Proverbs 7:26
For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
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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.The house of the harlot is now likened to a field of battle strewn with the corpses of the many slain. 26, 27. Even the mightiest fail to resist her deathly allurements. Strong men; men that excel others, either,

1. In bodily strength, upon which they presume, which yet is wasted, and by degrees ruined, by these courses. Or,

2. In wisdom, and fortitude, and resolution; whereby he implies how much more necessary it is for a weak and foolish young man to use all possible care and diligence to avoid this mischief.

For she hath cast down many wounded,.... Wounded in their name, character, and reputation; in their bodies by diseases; and in their souls by guilt, shame, and horror, through a compliance with her sinful lusts: these she "cast down" from the honours they were possessed of, from the health they enjoyed, and from the peace and tranquillity of mind they formerly felt within them. And not a single person, as the young man instanced in, or a few only, but "many"; great multitudes, hundreds and thousands, and those not weak, and foolish, and inconstant, as he might be thought to be; but such as were "great" (m) and mighty, as the word also signifies; men of great riches, and wisdom, and courage; as soldiers (n), mighty men of war, such as wound and kill others; which seems the true sense of the word here used: and therefore none ought to trust in themselves, nor trust themselves in her company, nor in the least decline to her ways; and especially such as are weak and unskilful, and ignorant of her devices, as the "children" here addressed;

yea, many strong men have been slain by her; men famous for martial exploits, as Samson and others, have been overcome by her: some of great fortitude of mind have not been able to withstand her, she has prevailed over them; and others of robust constitutions have been weakened by diseases, contracted through incontinency with her; and some have suffered death by her means, either from her husband, or her gallants, or the civil magistrate: and of these there have been "innumerable" instances; so the word (o) for "strong men" sometimes signifies; and so it is here rendered in the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "and innumerable are they whom she has slain". All the world have wondered after the whore of Rome; kings of the earth and mighty men have committed fornication with her; high and low, rich and poor, have been ruined by her; thousands have gone to hell by her means; and some of the sycophants of Rome have even said, that if the pope of Rome should send thousands to hell, of which they seem themselves to be conscious, no one should say to him, What dost thou?

(m) "multos magnosque", Gejerus. (n) See Dr. Kennicott's Dissert. 1. p. 110. (o) Sept. so Arab. "numerosi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Amama, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens; so Bootius, Animadv. l. 4. c. 11. s. 2.

For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many {i} strong men have been slain by her.

(i) Neither wit nor strength can deliver them who fall into the hands of the harlot.

26. many strong] This is the rendering of a single Heb. word, which may mean mighty, as it usually does, or (comp. the use of the verb in Psalm 40:5; Psalm 40:12 [Hebrews 6, 13]) many. Lit. mighty ones, or numerous ones, are all her slain, i.e. the whole number of those slain by her amount to a mighty host, as it is happily rendered in R.V. The thought is not so much of the individual strength of her victims as of their great number, as the parallelism indicates: ἀναρίθμητοί εἰσιν οὒς πεφόνευκε, “numberless are they whom she has slain,” LXX.

Verse 26. - For she hath east down many wounded. Delitzsch, "For many are the slain whom she hath caused to fall." The harlot marks her course with ruined souls, as a ruthless conqueror leaves a field of battle strewn with corpses. Yea, many strong (atsum) men have been slain by her. One thinks of Samson and David and Solomon, the victims of illicit love, and suffering for it. Vulgate, et fortissimi quique interfecti sunt ab ea. But the Septuagint and many moderns take atsum in the sense of "numerous," as Psalm 35:18; ἀναρίθμητοι, "innumerable are her slain," The former interpretation seems preferable, and avoids tautology. Proverbs 7:26The admonition, having its motive in that which goes before, is now founded on the emphatic finale:

26 For many are the slain whom she hath caused to fall,

     And many are her slain.

27 A multiplicity of ways to help is her house,

     Going down to the chambers of death.

The translation "for many slain has she laid low" (Syr., Targ., Jerome, Luther) is also syntactically possible; for רבּים can be placed before its substantive after the manner of the demonstratives and numerals (e.g., Nehemiah 9:28, cf. אחד, Sol 4:9), and the accentuation which requires two servants (the usual two Munachs) to the Athnach appears indeed thus to construe it. It is otherwise if רבים here meant magni (thus e.g., Ralbag, and recently Bertheau), and not multi; but רבים and עצמים stand elsewhere in connection with each other in the signification many and numerous, Psalm 35:18; Joel 2:2; Micah 4:3. "Her slain" are those slain by her; the part. pass. is connected with the genitive of the actor, e.g., Proverbs 9:18; cf. (Arab.) ḳatyl âlmḥabbt, of one whom love kills (Fl.). With Proverbs 7:27 cf. Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 9:18. In 27a, בּיתהּ is not equivalent to בביתה after Proverbs 8:2, also not elliptical and equivalent to דרכי ביתה; the former is unnecessary, the latter is in no case established by Psalm 45:7; Ezra 10:13, nor by Deuteronomy 8:15; 2 Kings 23:17 (see, on the other hand, Philippi's Status Constructus, pp. 87-93). Rightly Hitzig has: her house forms a multiplicity of ways to hell, in so far as adultery leads by a diversity of ways to hell. Similarly the subject and the predicate vary in number, Proverbs 16:25; Psalm 110:3; Job 26:13; Daniel 9:23, and frequently. If one is once in her house, he may go in this or in that way, but surely his path is to destruction: it consists of many steps to hell, such as lead down (דרך, fem. Isaiah 37:34, masc. Isaiah 30:21) to the extreme depths of death (cf. Job 9:9, "chambers of the south" equals its remotest regions veiling themselves in the invisible); for חדר (Arab. khiddr) is the part of the tent or the house removed farthest back, and the most private (Fl.). These חדרי־מות, cf. עמקי שׁאול, Proverbs 9:18, approach to the conception of גּיהנּם, which is afterwards distinguished from שאול.

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