1 My son, attend to my wisdom,
And bow your ear to my discernment:
2 That you may regard discretion,
And that your lips may keep knowledge. (Heb. infinitive = to guard deep counsels and knowledge. Let them keep guard over your lips. Cp. Jas. 3:8: "the tongue can no man tame".)
3 For the lips of a strange woman (2 words are used for "strange" and "stranger': one, Heb. zur, an apostate Israelite woman gone over to idolatrous impurities of heathen religion; the other nakar, a purely foreign woman of a similar character. The danger is religious rather than moral. Hence here it is zur. See 2:16) distill honey, (The invitation of religious idolatry suit the taste of the natural man.)
And her mouth is smoother than oil:
4 But her end is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
Her steps take hold on the grave.
6 So that she finds not the level path of life,
Her ways are unstable and she knows it not.
7 Hear me now therefore, O you sons,
And depart not from the sayings of my mouth.
8 Remove you way far from her,
And come not near the entrance of her house:
9 Lest you give your honor to others,
And your years (put for what happens in them) to the cruel:
10 Lest strangers be filled with your wealth (put for what is produced by it);
And your labors (put for what is produced by it) be in the house of a foreiner;
11 And you mourn at the last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,
12 And say, 'How have I hated instruction,
And my heart despised reproof;
13 And have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to them that instructed me!
14 I in a little while became as an evil man
In the midst of the congregation and assembly.'
15 Drink waters out of your own cistern,
And running waters out of your own well.
16 Let not your fountains (i.e. your own wife. Cp. Song 4:12) be dispersed abroad,
As [your] division of waters (i.e. your garden irrigation channels) in the open places.
17 Let them be only your own,
And not strangers' with you. (See v.3)
18 Let your fountain (i.e. your own wife) be blessed:
And get your joy with the wife of your youth.
19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And be you ravished always with her love.
20 And why will you, my son, be ravished with an apostate woman,
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He ponders all his goings. (Illustrations: Cain [ Gen. 4:5,6]; Babel's builders [Gen. 11:4-7]; Sodom [Gen. 18:21,&c.]; Uzzah [2 Sam. 6:6,7. 1 Chron. 15:13. Num. 4:15]; David [2 Sam. 12:9]; Baasha [1 Kings 15:29. Cp. 16:7]; Ahab [1 Kings 21:19]; Belshazzar [Dan. 5:22-28]; Nathanael [John 1:48]; The Seven Assemblies [Rev. 2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15]. Cp. 1 Sam. 16:7.)
22 His own iniquities shall entrap a lawless man himself,
And he shall be held with the cords of his sins. (Illustrations: Saul [1 Sam. 18:8,9. Cp. 24:16,17; 26:21; 28:5-20]; Jerusalem [Jer. 2:16-19. Ezek. 22:31]; Ahithophel [2 Sam. 17:23]; Judas [John 12:6. Matt. 26:47-49];. Cp. Prov. 23:39,35.)
23 He shall die without instruction;
And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. (Illustration: Saul [1 Chron. 10:13,14.)