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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 7

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-5

Exhortation to Put God’s Word Before our Eyes - As in Proverbs 6:20-23 we are exhorted again in Proverbs 7:1-5 to place God’s Word before us in order to give us the wisdom and strength to avoid the temptations of the strange woman. But this time the emphasis is placed upon putting God’s Word before our “eyes” (Proverbs 7:2) and treat it as our “sister” (Proverbs 7:4) so that our eyes will not fall upon the adulteress. There is no other remedy that works in this area of our lives to protect us from sexual sins outside of placing God’s Word before us.

Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Proverbs 7:1 Word Study on “keep” - Strong says the Hebrew word “keep” ( שׁמַר ) (H8104) means, “to hedge about, i.e. to guard,” thus, “to protect to attend to.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 468 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “ keep 283, observe 46, heed 35, keeper 28, preserve 21, beware 9, Mark 8:0, watchman 8, wait 7, watch 7, regard 5, save 2, misc 9.”

Proverbs 7:1 Word Study on “lay up” Strong says the Hebrew word “lay up” ( צָפַן ) (H6845) means, “to hide, to hoard, to reserve,” and figuratively, “to deny.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 33 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “ hide 16, lay up 7, esteemed 1, lurk 1, hidden ones 1, privily 1, secret places 1, secret 1, misc 4.”

Proverbs 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Proverbs 7:2 “and my law as the apple of thine eye” Word Study on “apple” Strong says the Hebrew word “apple” ( אִישׁוֹן ) (H380) means, “the little man (of the eye), the pupil, the ball,” hence, “the middle (of night).” Strong says that this Hebrew word is a diminutive form of the word ( אִישׁ ) (H376), which means, “man.” Thus, the diminutive would literally mean, “the little man.” Therefore, it means the “pupil of the eye.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “ apple 3, obscure 2, black 1.”

Comments - Why would this term be used for the pupil of the eye? When you look into someone's eyes, you can see the image of yourself on a tiny scale in the pupil if the person's eyes. Thus, the term “the little man” is very descriptive of the image that is seen in the pupil. Therefore, when we look at someone, that person becomes “the little man of our eye.”

This Hebrew word also carries the meaning, “the middle of the night.” Note:

Proverbs 7:9, “In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:”

Proverbs 20:20, “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.”

Comments - The phrase “the apple of thine eye” implies something that is very dear and beloved to someone. Note other uses of this phrase in Scripture:

Deuteronomy 32:10, “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye .”

Psalms 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of the eye , hide me under the shadow of thy wings,”

Lamentations 2:18, “Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.”

Zechariah 2:8, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye .”

According to Strong, this phrase means, “the pupil of the eye.” We are taught in courses on self-defense that the most tender part of a person’s body to attack are the eyes. Once the eyes are injured, the victim will be able to flee from the attacker. Therefore, we are to watch over the Words of God as carefully as we watch over our eyes. Thus, the translation:

HNV, “Keep my mitzvot and live; Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye.”

However, this phrase can also mean that we are to allow the Words of God to become for us as the pupil of the eyes are to us. Our eyes give us light in order to guide our physical body. The Word of God should be our spiritual light that guides our souls. Thus, the translation:

BBE, “Keep my rules and you will have life; let my teaching be to you as the light of your eyes ;”

As we focus upon God’s Word, it becomes the “little man” in our pupils. Its image is imprinted and burned upon the table of our hearts.

Proverbs 7:2 Comments - The naïve young man is about to place his eyes upon the adulteress because has not been putting God’s Word before his eyes as the “apple of his eyes.” This is the first sense gate that the adulteress will attempt to enter in order to seduce the man.

Proverbs 7:3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Proverbs 7:3 “Bind them upon thy fingers” - Comments - Today, we teach the custom to bind a thread on the finger in order to remember to do something.

Proverbs 7:3 “write them upon the table of thine heart” - Comments - Note how the New Testament teaches this principle (2 Corinthians 3:3, Colossians 3:16).

2 Corinthians 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart .”

Colossians 3:16, “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom ; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Proverbs 7:3 Comments - In the Scriptures, the fingers represent the actions of the outer man, while the heart represents thoughts and intents of the inner man.

Under the Mosaic Law, God taught the children of Israel to literally bind passages of Scripture to their bodies in order to illustrate the diligent attention that one must give to His Word (Deuteronomy 6:8-9; Deuteronomy 11:18-20).

Deuteronomy 6:8-9, “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-20, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:”

Scripture References - Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 6:21, “Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.”

Proverbs 7:4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

Proverbs 7:4 Comments - We are to embrace wisdom as our dearest acquaintance. Wisdom is a feminine noun, hence, the feminine gender is used: sister, kinswoman. Note similar verses:

Job 17:14, “I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.”

Matthew 12:49-50, “And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

When we learn how to have true relationships with the opposite sex, we will not be easily guided and seduced into a lustful relationship with the adulteress.

In the local church, young men are in an environment in which they can learn to develop healthy relationships with sisters in the Lord. As a man learns to properly treat a woman, he prepares himself as a better husband, in that he knows how to treat his wife with respect and honour, and not out of lust and desire for self-satisfaction.

It is interesting to notice young converts in this struggle to learn how to behave themselves in God's house and how to treat people with honour and respect. It takes time, because a believer has to grow in this area if he was not taught it in the home.

Proverbs 7:5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

Verses 1-27

The Cunning Devises of the Adulteress The adulteress is cunning and crafty. She seeks the life of her victim. She has a goal and she knows how to reach her goal, which is to gain a man’s wealth even when it costs him his life. She knows that to get a man’s wealth, she has to first win his heart. If she can take his heart, she knows that he will give his strength to fulfill the passions of his heart. He will yield his strength to obtain the wealth that is needed to bring him the desires of his heart. Thus, she gets him to use his strength to yield his wealth to her. He will be brought to a piece of bread and even give his life when he is bound in service to the adulteress. She understands this principle because she has tested it from her youth. From the time that men started noticing her she started testing her boundaries and her power of seduction. She knows how to use her secret strength called seduction. With it she can force the strongest of men to yield their wealth to her.

Let us follow this procedure of seduction. Her goal is to win his heart by means of enticement and seduction. She must first gain control over his mind. With control over his mind she can control his will. With control over his will she will capture his heart, which will lead him to use his strength to gain his wealth. She will not turn loose until she has brought him to a piece of bread and taken away his life.

The battle begins with an attempt to enter the man’s mind. The entrances into the mind are through the five sense-gates of hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smelling. This is the way God created man. The adulteress first uses her tongue to get the attention of her victim, and by flattery she enter the sense-gate of hearing (Proverbs 6:24, Proverbs 7:10). Her words are loud and persistent (Proverbs 7:11) and she does not give up easily. She can then enter the sense-gate of the eyes by dressing to reveal her fleshly body (Proverbs 6:25). She knows from experience that few men will turn their eyes away from her fleshly beauty. This is why she must leave her domestic duties and go out into the streets (Proverbs 7:12). Once she has gained access to his mind through the sense gates of hearing and seeing, she grabs him to arouse the sense-gate of touch (Proverbs 7:13). With a bold kiss she enters the sense-gate of taste (Proverbs 7:13). Her perfume arouses the sense-gate of smell with which she has also prepared her bed (Proverbs 7:17). Thus, she has entered his five sense-gates: hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling.

With all five sense-gates aroused the simple man has no strength to resist. It takes a man of God to walk away from that situation. It takes a man who has already made the decision to say no in this situation. She has now captured his mind and moves into the next phase of seduction, which is reason. She speaks to him and convinces him with lying lips that he has captured her heart (Proverbs 7:14-15), when the opposite is actually true. With her persistence and her reason she forces him to yield (Proverbs 7:16-21). He loses his sense of reason and yields himself to her reason, becoming blind to the fact that it will cost him his life (Proverbs 7:22-23). She has now captured his mind. With time in the bed of adultery she intends on taking her victim into the next phase, which is to capture his heart. Once she has his heart, she will be able to direct his paths and ultimately gain his wealth.

In a similar way, wisdom asks for our hearts also. Because once wisdom has our hearts, she can lead us down the path that brings us blessings in every area of our lives.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Shame of Falling Prey to the Adulteress Proverbs 6:24-35

2. Exhortation to Put God’s Word Before our Eyes Proverbs 7:1-5

3. The Setting: Alluring the Five Sense-Gates Proverbs 7:6-13

4. Capturing the Mind Proverbs 7:14-21

5. Controlling the Heart Proverbs 7:22-23

6. Final Warning Proverbs 7:24-27

Verses 6-13

The Setting: Alluring the Five Sense-Gates Proverbs 7:6-13 describes the setting in which the story unfolds. The adulteress sees a young man in the street and immediately sets upon him to capture his five sense-gates.

Proverbs 7:6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

Proverbs 7:6 Comments - A casement is “a latticed window” ( Strong). Note:

Judges 5:28, “The mother of Sisera looked out at a window , and cried through the lattice , Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?”

Song of Solomon 2:9, “My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows , shewing himself through the lattice .”

Proverbs 7:7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

Proverbs 7:7 Comments - One characteristic of a youth is his inability to say no to peer pressure. A youth wants to please others to get their approval, but a mature person learns to say no to the ridiculous demands of others in order to do what is right.

Proverbs 7:8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

Proverbs 7:8 Comments Another characteristic of a simple-minded person is that he or she has not set boundaries around his life. This young man probably knew she lived in that house, but he told himself that he was strong than her and could resist her temptations. He underestimated the power of seduction.

Application Today, we should give our children clear boundaries of what they can do and where they can go and how they can and cannot behave. We should nurture their Christian growth, while helping them to contruct healthy boundaries by their own choices. A young, immature Christian without a sense of boundaries will wander down the wrong street and be seduced as easily as a non-believer. Both have not boundaries and endanger themselves.

Proverbs 7:9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

Proverbs 7:9 Comments Darkness gives an individual a false sense of not been seen by others, of being able to sin unnoticed. She knew that a person is more likely to yield to sin at night because they think that no one will know.

Illustration Living in the mission field, I often see Americans or Europeans visiting Africa and looking for a boy friend or girl friend, doing things that they would not do in their home town because no one is watching.

Proverbs 7:10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Proverbs 7:10 Comments - The harlot is dressed to attract the attention of young men. She wants to seduce by entering the sense-gate of his eyes. She may act innocent, but her heart is subtle and crafty. Today, we would use the phrase “street smart” instead of “subtil of heart.”

Proverbs 7:11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

Proverbs 7:11 Comments The woman who is not satisfied with her home, looking for a party, a new person with which to have a relationship, no commitments and irresponsible at home, restless, rebellious of authority, these are the characteristics of harlotry.

With her loud mouth, the harlot enters the second sense-gate of the naive young man, his ears.

Proverbs 7:12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

Proverbs 7:11-12 Comments Neglecting Domestic Duties - I have seen wives who spend their days outside the home look for entertainment. They neglect their domestic duties for sensual, foolish pleasures. She is loud and noisy because she wants to get the man’s attention with her words. She attempts to enter the sense-gate of his ears.

Proverbs 7:13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

Proverbs 7:13 “and with an impudent face said unto him” - Comments - And impudent face is shamelessly and bold. It is the opposite of shamefacedness (1 Timothy 2:9).

1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”

Proverbs 7:13 Comments - She has gained access to the man’s eyes by her seductive dress and gained access into his ears by her loud talk. Now she touches him in order to arouse his sense of touch and she kisses him to arouse the sense of taste. Her body is probably perfumed to arouse the sense of smell. Thus, she is attempting to seduce the man by arousing all five of his sense-gates.

Illustration - During my first year as a Seminary student (1980-81), I went out on the streets of Fort Worth with other students to hand out Gospel tracts and to witness. I remember one Friday night in the area of town called “Cowtown,” I was handing out tracts and a prostitute wrapped her arms around my neck and was about to kiss me. I quick pushed her back and began to witness to the group of people with her. Surely this verse accurately describes the behavior of the adulteress woman.

Verses 14-21

Capturing the Mind - After she gets the man’s attention by arousing his five sense-gates (Proverbs 7:10-13) she then has access to his mind (Proverbs 7:14-21). She now uses reason in an attempt to gain access to his heart. She stimulates his imagination in order to manipulate his reason. This is because our reason follows our imagination. If she can just get him into her bed and spend time with him, she knows that she can win his heart over to her and bring him into bondage with his passion for her. She gains control over his mind in the street, but she wins his heart in the bed. This is why she had prepared her bed so carefully. For this is where the final and most decisive part of her seduction will take place. Once she captures his heart, she gains access to his strength, which will yield up its wealth to her; for this material gain was her destination.

Just as wisdom teaches us that we must first renew our mind and let God’s Word be hidden in our hearts so that we have the wisdom to direct our bodies to walk down the path of life and godliness, so does the adulteress follow the same method of capturing her victim. She first enters his sense gates and captures his mind and imagination on the street. She then captures his heart in the bed. They she is able to direct his body to yield up its strength and wealth to her. For this process of renewing the mind, transforming the heart, and directing the body is how we are created, and it works for the purpose of doing good, or for doing evil.

Proverbs 7:14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

Proverbs 7:14 Comments - Note how this harlot celebrated religious duties, while not yielding her heart to the Lord. Jesus condemned this type of piety, seen also in the scribes and Pharisees of His time (Matthew 23:23).

Matthew 23:23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

Proverbs 7:15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

Proverbs 7:15 Comments - This lady is bold and aggressive, initiating a relationship with a man. She convinces the simple-minded that she wants his love, when really, she wants his wealth. He does not know that she has had many lovers the night before, and he was simply a victim.

Proverbs 7:16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

Proverbs 7:17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

Proverbs 7:16-17 Comments Indulgence in Luxuries - This lady indulges in luxuries and is unable to be contented with what a husband can buy her.

Proverbs 7:18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

Proverbs 7:16-18 Comments The Bed of Spices - We find this bed of spices and fragrances of love in the Song of Solomon 4:16 to Song of Solomon 5:1.

Song of Solomon 4:16 to Song of Solomon 5:1, “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”

Proverbs 7:19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

Proverbs 7:20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

Proverbs 7:21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

Proverbs 7:21 Comments - Here we see the power of seduction. She had no physical strength to cause him to yield. But by arousing his senses she was able to force him to yield to her. The most powerful sense to arouse comes through what we hear from the lips of seduction.

Verses 22-23

Controlling the Heart Having allured of the young man through his five sense-gates, then capturing his mind, the adulteress takes the final step of controlling the man’s heart. He follows her thinking something good is about to take place, when actually, she has deceived him, and intends on taking his wealth and even his very life.

Proverbs 7:22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

Proverbs 7:23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

Proverbs 7:23 “and knoweth not that it is for his life” - Comments - Sin will take you where you never intended to go and it will cost you what you never intended to pay, which is your life.

Proverbs 7:22-23 Comments - He loses his sense of reason and yields himself to her reason, becoming blind to the fact that it will cost him his life (Proverbs 7:22-23). She has now captured his mind. With time in the bed of adultery she intends on taking her victim into the next phase, which is to capture his heart. Once she has his heart, she will be able to direct his paths.

Verses 24-27

Final Warning In Proverbs 7:24-27 Solomon gives the final warning of the adulteress, stressing the ultimate destruction and damnation of her victims.

Proverbs 7:24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

Proverbs 7:24 Comments - Wisdom tells us to pay attention to the words of her mouth. This is contrasted to strange woman who flatters with her words (Proverbs 7:5), and causes the simple to yield “with her fair speech” and flatters with her lips.”

Proverbs 7:25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

Proverbs 7:25 Comments The naive youg man had not constructed boundaries around his life, making himself vunerable to the enticer and seductress. The father is exhorting the young man to set up boundaries of his own will as he reaches adulthood. His father has set up his children boundaries for him, but as life progresses, the father has to let his children make their own decisions.

Proverbs 7:26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

Proverbs 7:26 Illustration - Samson was cast down by a woman (See Judges 16:0).

Proverbs 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 7". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/proverbs-7.html. 2013.
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