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and come not nigh the door of her house:

9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

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16 Let thy fountains be dispersed


[lewdness and adultery. abroad, and rivers of waters in the

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(E) Cautions against lewdness and adultery. The picture of a harlot here drawn is so true to nature, that it answers in every age and country. "Her lips drop (with sweetness) as an honey-comb with honey, and though her moral taste is disordered, her words are smoother than oil." This is, however, at the commencement of her acquaintance: the issue is a perfect contrast. "Her end," whether we refer to the misery entailed upon herself or her lovers, "is bitter as wormwood;" and her oiled words become "sharper than a twoedged sword." Often does the language of enticement end in reproaches, that penetrate the heart as a dagger or a sword. (See Psalm cxl. 3.)

As a remedy for lewdness, Solomon recommends marriage and a domestic life, under images the most delicate and impressive. It was necessary (if possible) for every house to have its own well, or cistern, and common sense dictated the propriety of drawing their water thence, instead of going to their neighbour's well. This he applies to domestic enjoyments. "Draw water from thine own cistern."

Look at home for happiness, and prefer the affections of a virtuous wife to the embraces of many harlots. Thus shall thy streams he pure and uncontaminated: that is, thy offspring shall be numerous, certain, and legitimate; and far more likely to be virtuous than the produce of harlots, supposing they should not be barren.

Another image is introduced. The attachments of a modest woman are compared to those of the most shy and beautiful of the animal creation, the antelope or gazelle: a favourite image with Solomon, as we know by its repeated introduction into the book of Canticles. Here the young man is allowed at once to indulge his affections, and to enjoy those sweets, which indeed can here only be found without a sting. But the stings of an illicit intercourse are many. A man who spends his strength and property upon a harlot, at the same time incurs disgrace with men, and guilt with God, "who pondereth all his goings;" and though such an one may stifle the remonstrances of his conscience

for a time, when he comes to the couch of sickness and to death, he will find it full of stings, and "a wounded spirit who can bear?"

NOTES-Chap. V. Cou.

her means of enticement.Thou canst not know them-Not be aware of her arts and subterfuges. Ver. 10. Thy wealth-Heb. "Thy strength." Ver. 11. And thou mourn-Hodgson, Roar;" i. e. with distress and agony. It is translated roar, chap. xix. 12.-xx. 2, &c.-Thy flesh and thy body that is, "the flesh of thy body." Holden,

Ver. 14. I was almost in all evil, &c.—Perhaps riotous and disorderly, both in religions and civil meetings; but Dr. Hodgson understands it as being brongbt before them as a criminal.

Ver. 19. The loving hind and pleasant roe.—Most probably the Gazelle. See Sul, Song, ii. 7, and Note.

Satisfy-Heb. "water thee. The Asiatics

Cautions against suretyship,] CHAP. VI.


MY son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, hunible thyself, and make sure thy friend.

4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

8 Provideth her meat in the sunmer, and gathereth her food in the


9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

14 Frowardness is in his heart, he

[idleness, and vice.

deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

22 When thou goes, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs o. instruction are the way of life:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

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CHAP. VI. Ver. 1. Stricken thine hand. This was the usual way of giving security, as well as striking bargains.

Ver. 3. And make sure- Marg. So shalt thou prevail with thy friend."

Ver. 8. Procideth her meat in the summer.-It was a general opinion with the ancients, that the aats in summer provided their food for winter, because then they could not work; but it has been discovered that in these northern countries, they remain torpid during winter; this is found, however, net to be the case in hot-houses, and therefore, probably, is not in those warm countries where the winters are much more mild than in Europe. There are many witnesses, however, to prove, that they lay

27 Can a man take a fire in his

up food in summer for future exigencies. See Taylor's Expos. Ind. p. 146.

Ver. 11. As a traveller.... an armed man—that is, hastily and irresistibly.

Ver. 12. A naughty person - Heb. "A man of


Ver. 14. Soweth-Heb. "Casteth forth" discord, as the sower scatters seed.

Ver. 16. An abomination unto him - Heb. "Of his soul."

Ver, 17. A proud look-Heb. "Lofty eyes."
Ver. 19. Speaketh-Heb. "breatheth" lies,
Ver. 21. Bind them.-See chap. iii. 3.

Ver. 24. From the flattery of the tongue, &c.— Marg. "Of the strange tongue."

Ver. 25. Take thee with her eyelids-which were painted, to give them more effect; and this alludes to the amorous glances of these wantons. Ver. 26. A whorish woman-Heb. "A woman a harlot. An adulteress-Heb. "A man's wife"

i. e. one who is unfaithful.

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bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

34 For jealousy is the rage of a man therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou give st many gifts. (F)


MY Y son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.


[an adulteress.

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5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house.

9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night :

10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

12 Now is she without, now in the


(F) Cautions against suretyship, idleness, and vice.-In a commercial country, where many classes of persons can get no employment without security, this may not only be an act of friendship, but even duty. Still, however, it requires great caution and prudence: 1. To know well the character and principles of the party for whom we become responsible; 2. And so to limit our responsibility, as not to ruin our own families in the attempt to serve others. But in the instance before us, we think there is a particular reference to the 'characters referred to in chap. v,-those gay and profligate young men who connect themselves with harlots, and get themselves entangled in their snares, as in the close of that chapter.

The next warning is to the idler and the sluggard, who is sent for a lesson of industry to the ant. She improves her time by

gathering her food in its proper season, the time of harvest: whereas the sluggard, on the contrary, sleeps away his mornings, which are the times wherein the day-labourer makes his harvest. Instead of working" while it is day," he trifles till his "night comes," either of sickness or death, when "no man can work." (John ix. 4.)

Habits of idleness generally lead to licentiousness, and licentiousness as naturally to ruin. The latter part of the chapter pursues this subject, and compares the adulterer to one walking upon hot coals, or carrying fire in his bosom, and pertinently asks, Must not such an one be burnt? Lust is a fire that burns inwardly, and consumes the vitals. Jealousy is a flame that can only be extinguished by the most exemplary vengeance. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word." Ps. cxix. 9.


Ver. 31. Restore seven fold-Make "a full and complete satisfaction and restitution." Holden. Ver. 32. Lacketh understanding-Heb. "heart.' Ver 35. He will not regard, &c. Ileb. "He (the injured husband) will not accept any ransom."

CHAP. VII. Ver. 6. My casement -" Latticework;" the window of a Kiosk. Parkhurst. Ver. 7. Among the youth-Heb. "Sons." Ver. 9. In the evening-Heb. "Of the day."

Warning against an adulteress.]CHAP. VIII. [Divine wisdom personified.

streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

13 So she caught him, and kissed bim, and with an impudent face said unto him,

14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows.

15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

19 For the good man is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

21 With her much fair speech she


caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (G)

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licentiousness. 4. She affected to be reli(G) Warning against an adulteress.gious. She had offered peace-offerings, After a brief introductory address, this chapter presents us with the full-length portrait of a Jewish adulteress, in which we may observe-1. She was a gay and dressy woman; she wore the attire of an harlot, loose and gaudy: in consistency with which her bed was dressed with tapestry, and perfumed with myrrh, &c. 2. She was bold and impudent in her address, loud and stubborn in her behaviour, fond of the streets and places of public resort, "her feet abide not in her house." 3. Her Just was covered under the holy veil of matrimony, and her husband seems to have been so far deceived by her, as to intrust her with his house and property. He appears also to have lived in credit, and to have had a bag of money to take with him on his journey; and it is very evident from the preparation she had made for her lover, that she had no excuse of necessity for her

and performed her vows; so that she had cleared (as some ignorant persons suppose): her account with heaven, and was ready to open a new score of sin. Never is sin so sinful as when dressed up in the garb of a religious profession. Her friendship was hypocritical as her religion; she pretended an intimate acquaintance and attachment; "I came diligently to seek thy face,"which may be so far true-she came to look for a fool and found one. A sketch of his character follows, and the chapter concludes with the earnest entreaty of Wisdom to listen to her admonitions, and keep at a distance from the adulteress.

"Turn to the prudent Ant thy heedful eyes, Observe her labours, Sluggard, and be wise: When fruitful summer loads the teeming plain, She crops the harvest, and she stores the grain, How long shall Sloth usurp the useless hours, Unnerve thy vigour, and enchain thy powers?" Johnson.


Ver. 10. The attire of a harlot-Bp. Patrick explains this, "In a gaudy lascivious dress."

Ver. 13. With an impudent face - Heb. "She hardened her face."

Ver. 14. I have peace offerings.-The greater part of the peace offerings, whether of the herd or flock, was returned to the offerer, to feast with his triends. Dent. xii. 6,7. Sa Bp. Patrick,

Ver. 20. At the day appointed- Marg. "In the new moon," which was a public festival.

Ver. 22. Straightway-Heb. "Suddenly."--As a fool to the correction of the stocks. — Dr. Hunt, "As an hart boundeth into the toils." So Holden and Boothroyd. But Dr. Hodgson adheres to the present reading, which he translates, "Yea, like a fool he runneth on to punishment."

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2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye simple, understand wisdom and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.


15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righte


19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth


24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth :

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:


CHAP. VIII. Ver. 1-5, Doth not wisdom, &c.— Compare chap i. 20-23.

Ver. 7. Wickedness is an abomination to my lipsMarg. "The abomination of my lips."

Ver. 8. Nothing froward-Heb. "Wreathed," or crooked.

Ver. 11. Rubies.-See chap. iii. 15. and Note Ver. 12. Dwell with prudence-Marg. "Subtilty," -Witty inventions Plans, or devices," Gesenius. There is no adjective answering to "witty," and Dr. Boothroyd translates," every invention."

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Ver. 14. Counsel is mine, &c.-Heb. "With me is counsel and sound wisdom; with me, understanding and strength." The word rendered sound wisdom, is quite different from "wisdom" in ver. 12; and is the same used chap. iii. 21. It strictly signifles "substance," or reality.

Ver. 20. I lead-Heb. “Walk ;” i. e. walk before, to show the way.

Ver. 22. In the beginning-“ At the beginning," Hodgson and Boothroyd; but there is no preposition in the original, which reads literally, The Lord possessed me the beginning," &c. intimating that wisdom was the source of all God's works. Ver. 23. I was set up-Heb. " anointed." See Note on Ps. ii. 6. Apply this to divine wisdom personified, it means that she was enthroned over all the works of God.

Ver. 24, 25. I was brought forth-Holden, &c. "I was born."

Ver. 26. The fields-Marg. "open places;” perhaps the atmosphere. The highest part-namely, the hills. See Gen. i. 7, 10.

Ver. 27. Set a compass-Bp. Lowth, "Described a

circle "

Ver. 29. His commandment-Heb. "His (or " its") month." Applied to God, the pronoun means" his command;" to the sea," its limits."

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