Proverbs 7:22
He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
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(22) Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks.—This sense is only gained by a transposition of the original. It has been attempted to translate it literally “and as if in fetters to where one corrects fools,” i.e., to prison.

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.As a fool ... - literally, "As a fetter to the correction of a fool," the order of which is inverted in the King James Version The Septuagint, followed by the Syriac Version, has another reading, and interprets the clause: "As a dog, enticed by food, goes to the chain that is to bind him, so does the youth go to the temptress." None of the attempts of commentators to get a meaning out of the present text are in any degree satisfactory. 22. straightway—quickly, either as ignorant of danger, or incapable of resistance. Straightway; without delay and consideration.

As an ox to the slaughter; either being drawn and driven to it; or going to it securely, as if it were going to a good pasture.

As a fool to the correction of the stocks; or, which is more agreeable to the order of the words in the Hebrew text, as one in fetters, or bound with fetters, to the correction of a fool, i.e. to receive such correction or punishment as belongs to fools; which may imply either,

1. That he hath no more sense of the shame and mischief which he is bringing upon himself than a fool. Or,

2. That he can no more resist the temptation, nor avoid the danger, than a man fast tied with chains or fetters can free himself, although his be a moral and voluntary, and not a natural impotency.

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.

He goeth after her quickly, as an {g} ox goeth to the slaughter, or {h} as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

(g) Which thinking he goes to the pasture goes willingly to his own destruction.

(h) Who goes cheerfully, not knowing that he will be chastised.

22. straightway] “Heb. suddenly,” A.V. and R.V. margins. He has been as one hesitating on the brink. Now he takes the sudden plunge. “Here is evidently a stroke in the picture of the profoundest psychological truth.” Lange, Comm.

as a fool to the correction of the stocks] This rendering is reached by transposing the Heb. words fool and stocks. The rendering of R.V. text, as fetters to the correction of the fool, is literal, and is taken to mean, as senselessly and as certainly as the dumb instruments of his punishment dog the steps of the fool. The alternative of R.V. marg., as one in fetters, is admissible in grammar, but loses the point of comparison, viz. his entire oblivion of consequences. The reading of the LXX., ὥσπερ κύων ἐπὶ δεσμούς, “as a dog to his chain,” keeps all three comparisons to animals, and at the same time favours the suggestion that the text is corrupt.

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. Proverbs 7:22What followed: -

22 So he goes after her at once

     As an ox which goeth to the slaughter-house,

     And as one bereft of reason to the restraint of fetters,

23 As a bird hastens to the net,

     Without knowing that his life is at stake -

     Till the arrow pierces his liver.

The part. הולך (thus to be accentuated according to the rule in Baer's Torath Emeth, p. 25, with Mercha to the tone-syllable and Mahpach to the preceding open syllable) preserves the idea of the fool's going after her. פּתאם (suddenly) fixes the point, when he all at once resolves to betake himself to the rendezvous in the house of the adulteress, now a κεπφωθείς, as the lxx translates, i.e., as we say, a simpleton who has gone on the lime-twig. He follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter-house, unconscious that he is going thither to be slaughtered; the lxx ungrammatically destroying the attributive clause: ὥσπερ δὲ βοῦς ἐπὶ σφαγὴν ἄγεται. The difficulties in וּכעכס (thus punctuated, after Kimchi, with a double Segol, and not וכעכס, as is frequently the case) multiply, and it is not to be reconciled with the traditional text. The ox appears to require another beast as a side-piece; and accordingly the lxx, Syr., and Targ. find in עכס a dog (to which from אויל they also pick out איּל, a stag), Jerome a lamb (et quasi agnus כבשׂ), Rashi a venomous serpent (perhaps after ἔχις?), Lwenstein and Malbim a rattlesnake (נחשׁ מצלצל after עכּס); but all this is mere conjecture. Symmachus' σκιρτῶν (ἐπὶ δεσμῶν ἄφρων) is without support, and, like the favourite rendering of Schelling, et sicut saliens in vinculum cervus (איל), is unsuitable on account of the unsemitic position of the words. The noun עכס, plur. עכסים, signifies, Isaiah 3:18, an anklet as a female ornament (whence Isaiah 3:16 the denom. עכּס, to make a tinkling of the anklets). In itself the word only means the fetter, compes, from עכס, Arab. 'akas, 'akash, contrahere, constringere (vid., Fleischer under Isaiah 59:5); and that it can also be used of any kind of means of checking free movement, the Arab. 'ikâs, as the name of a cord with which the camel is made fast by the head and forefeet, shows. With this signification the interpretation is: et velut pedic ( equals וכבעכס) implicatus ad castigationem stulti, he follows her as if (bound) with a fetter to the punishment of the fool, i.e., of himself (Michaelis, Fleischer, and others). Otherwise Luther, who first translated "in a fetter," but afterwards (supplying ל, not ב): "and as if to fetters, where one corrects fools." But the ellipsis is harsh, and the parallelism leads us to expect a living being in the place of עכס. Now since, according to Gesenius, עכס, fetter, can be equivalent to a fettered one neither at Isaiah 17:5; Isaiah 21:17, nor Proverbs 23:28 (according to which עכס must at least have an active personal signification), we transpose the nouns of the clause and write וכאויל אל־מוּסר עכס, he follows her as a fool (Psychol. p. 292) to correction (restraint) with fetters; or if אויל is to be understood not so much physically as morally, and refers to self-destroying conduct (Psalm 107:7): as a madman, i.e., a criminal, to chains. The one figure denotes the fate into which he rushes, like a beast devoid of reason, as the loss of life; and the other denotes the fate to which he permits himself to be led by that woman, like a criminal by the officer, as the loss of freedom and of honour.

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