well-considered resolutions toward what is good, and hence of the purposes of God, Jeremiah 23:20. This noble sense of the word מזמּה, with its plur., is peculiar to the introductory portion (chap. 1-9) of the Book of Proverbs. The plur. means here and at Proverbs 8:12 (placing itself with חכמות and תּבוּנות, vid., p. 68) the reflection and deliberation which is the presupposition of well-considered action, and שׁמר is thus not otherwise than at Proverbs 19:8, and everywhere so meant, where it has that which is obligatory as its object: the youth is summoned to careful observation and persevering exemplification of the quidquid agas, prudenter agas et respice finem. In 2b the Rebia Mugrash forbids the genitive connection of the two words דּעתו שׂפתיך; we translate: et ut scientiam labia tua tueantur. Lips which preserve knowledge are such as permit nothing to escape from them (Psalm 17:3) which proceeds not from the knowledge of God, and in Him of that which is good and right, and aims at the working out of this knowledge; vid., Khler on Malachi 2:7. שׂפתיך (from שׂפה, Arab. shafat, edge, lip, properly that against which one rubs, and that which rubs itself) is fem., but the usage of the language presents the word in two genders (cf. 3a with Proverbs 26:23). Regarding the pausal ינצרוּ for יצּרוּ, vid., under Malachi 3:1; Malachi 2:11. The lips which distil the honey of enticement stand opposite to the lips which distil knowledge; the object of the admonition is to furnish a protection against the honey-lips.
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