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Solomon persuadeth to a sincere and kind familiarity with wisdom. In an example of his own experience, he sheweth the cunning of a whore, and the desperate simplicity of a young wanton; he dissuadeth from such wickedness.
Proverbs 7:1. My son, keep my words— Chastity is a virtue of so much consequence, and impurity such a bane to youth, that the wise man thought he could not too often make mention of the danger of the one, to move men carefully to preserve the other; therefore he repeats with renewed importunities what he had before urged; and, the better to secure those who desire to be free from the snare of lewdness, he represents, together with the simpleness of young men, the cunning and crafty desires of an impudent adulteress; which is most admirably and elegantly set forth from Pro 7:6-21 as the fatal consequences of such an attachment are in the subsequent verses: and, indeed, this picture which the wise man gives us, deserves to be studied with great attention; as, properly noted, it cannot fail to have its due effect, and to give a just abhorrence of those infamous Syrens who only allure to betray and ruin. See Patrick.
Proverbs 7:4. Call understanding thy kinswoman— Thy relation: The LXX have it, Make wisdom thy acquaintance. "Say to wisdom, Thou art my sister, my spouse, my beloved, my inclination. Give to her thy heart, that she may preserve thee from the snares of the strange woman." The name of sister, is a name of friendship, used in scripture, between the husband and wife, and denotes the chaste love which he should have to wisdom. See the Canticles and Calmet.
Proverbs 7:6. I looked through my casement— Through the lattice. In Palestine they had no glass to their windows; they closed them with lattices or curtains.
Proverbs 7:9. In the twilight, &c.— Or, In the twilight, in the close of the day; when night and darkness were yet in embryo, or just beginning.
Proverbs 7:14. I have peace-offerings with me— This woman was the more abominable, as she covered her lewdness with the mask of piety and devotion. There were three sorts of peace-offerings. See Leviticus 7:11; Leviticus 12:8. Bishop Patrick takes these mentioned here to have been the last of them; offerings of thanksgiving for blessings already obtained; not of prayer for blessings not yet received: and his reason is, because she was so solicitous to have company at her feast upon this very day. Every body knows that such sacrifices were to be of the best; either of bullocks, sheep, or goats (Leviticus 6:12.); and that the greatest part of them fell to the share of the person who offered them, that he might feast with God.
Proverbs 7:17. I have perfumed, &c.— I have sprinkled or bedewed my bed with myrrh, cedar-oil, and juice of cinnamon.
Proverbs 7:20. At the day appointed— At the day of full-moon. Houbigant renders the clause, Nor will he return to his house before the full moon; which the woman plainly gives as a reason for removing all apprehensions and fears of detection from the simple youth whom she is soliciting to destruction.
Proverbs 7:22-20.7.23. He goeth after her straightway, &c.— Dr. Grey renders these verses thus: He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter; as a dog to the chain, and as a deer, till the dart strike through his liver: as a bird hasteth, &c. Here are four similes, says he; the ox, the dog, the deer, the bird; each of them aptly resembling the case of a youth seduced by an adulterous woman, and hastening to ruin without fear or thought. The circumstance of the dart as applied to the deer, is beautiful and proper, which otherwise we are at a loss to dispose of. The LXX and Syriac read, As a dog to the chains, or as a stag pierced through his liver with a dart. Houbigant. As a stag runneth leaping along, till a dart pierce through its liver. See his note.
Proverbs 7:26. For she hath cast down— The LXX read, She hath cast dawn many whom she hath wounded; and they whom she hath slain are innumerable. There are those who read, She hath caused many soldiers to fall, and a great many brave, or strong men have been slain by her. The verse may be paraphrased thus: "The most valiant heroes, the most puissant soldiers, who have stood undaunted against all other assaults, have generally been vanquished and frequently destroyed by the allurements of women." See Kennicott's Dissert. vol. 2: Calmet observes, that Solomon had no need to go further than his own family for unhappy examples of the ill effects of lust. He was, indeed, himself afterwards a sad proof of what he here says. How many lions has the weakness of woman tamed, making a prey of the great ones of the earth! See 2 Samuel 11:0; 2 Samuel 12:0; 2 Samuel 12:0.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 7". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany