Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 5:23

He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Death;   Sin;   Young Men;   Thompson Chain Reference - Death;   Dying;   Life-Death;   Man;   Wicked, the;   The Topic Concordance - Death;   Straying;   Wickedness;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Greatness;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Proverbs book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Lack;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chastity;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He shall die without instruction - This is most likely, and it is a general case; but even these may repent and live.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The end of the sensual life: to “die without instruction,” life ended, but the discipline of life fruitless; to “go astray,” as if drunk with the greatness of his folly (the same word is used as for “ravished” in Proverbs 5:19, see marg.), even to the end. This is the close of what might have gone on brightening to the perfect day Proverbs 4:18.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 5:23

He shall die without instruction.

The great charity of early instruction

All persons are born in a state of ignorance and darkness as to spiritual things; therefore all young persons need instruction. Good instruction in youth is God’s appointed means to bring men to the saving knowledge of Himself, and the attainment of salvation. The neglect of early instruction and good education is the ruin of many a person in both worlds. They live viciously and die desperately; they pass from the errors and works of darkness to the place of utter and eternal darkness. They die without instruction, and go astray, and perish in their ignorance and folly. The time of youth is the most proper time in nature for good instructions; children are apt to catch at everything they hear, and to retain it and repeat it. Their faculties are fresh and vigorous, and they are void of those prejudices against truth and virtue which they are afterwards likely to take up.

1. Children cannot live as Christians if they know not the fundamentals of the Christian religion. A man can act no better than his principles dictate to him.

2. For want of being grounded in the essentials of Christian doctrine, young people are easily led into error or heresy.

3. These undisciplined persons usually prove ill members of the State, and the very pest of the neighbourhood in which they live.

4. These untaught people bring a reproach on our religion and the Church of Christ amongst us.

5. The God who made them will surely reject them at last. Then gaining efficiency in the religious education of our young people is supremely to be desired. (Josiah Woodward, D.D.)

In the greatness of the folly he shall go astray.

The greatness of the sinner’s folly

I. You deny boldly the existence of God. You believe the world fatherless and forsaken; itself eternal, or the product of chance. By your creed you profess to be, or at least to know, the very God whose existence you so madly deny. In the greatness of your folly you arrogate to yourselves the very perfections of Divinity, while a God is denied.

II. Apply the description of the text to the character and history of a deist. You admit the existence of a Supreme Being, but you deny that the Scripture is His Word. The work of His hands is your only Bible, the dictates of your unenlightened conscience your only law.

III. Apply to the character and history of the undecided. The man who allows the truth of the Bible, but lives and feels as if it were false. Such conduct is full of contradictions. (J. Angus, M.A.)

The ways and issues of sin

It is the task of the wise teacher to lay bare with an unsparing hand--

I. The glamours of sin and the safeguard against them. There is no sin which affords so vivid an example of seductive attraction at the beginning, and of hopeless misery at the end, as that of unlawful love. The safeguard against the specific sin before us is presented in a true and whole-hearted marriage. And the safeguard against all sin is equally to be found in the complete and constant preoccupation of the soul with the Divine love. Forbidding to marry is a device of Satan; anything which tends to degrade or desecrate marriage bears on its face the mark of the tempter. Our sacred writings glorify marriage, finding in it more than any other wisdom or religion has found.

II. The binding results of sin. Compare the Buddhistic doctrine of Karma. Buddha in effect taught. “You are in slavery to a tyrant set up by yourself. Your own deeds, words, and thoughts, in the former and present states of being, are your own avengers through a countless series of lives. Thou wilt not find a place where thou canst escape the force of thy own evil actions.” The Bible says, “His own iniquities shall take the wicked, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sin.” This is illustrated in the sin of sensuality. There are four miseries, comparable to four strong cords, which bind the unhappy transgressor.

1. There is the shame.

2. The loss of wealth.

3. The loss of health.

4. The bitter remorse, the groaning and the despair at the end of the shortened life.

And there is an inevitableness about it all. By the clearest interworking of cause and effect, these fetters of sin grow upon the feet of the sinner. Our evil actions, forming evil habits, working ill results on us and on others, are themselves the means of our punishment. It is not that God punishes, sin punishes; it is not that God makes hell, sinners make it. This is established by the possible observation of life, by a concurrent witness of all teachers and all true religions. Sin may be defined as “the act of a human will which, being contrary to the Divine will, reacts with inevitable evil upon the agents.”

1. Every sin prepares for us a band of shame to be wound about our brows and tightened to the torture-point.

2. Every sin is preparing for us a loss of wealth, the only wealth which is really durable, the treasure in the heavens.

3. Every sin is the gradual undermining of the health, not so much the body’s as the soul’s health.

4. The worst chain forged in the furnace of sin is remorse; for no one can guarantee to the sinner an eternal insensibility. Memory will be busy. Here, then, is the plain, stern truth, a law, not of nature only, but of the universe. How men need One who can take away the sin of the world, One who can break those cruel bonds which men have made for themselves! (R. F. Horton, D. D.)

The martyr of guilt

Sin is an evil of fearful tendencies, and necessarily productive, if unchecked, of remediless consequences. The reason is obvious. Moral evil corrupts and vitiates the mind itself, carries the contagion of a mortal disease through all its affections and powers, and affects the moral condition of the man through the whole duration of his being.

I. The views it affords of the power and progress of evil in the human kind.

1. It ensnares. Reference is to the methods adopted in the East by those who hunt for game, or for beasts of prey. Evil allures under the form of good. All the way is white as snow that hides the pit.

2. It enslaves. St. Paul speaks of the “bondage of corruption,” and of the hardening of the heart through the deceitfulness of sin. Sin gathers strength from custom, and spreads like a leprosy from limb to limb. The power of habit turns upon the principle that what we have done once we have an aptitude to do again with greater readiness and pleasure. The next temptation finds the sons of folly an easier prey than before.

3. It infatuates. After a seasons wickedness so far extends its power from the passions to the understanding that men become blind to the amount of their own depravity, and in this state begin to fancy music in their chains. It would seem to be one of the prerogatives of sin, like the fascination of the serpent, first to deprive its victims of their senses and then make them an unresisting prey. Guard against the beginnings of sin. Sin prepares for sin.

4. It destroys. The soul is destroyed, not as to the fact of its continued existence, but as to all its Godlike capacities of honour and happiness.

II. Some of the circumstances of aggravation which will tend to embitter the sinner’s doom. It must for ever be a melancholy subject of reflection--

1. That the ruin was self-caused. A man may be injured by the sins of others, but his soul can be permanently endangered only by his own. By a fine personification, a man’s sins are here described as a kind of personal property and possession. Sin, remorse, and death may be deemed a kind of creation of our own.

2. That the objects were worthless and insignificant for which the blessings of salvation were resigned.

3. That you possessed an ample sufficiency of means for your guidance and direction into the path of life.

4. That the evil incurred is hopeless and irremediable.

III. The interesting aspect under which this subject teaches us to contemplate the Divine dispensations. It illustrates--

1. The riches of God’s mercy in forgiving sin.

2. The power of His grace in subduing sin.

3. The wisdom of His providence in preventing sin.

4. The urgency of His invitations to those who are the slaves of sin. (Samuel Thodey.)

Fixed habits

A rooted habit becomes a governing principle. Every lust we entertain deals with us as Delilah did with Samson--not only robs us of our strength, but leaves us fast bound. (Abp. Tillotson.)
.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 5:23". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He shall die without instruction,.... Into the evil of sin, and the danger he is in, and so without repentance for it; for instruction is the means of repentance, and productive of it when blessed, Jeremiah 31:19; but it is but just that those who have hated and rejected it in health and life, that when they come to die should have none given them about the evil of sin, the danger of their state, and the way of salvation; or rather "because of instruction"F26באין מוסר "eo quod non audivit eruditionem", Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "propter neglectam institutionem", Piscator; "propter non admissam disciplinam", Noldius, p. 181. ; because they would not bear and receive, but neglected, rejected, and despised it, so Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom; or "without correction"F1"Sine correctione et emendatione", Vatablus. , or discipline and amendment by it;

and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray; being left to the exceeding great folly of his mind, he shall continue to go astray as he has done from God and his good ways, from the precepts of his law, and the rules of his word; going after his own heart's lusts, which will drown him in perdition. This "folly" may be understood either of his fornication and adultery, which is egregious folly; or of his imagining that he should be able to repent of sin when he pleased, and free himself from the bondage of it, and escape the punishment due unto it.

Copyright Statement
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 5:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

He shall n die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

(n) Because he will not give ear to God's word and be admonished.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

without instruction — literally, “in want of instruction,” having refused it (compare Job 13:18; Hebrews 11:24).

go astray — literally, “be drunken.” The word “ravished” (Proverbs 5:19) here denotes fullness of punishment.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Die — He shall die in his sins. Astray-From the way of life, and from eternal salvation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Ver. 23. He shall die without instruction.] To spend the span of this transitory life after the ways of one’s own heart, is to perish for ever. But, oh, what madmen are they that bereave themselves of a room in that city of pearl for a few dirty delights and carnal pleasures!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-5.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

PRECIOUS Jesus! at the very mention of thy name, how do all lesser objects lose their interest; and what an everlasting security is there found in thee, while living upon thy fulness, and deriving all strength for the practice of every social and religious obligation, in the communications of thy grace! Yes, blessed Lord, the cisterns of my poor soul, which thou hast filled, shall make me love to run to the fountain head, beholding from whence they flow, and how they are supplied continually by thee. And while thou art richly imparting all suited grace from thy fulness, to supply my necessities; gladly will I communicate the joyful tidings around, that the reports of Jesus and his glorious redemption, like rivers of waters in the street, may be circulated in every direction. I will tell to all, as far as my poor stammering tongue can utter, the truth that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And I will proclaim far and near, and in every direction, that he is a fountain open and not sealed, where every poor needy sinner like myself, whose heart is made willing in the day of the Lord's power, may freely come to wash and be made white in the blood of the Lamb; and to take of the water of life freely when the soul is thirsting for Jesus, as the hart for the water brooks. Oh! thou fountain of Jehovah! cause my soul to drink largely of that river whose streams make glad the city of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/proverbs-5.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Without instruction; because he neglected instruction. Or, without correction or amendment. He shall die in his sins, and not repent of them, as he designed and hoped to do before his death.

In the greatness of his folly; through his stupendous folly, whereby he cheated himself with hopes of repentance or impunity, and exposed himself to endless torments for the momentary pleasures of sinful lusts.

Go astray from God, and from the way of life, and from eternal salvation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". 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

23.In’ his folly — In his manifestation of lack of wisdom and his actual sin.

Go astray — The same word is rendered ravished in Proverbs 5:19-20. It conveys the idea of one drunk or delirious, who insensibly reels to destruction.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-5.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

die without instruction. Illustration: Saul (1 Chronicles 10:13, 1 Chronicles 10:14).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "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

He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

He shall die without instruction - without the disciplinary instruction (so the Hebrew) which is the privilege of the children of God (Proverbs 3:11-12), and therefore without the saving "wisdom" and "knowledge" which are its blessed fruits (Job 4:21; Job 36:12). This is the just retribution in kind for having "hated instruction" (Proverbs 5:12). God punishes sinner by giving them their own way.

And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. The same Hebrew verb as in Proverbs 5:19-20, was translated "be ravished," margin, err. His erratic love, which ravished him, shall be judicially made his punishment by becoming everlasting error (Proverbs 1:31).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) He shall die without instruction.—Rather, for want of discipline, because he would not control himself, “he shall die,” and “for the greatness of his folly (self-will) he shall go astray,” and “wander where there is no way” (Job 12:24).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
shall die
10:21; 14:32; Job 4:21; 36:12
in the
14:14; Psalms 81:12; 2 Peter 2:15-22 Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 13:12 - folly;  Job 20:11 - bones;  Proverbs 1:18 - GeneralProverbs 2:22 - the wicked;  Proverbs 6:32 - destroyeth;  Proverbs 7:25 - go;  Proverbs 8:36 - all;  Proverbs 12:8 - he

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 5:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-5.html.