But he knows not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The dead are there.—Comp. on Proverbs 2:18.Knoweth not, i.e. he doth not consider it seriously, whereby he proveth his folly. Proverbs 7:26;
and that her guests are in the depths of hell; not only in the way to it, and on the brink of it, but in the very midst of it: there are many in hell she has invited into her house, and persuaded to turn in there, and commit fornication with her; and all that worship the beast, or commit spiritual adultery with the whore of Rome, will go down to perdition with her, and have their portion in hell fire, in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; which they do not consider that are drawn into her idolatrous practices, Revelation 14:9.But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. the dead] To enter her house is to quit the land of the living, and enter the dark abode of the “shades,” Heb. Rephaim. See Proverbs 2:18, note.
hell] Heb. Sheol. See Proverbs 9:5, note, and comp. Proverbs 2:18, Proverbs 7:27.
The LXX. after their manner, expand the warning here, and repeat the figure of “waters” and the “fountain,” Proverbs 5:15-18.Verse 18. - The deluded youth is supposed to be persuaded by the seductions of Folly and to enter her house. The writer, then, in a few weighty words, shows the terrible result of this evil compliance. But he knoweth not that the dead are there (see on Proverbs 2:18 and Proverbs 7:27). There are none "there," in her house, who can be said to be living, they are rephaim, shadowy ghosts of living men, or else demons of the nether world. The Septuagint and Vulgate, with a reference to Genesis 6:4, translate γηγενεῖς and gigantes. Her guests are in the depths of hell (sheol); Septuagint, "He knows not that giants perish at her side, and he meets with a trap of hell." The terrible warning may profitably be repeated more than once, It is like Christ's awful saying, three times enunciated, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). The LXX. has another paragraph at the end of this verse, which has no counterpart in the Hebrew: "But start away, delay not in the place, nor put thy name ['eye,' al.] by her; for thus shalt thou pass over (διαβήσῃ) strange water; but abstain thou from strange water, and of a strange spring drink not, that thou mayest live long, and years of life may be added to thee."
"If thou art wise, thou art wise for thyself;
And if thou mockest, thou alone shalt bear it."
The lxx, with the Syr., mangle the thought of 12a, for they translate: if thou art wise for thyself, so also thou wilt be wise for thy neighbour. The dat. commodi לך means that it is for the personal advantage of the wise to be wise. The contrast expressed by Job 22:2.: not profitable to God, but to thyself (Hitzig), is scarcely intended, although, so far as the accentuation is antithetic, it is the nearest. The perf. ולצתּ is the hypothetical; Gesen. 126, 1. To bear anything, viz., anything sinful (חטא or עון), is equivalent to, to atone for it, Job 34:2, cf. Numbers 9:13; Ezekiel 23:35. Also 12b is a contrast scarcely aimed at. Wisdom is its own profit to man; libertinism is its own disgrace. Man decides, whenever he prefers to be wise, or to be a mocker of religion and of virtue, regarding his own weal and woe. With this nota bene the discourse of Wisdom closes.
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