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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 5

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Proverbs 5:1-23 . The first discourse against sexual vice, and exhortation to purity and conjugal fidelity ( cf. Proverbs 6:24-35, Proverbs 7, Proverbs 9:13-18). A comparison of the later codes ( e.g. Leviticus 18, 20, H) with the earlier, shows the increasing stress laid on sexual purity, and increasing prevalence of adultery.

Proverbs 5:3-6 . Description of the strange woman ( Proverbs 2:16 *).

Proverbs 5:4 . wormwood ( Amos 5:7, Jeremiah 9:15): a bitter and poisonous herb, probably a species of Artemisia. In Revelation 8:10 f. it has become an eschatological abstraction. For the thought of bitterness and poison in the present connexion cf. the water of jealousy (Numbers 5).

Proverbs 5:6 . Corrupt. Read “ She does not tread the way of life, her paths waver.”

Proverbs 5:7-14 . The evil results of relations with the strange woman. These fall into three divisions— loss of wealth and position ( Proverbs 5:9 f.), physical deterioration ( Proverbs 5:11), legal penalties ( Proverbs 5:14; cf. Proverbs 6:33 *). Adultery is treated as more serious and dangerous than intercourse with a harlot. H ( Leviticus 20:10), Ezekiel 23:45-47, and D ( Deuteronomy 22:22) sentence both parties to death. The story of David and Bathsheba implies the death penalty. In later practice the punishment appears to have been less severe ( cf. Sir_23:18-26 ). John 8:5 implies that the older regulation was still in force, although it might be relaxed. (Probably the ordeal for the suspected wife ( Numbers 5:11-29 *) was older still.) (See Gray, Numbers, ICC.)

Proverbs 5:7 a. Read “ son.”

Proverbs 5:9 . the cruel: the text, if correct, refers apparently to the outraged husband, but “ to foreigners” (Targ.) suits the parallelism better. The reference would then be general to the circle of foreign courtesans and panders.

Proverbs 5:14 . Render “ I had almost fallen into all evil,” i.e. legal penalties inflicted by the local synagogue.

Proverbs 5:15-20 . Exhortation to conjugal fidelity. For the metaphor of the well and the cistern cf. Ca. Proverbs 4:12; Proverbs 4:15, and for that of the roe cf. Ca. Proverbs 4:5. Some find a parallel to Proverbs 5:15 a in Ecclesiastes 12:1, reading “ remember thy well in the days of thy youth.”

Proverbs 5:21-23 . Closing remarks on the retributive nature of the Divine moral government.

Proverbs 5:21 . maketh level: the same word as in Proverbs 5:6 a; read mg. here. The primary meaning is “ weigh” ( cf. the noun in Isaiah 40:12, “ scales” ).

Proverbs 5:22 . the wicked (LXX omits): probably a gloss, as the passage is a general statement of the principle of retribution, a man suffers for his own sin.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 5". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/proverbs-5.html. 1919.
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