1Listen to me, my son,
for I know what I’m talking about.
Listen carefully to my advice
2so that wisdom and discernment will enter your heart,
and then the words you speak will express what you’ve learned.
The lips of a seductress # 5:3 Some Jewish expositors view this “seductress” as a metaphor for heresy. She seduces, deceives, and drags to hell. For the believer, the seductress can be a picture of the false anointing of the religious spirit that attempts to seduce us, weaken our message, and rob the anointing of God from our ministries. Of course, there is also a clear and dire warning for all to stay sexually pure or face the consequences. seem sweet like honey,
and her smooth words are like music in your ears.
4But I promise you this:
In the end all you’ll be left with is a bitter conscience. # 5:4 Or “conscience bitter as wormwood.” See Rev. 8:10–11.
For the sting of your sin will pierce your soul like a sword.
5She will ruin your life, drag you down to death,
and lead you straight to hell. # 5:5 Or “Sheol.” This is the Aramaic and Hebrew word for the place of the dead. The Greeks called it Hades. Sheol is not eternal: it will be destroyed. See Hos. 13:14 and Rev. 20:14.
6She has prevented many from considering the paths of life.
Yes, she will take you with her where you don’t want to go,
sliding down a slippery road
and not even realizing where the two of you will end up!
7Listen to me, young men,
and don’t forget this one thing I’m telling you—
run away from her as fast as you can!
8Don’t even go near the door of her house
unless you want to fall into her seduction.
9In disgrace you will relinquish your honor to another,
and all your remaining years will be squandered—
given over to the cruel one. # 5:9 This would be the devil, who torments the conscience as the result of this sin.
10Why would you let strangers take away your strength # 5:10 Or “wealth.” This could also refer to spiritual strength and wealth.
while the labors of your house go to someone else?
11For when you grow old you will groan in anguish and shame # 5:11 The Hebrew word translated here as “groan” is also used for the roar of a lion or the ocean’s roar.
as sexually transmitted diseases consume your body. # 5:11 Implied in the context of the topic of sexual promiscuity. The Hebrew word here means “diseases.”
12And then finally you’ll admit that you were wrong and say,
“If only I had listened to wisdom’s voice
and not stubbornly demanded my own way,
because my heart hated to be told what to do!
13Why didn’t I take seriously the warning of my wise counselors?
Why was I so stupid to think that I could get away with it?
14Now I’m totally disgraced and my life is ruined!
I’m paying the price—
for the people of the congregation are now my judges.” # 5:14 See John 8:1–11.
Sex Reserved for Marriage
15My son, share your love with your wife alone.
Drink from her well of pleasure and from no other.
16Why would you have sex with a stranger
or with anyone other than her?
17Reserve this pleasure for you and her alone and do not share it with another. # 5:17 Because of the sudden change in the Hebrew text to the masculine gender (“stranger” or “another”), there is an inference that men having sex with men is forbidden, as well as sex with a woman who is not your wife.
18Your sex life will be blessed # 5:18 The Hebrew phrase used here includes the word fountain, which is an obvious metaphor for the sex act. The root word for fountain can also refer to the eyes. It may be a poetic subtlety that your eyes should only be on your wife, not on the nakedness of another. See v. 19.
as you take joy and pleasure in the wife of your youth.
19Let her breasts be your satisfaction, # 5:19 The Hebrew includes a picturesque metaphor of the wife being like a “friendly deer and a favored filly.”
and let her embrace # 5:19 The Septuagint reads “let her share conversation with you.” intoxicate you at all times.
Be continually delighted and ravished with her love!
20My son, why would you be exhilarated by an adulteress—
by embracing a woman # 5:20 Or “breasts.” who is not yours?
21For God sees everything you do and his eyes are wide open
as he observes every single habit you have.
22Beware that your sins don’t overtake you
and that the scars of your own conscience don’t
become the ropes that tie you up.
23Those who choose wickedness die for lack of self-control,
for their foolish ways lead them astray,
carrying them away as hostages—
kidnapped captives robbed of destiny.