Proverbs 6:27-35

Proverbs 6:27‑35  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Still more emphatic is the warning here given, which deals with a more aggravated and destructive evil. It is not now only the evil woman, or a strange woman, or a whorish woman. It is the wife of another as in the last clause; and the language rises in severity, for marriage is a divine tie, and God hates its breach and judges those who break it.
“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his garments not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? So he that goeth in to his neighbor's wife: whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. They do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; and [if] he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. Whoso committeth adultery with a woman is void of understanding; he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and contempt shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy [is] the rage of a man, and he will not spare in the day of vengeance; he will not regard any ransom, neither will he rest content though thou multipliest gifts” (vers. 27-35).
There is a baseness peculiar to itself, even among the dissolute, for a man to tamper with the wife of another. But lust is insidious on either side; and little beginnings, where that relationship subsists, are apt to go on to great evils. For Satan acts on the flesh, and leads souls which forget God's presence to venture in the vain hope of escape. But can a man take fire to his bosom, and his garments not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched? That corruption will not escape the fire of human vengeance: how much less of divine judgment? Any approach, however small or passing, is dangerous and evil.
The inspired writer contrasts it with stealing even, though men are extremely sensitive of any loss in their property. If dire need were evident, men extenuate a thief when he steals a little rather than perish of starvation. But what is so senseless, no less than abominably sinful, as adulterous iniquity? Pity mingles with blame in the one case; but nothing can excuse the other. It is the foulest dishonor of the husband; it is the life-long ruin of the entrapped wife; it is the shame of the house, and of its connections; it is the abhorrence of God Who judges it. And what must be his resentment who is chiefly wronged? No wonder that the evil-doer is said to lack understanding or heart, and to destroy his own soul. The law laid down fines fourfold, fivefold, and sevenfold, for rising guilt in stealing; but death Moses commanded in Jehovah's name for adultery. If Christendom, pretending to judge the world, betrays its wicked levity, by a lenient sentence, it tells its own tale of corruption, which will draw down the strong hand of the Lord God in judgment.
Even in this world a wound and dishonor will the adulterer get, and his reproach shall not be wiped away, spite of the heathenism which dared to consecrate this enormity and every other; spite of Christendom which did once adopt heathen ways and seems now returning to them even where Protestant zeal once chased them out in a large measure, though never up to the true Christian standard. Here it regards man's feelings. “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.” The overture of any ransom is vain; to give many gifts contents not him who cannot rest without wrong's condign punishment.