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Bible Commentaries

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 7


Solomon again persuadeth to keep his laws, and delight in wisdom, Proverbs 7:1-5. A young man void of understanding is insnared by a harlot, Proverbs 7:6-9. A description of a harlot, Proverbs 7:10,Proverbs 7:11, from her practice, Proverbs 7:12,Proverbs 7:13. Of her subtlety, Proverbs 7:14-20; by which she gained compliance to her desire, Proverbs 7:21,Proverbs 7:22. The danger of it, set forth under the similitude of a bird, Proverbs 7:23. He craveth their attention, Proverbs 7:24; and dehorteth from uncleanness, Proverbs 7:25-27.

Verse 2

And live, i.e. thou shalt live. A promise in the form of a command, as Proverbs 3:25.

As the apple of thine eye; with all possible care and diligence, as men guard that part from all dangers, yea, even from the least mote. The eye is a most noble and necessary, and therefore highly esteemed and beloved, part of the body, and the apple thereof is the most honourable, and beautiful, and useful part of that part, and it is a most tender part, easily hurt, or destroyed, and therefore needs to be diligently watched.

Verse 3

Bind them upon thy fingers; as a ring which is put upon them, and is continually in a man’s eye. Constantly remember them, and meditate upon them.

Write them upon the table of thine heart; fix them in thy mind and affection. See Poole "Proverbs 3:3".

Verse 4

When other foolish young men seek wanton mistresses, whom they frequently call

sisters or

kinswomen, let wisdom be thy mistress; acquaint and delight thyself with her, and let her have the command of thy heart, and the conduct of thy life.

Verse 5

This privilege Solomon doth so oft inculcate, either because he found in himself the great power and besotting nature of lustful inclinations: or because he observed these vices to abound more in his time, in which peace and prosperity made way for luxury and uncleanness.

Verse 6

This is either an historical relation, or rather a parabolical representation of that which frequently happened.

Verse 7

Whose strength and heat made him most subject to lustful impressions, and who wanted judgment and experience as well as grace to keep him from such courses.

Verse 8

Passing through the street; idle and careless.

Near her corner; near the corner of the street in which her house stood; such places being most convenient for that wicked purpose, as giving opportunity either for the discovery of passengers in several streets, or for the escape of such as might be in danger of being taken in her house. Compare Proverbs 7:12.

He went the way to her house; not with intention to act gross filthiness with her, as may be gathered from the following passages, but to gratify his curiosity, and to understand the manner of such persons, and to please himself with the sight of her, or discourse of her.

Verse 9

In the evening; when the day labour being ended, he was at leisure for any thing; and when such strumpets used to walk abroad for prey.

In the black and dark night; when it begun to be black and dark.

Verse 10

With the attire of an harlot; with a habit and carriage agreeable to her quality and design.

Subtle, or wary, or reserved, as she showed in her following discourse; wherein she proposeth all things which might invite him, and conceals whatsoever might discourage him.

Verse 11

Loud, or clamorous, or full of talk, which served her design.

Stubborn; rebellious against God, and against her husband, and incorrigible by all admonitions of ministers or friends.

Her feet abide not in her house; she minds not her business, which lies at home, but gives up herself wholly to idleness and pleasure, which she seeks abroad with other men.

Verse 12

Without; standing or waiting without or nigh the door of her house.

In the streets; in places of resort.

At every corner; at the corners of the streets, where she might either conceal or discover herself, as she saw fit.

Verse 14

I have paid my peace-offerings which I had vowed; whereby she signifies, either,

1. That she was no common harlot, but one of good repute for religion. Or rather,

2. That she had plentiful and excellent provisions at her house for his entertainment. For the peace-offerings were to be of the best flesh, Leviticus 22:21, and a considerable part of these offerings fell to the offerers’ share, wherewith they used to feast themselves and their friends; see Leviticus 2:3, &c.; Leviticus 7:31, &c.; Leviticus 19:6, &c.; Leviticus 22:30, &c.; whereas the burnt-offerings where wholly consumed, and the flesh of the sin-offerings and trespass-offerings belonged to the priest.

Verse 15

Diligently to seek thy face; as not being able to take any pleasure in my feast without thy company.

I have found thee, by a happy providence of God complying with my desires.

Verse 16

She designs to inflame his lust by the mention of the bed, and by its ornaments and perfumes.

Verse 19

The goodman; whom she doth not call her husband, lest the mention of that name should awaken his conscience or discretion.

Verse 20

He hath taken a bag of money with him; which is an evidence that he designs to go far, and to stay a considerable time.

And will come home at the day appointed; so that we need not fear any surprisal.

Verse 21

With her much fair speech; which implies that her alluring words were more effectual with him than her impudent kisses, which possibly had a little alienated his mind from her.

She caused him to yield; whereby he signifies that no provocation to sin is a sufficient excuse for sin.

She forced him; she prevailed over him; which argues that there was some reluctancy in his judgment or conscience against it.

Verse 22

Straightway; without delay and consideration.

As an ox to the slaughter; either being drawn and driven to it; or going to it securely, as if it were going to a good pasture.

As a fool to the correction of the stocks; or, which is more agreeable to the order of the words in the Hebrew text, as one in fetters, or bound with fetters, to the correction of a fool, i.e. to receive such correction or punishment as belongs to fools; which may imply either,

1. That he hath no more sense of the shame and mischief which he is bringing upon himself than a fool. Or,

2. That he can no more resist the temptation, nor avoid the danger, than a man fast tied with chains or fetters can free himself, although his be a moral and voluntary, and not a natural impotency.

Verse 23

His liver, i.e. his vital parts, whereof the liver is one. Till his life be lost, as it is explained in the next clause.

Knoweth not; which may be referred either to a foolish and inconsiderate young man; or to the silly bird to which he is compared, which comes to the same thing.

Verse 25

Decline to her ways; either to the paths which lead to her house, or to her manner of living.

Verse 26

Strong men; men that excel others, either,

1. In bodily strength, upon which they presume, which yet is wasted, and by degrees ruined, by these courses. Or,

2. In wisdom, and fortitude, and resolution; whereby he implies how much more necessary it is for a weak and foolish young man to use all possible care and diligence to avoid this mischief.

Verse 27

To hell; or; to the grave; for the word is used in both senses; and this sense seems better to agree both with the foregoing and following words. Although, without repentance, hell will certainly be their portion, and their first death will be followed by the second.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 7". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.