Proverbs 5:1-14

Proverbs 5:1‑14  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Listen from:
1. “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding.” I cannot too often awaken thine attention, (whoever thou art that puttest thy self under my instruction.) Especially in things of such moment as I am going to treat of: and therefore again I beseech thee, both to mind diligently, and to consider what I take to be true wisdom, and more than ordinary prudence.
2. “That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.” Which if thou observest, it will make thee so skillfully and discreetly cautious, that thou shalt not only be able to preserve thy self from the most subtle and dangerous deceits; but upon occasion to advise others, and keep them from being cheated.
3. “For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.” As too many are by the arts of an harlot, from whom thou oughtest to estrange thy self as much as if she were not of the commonwealth of Israel: for she pretending the greatest love, allures inexperienced youth by her flattering speeches, and sweet voice perhaps and songs, wherewith she enchants them; and making them believe they shall taste nothing but the most delicious pleasures, her soft and smooth enticements slip down glibly into their unwary hearts, which are taken with her.
4. “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” But the beginning of this love is not so sweet, as the conclusion is bitter; and therefore think of both together, and believe what I now tell thee without making a trial: that after a short pleasure follows long pain, by the impairing men’s health, strength, estates, and credit; which they cannot reflect upon without trouble and vexation, and (if she do not quite destroy their reason) be filled with remorse of conscience and anguish of spirit: for, like a sword that cuts on both sides, she wounds both soul and body.
5. “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” In short, leads those that follow her to an untimely, shamefully, and miserable end: to have ever so little to do with her, is to approach to certain and inevitable destruction; not only here, but in another world.
6. “Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are movable, that thou canst not know them.” For though thou mayest think to make a retreat in time, thou wilt be deceived: she having more ways than thou canst ever know (winding and turning herself into a thousand shapes) to keep thee from so much as deliberating about thy return to a virtuous course of life.
7. “Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.” All which considered should incline those that read these things, to be obedient to me: who do not desire to restrain them from anything that will make them happy; but in tender affection advise them, not to be enticed by her flatteries to depart from those fatherly counsels, which out of mere kindness I give unto them.
8. “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house.” If all will not be governed by them, yet do thou, whose mind is awakened to attend unto me, wholly shun all familiarity with her; nay, so much as the least aspect towards her: avoid her as thou wouldst the plague; and be so far from going into her chamber, as not to come near the door of her house.
9. “Lest thou give thine honor unto others, and thy years unto the cruel.” Lest thou forfeit all the reputation, which perhaps thou hast got by worthy actions, and grow contemptible among thy friends and acquaintance; who see thee prefer the company of harlots, and their base attendants, before that of the most virtuous persons: and thereby thou lose, not only thy fame, but sacrifice the flower of thine age, and thy precious time, to one that doth not love thee a jot; but could see thee perish without any pity.
10. “Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labors be in the house of a stranger.” And that will be the issue of thy impurity; which wastes first the strength and vigor of thy body, and then thy money and estate, upon a strange family, perhaps of another country: whose filthy lusts are satiated at the expense of thy spirits; and whose house and table are furnished with the fruit of thy care and labors.
11. “And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed.” And when things are come to this pass, that thy credit, thy friends, thy precious time, thy health, thy estate, and the pleasure too are all gone, and nothing left but an heavy heart.