Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 5:20

For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adultery;   Chastity;   Harlot (Prostitute);   Temptation;   Women;   Young Men;   Thompson Chain Reference - Chastity;   Chastity-Impurity;   Purity;   Social Duties;   The Topic Concordance - Marriage;   Whoredom;  
Dictionaries:
Easton Bible Dictionary - Harlot;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Adventuress;   Ethics;   Proverbs, Book of;   Song of Solomon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Medicine;   Proverbs, Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Proverbs book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Embrace;   Song of Songs;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chastity;   Song of Songs, the;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Emphasis is laid (see the Proverbs 2:16 note) upon the origin of the beguiler.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-5.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

A REMINDER THAT ADULTERY IS A SIN AGAINST GOD

"For why shouldest thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman,

And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah;

And he maketh level all his paths.

His own iniquities shall take the wicked,

And he shall be holden with the cords of his sin.

He shall die for lack of instruction;

And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray."

"Why ... be ravished with a strange woman" (Proverbs 5:20)? In the previous verse the pupil is commanded to, "Be ravished always with her love"; and Tate identified this word (ravished) as the, "Key word in the chapter."[30] He defined it as "infatuation"; but "intoxicated" is also said to be a synonym.

"The ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah" (Proverbs 5:21). "Here the teaching assumes a higher tone, rising above the lower law that regulates fidelity on the basis of personal attraction to that higher Law which brings the husband's conduct into relation with that duty that he owes to God."[31]

When Joseph was sorely tempted by Potiphar's wife, he refused, saying, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God"? (Genesis 39:9). We noted earlier that there is a recoil from this particular "great wickedness" against society, against one's spouse, against the family, against the church, against one's own body, etc.; but over and beyond everything else, IT IS A SIN AGAINST GOD! "This will be examined and judged by the Universal Judge, and will bring with it its own Nemesis and retribution."[32]

"His own iniquities shall take the wicked ... in the greatness of his folly, he shall go astray" (Proverbs 5:22-23). It is important to note that, "These verses place the blame where it belongs, not particularly upon the woman, but upon the man whose wickedness is spelled out"![33]

"He shall die for lack of instruction" (Proverbs 5:23). "In this verse, the Revised Standard Version is much to be preferred. It reads, `He shall die for lack of discipline.'"[34] Instruction he had; discipline he had not; and in that condition his death was assured.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman,.... Or "err with her"F25"Errares", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "aberrares", Cocceius. ; after all those inconveniences and miseries that follow upon a conversation with a harlot, and all those advantages of a marriage state set before thee; why wilt thou be, so foolish and mad as to have a fondness for an harlot and dote upon her, and neglect entering into a marriage state, or forsake the wife of youth? and yet though things are so clearly stated and aptly represented, and the expostulation made in the most tender and affectionate manner; it is suggested as if after all it would not be attended unto, but a harlot be preferred to a wife of youth, a filthy beast to a loving hind, and dirty puddles of water in a ditch to running streams from a well or fountain;

and embrace the bosom of a stranger? that is not thy wife; a description of unlawful love and impure embraces, which are dissuaded from.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-5.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 5:20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Ver. 20. And why wilt thou, my son?] The premises considered, there is no reason for it, but all against it. Nothing is more irrational than irreligion, and yet nothing more usual with the devil than to persuade his vassals that there is some sense in sinning, and that they have reason to be mad. And, truly, though there were no devil, yet our corrupt nature would act Satan’s part against itself; it would have a supply of wickedness - as a serpent hath of poison - from itself. It hath a spring within to feed it. Nitimur in vetitum semper, petimusque negata. Nothing would serve the rich man’s turn but the poor man’s lamb. If Ahab may not have Naboth’s vineyard, he hath nothing. The more God forbids any sin, the more we bid for it. [Romans 7:8] ‘Nay, but we will have a king,’ said they, when they had nothing else to say why they would.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Why wilt thou destroy and damn thyself for those delights which thou mayst enjoy without sin or danger?

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THOMPSON, Land and Book, volume i, page 252.

20.Why’ be ravished — For why shouldest thou be fascinated with the love of a strange woman? a strong and affectionate remonstrance against such folly, as an unnecessary and baneful indulgence.

 

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-5.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

strange = apostate. Hebrew. zur. See note on Proverbs 5:3.

stranger = alien or foreigner. Hebrew. nakar. See note on verses: Proverbs 5:3, Proverbs 5:10.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

When there are so many advantages in conjugal love, and losses in adulterous love, what madness, baseness, and danger it is to seek the embraces of a harlot or adulteress!

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-5.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
with
2:16-19; 6:24; 7:5; 22:14; 23:27,28,33; 1 Kings 11:1
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 13:6 - thy brother;  Judges 11:2 - a strange;  Ezra 10:44 - strange wives;  Psalm 139:3 - and art acquainted;  Proverbs 21:15 - destruction;  Song of Solomon 4:9 - thou hast

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-5.html.