Proverbs 7:7
And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
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(7) Among the simple ones.—He was not yet vicious, only empty-headed.

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.Simple - In the bad sense of the word (Proverbs 1:22 note); "open" to all impressions of evil, empty-headed and empty-hearted; lounging near the house of ill-repute, not as yet deliberately purposing to sin, but placing himself in the way of it at a time when the pure in heart would seek their home. There is a certain symbolic meaning in the picture of the gathering gloom Proverbs 7:9. Night is falling over the young man's life as the shadows deepen. 7. simple—as in Pr 1:4.

void of, &c.—(Compare Pr 6:32).

Whose strength and heat made him most subject to lustful impressions, and who wanted judgment and experience as well as grace to keep him from such courses.

And beheld among the simple ones,.... Such as are easily persuaded and drawn into sin; simple and foolish in things moral and spiritual, and not arrived to any ripeness of understanding in things natural and civil; have seen but little of the world, and know less of religion, and are easily imposed upon and carried away with the company they keep; such simple foolish creatures are the followers of antichrist; see 2 Timothy 3:6;

I discerned among the youths; or "children" (d); at least in understanding, the children Jezebel, Revelation 2:23;

a young man void of understanding; or "wanting a heart" (e); to know and fear the Lord, and not in the way to learn and improve; but in company like himself, and so in a fair way to continue foolish and simple, and destitute of the true understanding of things, and exposed to the snares delusions of such that lie in wait to deceive.

(d) "inter filios", Pagninus, &c. (e) "carentem corde", Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "destitutum corde", Schultens.

And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
7. simple] See Proverbs 1:4; Proverbs 1:22, notes.

Verse 7. - And beheld among the simple ones. Though it was night (ver. 9), there was light enough from moon or stars or from illuminated houses to show what was passing. "The simple" are the inexperienced, who are easily led astray (see on Proverbs 1:4). Looking forth into the street on the throng of young and thoughtless persons passing to and fro, among them I discerned... a young man void of understanding; a fool, who, without any deliberate intention of sinning, put himself in the way of temptation, played on the borders of transgression. The way of escape was before him, as it is in all temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13), but he would not take it. Such a one may well be said to lack understanding, or heart, as the Hebrew expresses it (Proverbs 6:32, where see note). Proverbs 7:7How necessary it is for the youth to guard himself by the help of wisdom against the enticements of the wanton woman, the author now shows by a reference to his own observation.

6 For through the window of my house,

   From behind the lattice I looked out;

7 Then saw I among the simple ones,

   Discerned among the young people, a youth devoid of understanding.

כּי refers indeed to the immediately following clause, yet it actually opens up the whole following exemplification. The connection with Proverbs 7:5 would be closer if instead of the extended Semitic construction it were said: nam quum ...prospicerem vidi, etc. חלּון (from חלל, to bore through) is properly a place where the wall is bored through. אשׁנב .hguor (from שׁנב equals Arab. shaniba, to be agreeable, cool, fresh) is the window-lattice or lattice-window, i.e., lattice for drawing down and raising up, which keeps off the rays of the sun. נשׁקף signifies primarily to make oneself long in order to see, to stretch up or out the neck and the head, καραδοκεῖν, Arab. atall, atal'a, and tatall'a of things, imminere, to overtop, to project, to jut in; cf. Arab. askaf of the ostrich, long and bent, with respect to the neck stretching it up, sakaf, abstr. crooked length. And בּעד is thus used, as in Arab. duna, but not b'ad, is used: so placed, that one in relation to the other obstructs the avenue to another person or thing: "I looked forth from behind the lattice-window, i.e., with respect to the persons or things in the room, standing before the lattice-window, and thus looking out into the open air" (Fleischer). That it was far in the night, as we learn at Proverbs 7:9, does not contradict this looking out; for apart from the moon, and especially the lighting of the streets, there were star-lit nights, and to see what the narrator saw there was no night of Egyptian darkness. But because it was night 6a is not to be translated: I looked about among those devoid of experience (thus e.g., Lwenstein); but he saw among these, observed among the youths, who thus late amused themselves without, a young man whose want of understanding was manifest from what further happened. Bertheau: that I might see, is syntactically impossible. The meaning of וארא is not determined by the אבינה following, but conversely אבינה stands under the operation of ו ( equals אבינה, Nehemiah 13:7), characterizing the historic aorist. Regarding פּתי, vid., at Proverbs 1:4. בּנים is the masc. of בּנות, Arab. benât in the meaning maiden. בבּנים has in correct texts, according to the rules of the accents, the ב raphatum.

(Note: Regarding the Targ. of Proverbs 7:6-7, vid., Perles, Etymologische Studien, 1871, p. 9.)

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