Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
8. Warning against intercourse with wanton women, and against the ruinous consequences of licentiousness
1 My son, give heed to my wisdom,
to my prudence incline thine ear,
2 so that thou maintain discretion,
and thy lips preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the strange woman distil honey,
and smoother than oil is her mouth:
4 but at last she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
her steps lay hold upon the lower world;
6 the path of life she never treadeth,
her steps stray, she knoweth not whither.
7 And now, ye children, hearken to me,
and depart not from the words of my mouth!
8 Turn away thy path from her,
and draw not near to the door of her house!
9 that thou mayest not give to others thine honor,
and thy years to a cruel one;
10 that strangers may not sate themselves with thy strength,
and (the fruit of) thy labor (abide) in a stranger’s house,
11 and thou must groan at last
when thy body and thy flesh are consumed,
12 and say, “Why then did I hate correction
and my heart despised reproof?
13 and I did not hearken to the voice of my teachers,
did not incline mine ear to those that instructed me?
14 Well nigh had I fallen into utter destruction
in the midst of the assembly and the congregation!”
15 Drink waters from thine own cistern,
and flowing streams from thine own well spring!
16 Shall thy streams flow abroad
as water brooks in the streets ?
17 Let them be thine alone,
and none belong to strangers with thee.
18 Let thy fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of thy youth,
19 the lovely hind, the graceful gazelle;
let her bosom charm thee always;
in her love delight thyself evermore.
20 Why, my son, wouldst thou be fascinated with a stranger,
and embrace the bosom of a wanton woman?
21 For before the eyes of Jehovah are the ways of man,
and all his paths He marketh out.
22 His own sins overtake him, the evil doer,
and by the cords of his sin is he held fast.
23 He will die for lack of correction,
and in the greatness of his folly will he perish.
GRAMMATICAL AND CRITICAL
Proverbs 5:1.—[The shortened Imperative is even more than the paragogic entitled to the first place in its clause; here הַט follows its object, BÖTT., § 960, c. ex. (comp. critical note on 4:20).—A.]
Proverbs 5:2.—לִשְׁמֹר. The construction in the Hebrew is the same as in Proverbs 2:8; the Infinitive with לְ, is followed by the finite verb. [יִנְצֹרוּ, a masc. verbal form with a fern, subject,—comp. note on 4:10. For emphasis or euphony the assimilation of the נ is sometimes dispensed with. BÖTT, §1100,3.—A.]
Proverbs 5:14.—[הָיִיתִי, a Perf. with the signification of a pluperf. subj.; a very little and I should have fallen. Comp. BÖTT., § 947, d.—A.]
Proverbs 5:18 [BÖTT., § 964, 6, makes תְּהִי an example of the desponsive use of the Jussive, and therefore makes it more than the expression of a wish (see Exeg. notes); it becomes an anticipation or promise.—A.]
Proverbs 5:22.—[יִלְכְּדֻנוֹ, a unique example of the attachment of וֹ, a more common suffix of the Perf., to the lengthened form of the third plur masc. of the Imperf. See BÖTT., §§ 881, λ,—1042, 5,—1047, ex., correcting EWALD, § 250 b, who makes the נ epenthetic. See also GREEN, § 105, c.—A.]
1. In opposition to the opinion of those who refer Proverbs 5:1–6 to the discourse of the father in Proverbs 4:4 sq., consult above, p. 71. J. A. BENGEL appears even to have regarded the entire fifth chapter as a continuation of that discourse, for he remarks on Proverbs 5:1, “Inasmuch as David’s careful directions to Solomon bear upon unchastity, it seems likely that David and Bathsheba were concerned lest Solomon might also pursue a course like that in which the parents sinned together” (see Beiträge zu J. A. BENGEL’S Schrifterklärung, mitgetheilt von Dr. OSK. WAECHTER, Leips., 1865,” p. 26). But the son addressed in the preceding chapter was conceived of as a “tender child;” the one now addressed is a young man already married, see Proverbs 5:15–19. For, as in the similar admonitions of the 6th and 7th chapters, it is not simple illicit intercourse, but such an intercourse within marriage relations, adulterous intercourse with lewd women, that constitutes the object of the admonitory representations of the teacher of wisdom.—Furthermore, as BERTHEAU rightly observes, the passage before us, in its substance and its form, variously reminds us of chap. 2, especially in respect to its form, by its long propositions extended through several verses (3 sq., 8 sq., 15 sq.). As the three main divisions of the discourse are of not quite equal length, we may with HITZIG distinguish the introductory paragraph, Proverbs 5:1–6; the central and chief didactic section, Proverbs 5:7–20; which again falls into two divisions, Proverbs 5:7–14 and 15–20; and the epilogue, Proverbs 5:21–23.
2. Proverbs 5:1–6. My son, give heed to my wisdom, etc.—Quite similar are the demands which introduce the two subsequent warnings against unchastity.—Proverbs 6:20 and 7:1.—So that thou maintain discretion—literally reflection, מְזִמּוֹת, which elsewhere is usually employed in a bad sense, of base deceitful proposals, but here denotes the wise prudential consideration, the circumspect demeanor of the wise; comp. the singular in Proverbs 1:4.—And thy lips preserve knowledge.—The lips—not precisely the heart, Proverbs 3:1—are to preserve knowledge so far forth as it is of moment to retain literally the instructions of wisdom and often to repeat them.
Proverbs 5:3. For the lips of the strange woman distil honey.—The “stranger” is the harlot, as in Proverbs 3:16. Her lips “drop honey” (נֹפֶת, comp. Ps. 19:11) because of the sweetness not of her kisses but of her words. Comp. the quite similar representation, Song Sol. 4:11, and as a sample of the wanton woman’s words that are sweet as honey, Prov. 7:14 sq.—Smoother, than oil is her mouth.—The palate (חֵךְ) as an instrument of discourse occurs also Proverbs 8:7; Job 6:30; 31:30. The “smoothness” of discourse as a symbol of the flattering and seductive, Proverbs 2:16; 6:24.
Proverbs 5:4. But at last she is bitter—literally “her last is bitter” (comp. 23:32), i.e., that which finally reveals itself as her true nature, and as the ruinous consequence of intercourse with her.—As wormwood (לַעֲנָה, for which the LXX inaccurately gives χολή, gall), a well known emblem of bitterness, as in Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; Am. 5:7; 6:12. It is “a plant toward two feet high, belonging to the Genus Artemisia (Spec. Artemisia absinthium), which produces a very firm stalk with many branches, grayish leaves, and small, almost round, pendent blossoms. It has a bitter and saline taste, and seems to have been regarded in the East as also a poison, of which the frequent combination with רֹאשׁ gives an intimation” (UMBREIT; comp. CELSIUS, Hierobot. I. 480; OKEN, Naturgesch. III: 763 sq.).—As a two-edged sword—literally as a sword of mouths, a sword with more than one mouth (חֶרֶב פִּיוֹת comp. Ps. 149:6; Judg. 3:16). [The multiplicative plural is sometimes used thus even of objects that occur in pairs; comp. BÖTT., 702, 3—A.] “The fact that the surface of the sword is also smooth is in this antithesis to the second clause of Proverbs 5:3 properly disregarded,” HITZIG.
Proverbs 5:5 and 6 explain and confirm more fully the statement of Proverbs 5:4.—Upon the lower world her steps lay hold—i.e., they hasten straight and surely to the kingdom of the dead, the place of those dying unblessed. [The author cannot be understood as meaning that שְׁאוֹל is always and only the place of those dying unblessed. The passage cited, Proverbs 1:12, is inconsistent with this,—so is the first passage in the O. T. where the word occurs, Gen. 37:35,—so is the last passage, Hab. 2:5,—so are many intervening passages, especially such as Ps. 16:10; Eccles. 9:10. If the word here has this intensive meaning, it must appear from the connection. See, therefore, חַיִּים in Proverbs 5:6, which plainly has amoral import. Comp, FUERST’S Handw.—A.] Comp. 2:18 ; 7:27,—and on שְׁאוֹל, Hades, the lower world, 1:12.—The path of life she never treadeth.—The verb פלם, here just as in 14:26, means to measure off (not to “consider,” as BERTHEAU MAINTAINS), to travel over. The particle פֶּן, ne forte, stands here, as in Job 32:13, “independent of any preceding proposition, and in accordance with its etymology signifies substantially ‘God forbid that,’ etc., or ‘there is no danger that,” etc., HITZIG; it is therefore equivalent to “surely not, nevermore.” ABEN EZRA, COCCEIUS, C. B. MICHAELIS and others regard תְּפַּלֵּם as second pers. masc.; “viam vitas ne forte expendas, vagantur orbitæ ejus” [“lest perchance thou shouldst ponder the way of life, her paths wander;” which is very nearly the language of the E. V.]. But the second clause shows that the wanton woman must be the subject of the verb. BERTHEAU’S translation is however also too hard and forced, according to Which the first clause is dependent upon the second, but it is to be regarded as a negative final clause prefixed; “that she may not ponder (!) the path of life, her paths have become devious,” etc. [This is the view adopted by HOLDEN, STUART, WORDSWORTH, and DE WETTE; KAMPH. has the same conception of the relation of the clauses, but prefers the verb cinschlagen, adopt or enter—A.] The LXX, Vulg. and other ancient versions already contain the more correct interpretation, regarding פֶּן as here essentially equivalent to לֹא; only that the emphatic intensifying of the negation should not be overlooked.—[FUERST (Handw.) is also decidedly of this opinion; he renders “dass ja nicht”=so that by no means; he explains the idiom as representing a necessary consequence as an object contemplated.—A.]—Her steps stray, she knoweth not whither.—נָעוּ is here doubtless not intended as an inceptive (“they fall to staggering”), nor in general does it design to express a “staggering of the tracks or paths,” a figure in itself inappropriate. It probably signifies rather a roving, an uncertain departure from the way (vcgi gressus, Vulg.); and the לֹא תֵּדַע which is connected with it is not to be explained by “she marks it not, without her perceiving it, unawares” (as it is usually taken, after the analogy of Job 9:5; Ps. 35:8) [so by NOYES, STUART, MUENSCH. while the E. V. follows the old error of making the verb a second person.—A.], but by “she knows not whither,” as an accusative of direction subordinated to the foregoing idea (HITZIG, DE WETTE).
2. Proverbs 5:7–14. And now, ye children, hearken to me.—וְעַתָּה draws an inference from what precedes, and introduces the following admonition; comp. 7:24. The “words of my mouth” are the specific words contained in Proverbs 5:8 sq.
Proverbs 5:9. That thou mayest not give thine honor to others—i.e., as an adulterer who is apprehended and exposed to public disgrace.—And thy years to a cruel one—i.e. to the injured husband, who will punish the paramour of his faithless wife with merciless severity, perchance sell him as a slave, or even take his life, [This explanation is grammatically better than that (of HOLDEN, e.g.) which makes the “cruel one” the adulteress, and more direct than that (of STUART and others) which makes him the purchaser of the punished adulterer.—A.]. Comp. 6:34, and below, Proverbs 5:14.
Proverbs 5:10. That strangers may not sate themselves with thy strength.—כֹחַ might, strength, is here undoubtedly equivalent to property, possessions, as the parallel עֲעָבֶיךָ, thy toils, i.e., what thou hast laboriously acquired, the fruit of thy bitter sweat (Vulg. laboris tui), plainly indicates. The idea is here plainly this, that the foolish paramour will be plundered through the avaricious demands of the adulterous woman (comp. 6:26), and that thus his possessions will gradually pass over into other hands (Ecclesiast. 9:6). A different explanation is given by EWALD, BERTHEAU, ELSTER (in general also by UMBREIT); that the proper penalty for adultery was according to Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22 sq.; John 8:5, stoning; in case, however, the injured husband had been somewhat appeased, the death penalty was on the ground of a private agreement changed into that of a personal ownership, the entrance into the disgracefully humiliating condition of servitude, and that allusion is here made to this last contingency. But while thesuperficial meaning of Proverbs 5:9 and 10 could be reconciled with this assumption, yet there is nothing whatsoever known of any such custom, of transmuting the death prescribed in the law for the adulterer by a compromise into his sale as a slave; and as the entire assumption is besides complicated with considerable subjective difficulties (see HITZIG on this passage), the above explanation is to be preferred as the simpler and more obvious.
Proverbs 5:11. And thou must needs groan at last—literally “at thine end,” i.e., when thou hast done, when all is over with thee. נָהַם used of the loud groaning of the poor and distressed also in Ez. 24:23; comp. Prov. 19:12; 20:2; 28:15, where the same word describes the roaring of the lion. The LXX (καὶ μεταμεληθήσῃ) appear to have read וְנִהַמְתָּ a gloss containing a true explanation, but needlessly weakening the genuine sense of the word.—When thy body and flesh are consumed. בְּשָֽׂרְךָ וּשְׁאֵרֶֽךָ, i.e., plainly thy whole body; the two synonymes, the first of which describes the flesh with the frame, and the second the flesh in the strictest sense, without the bones, are designed to emphasize the idea of the body in its totality, and that with the intention of marking “the utter destruction of the libertine” (UMBREIT).
Proverbs 5:12. Why did I then hate correction?—Literally, How did I then hate correction? i.e., in what an inexcusable way? How could I then so hate correction?
Proverbs 5:14. A little more, and I had fallen into utter destruction—i.e., how narrowly did I escape a fall into the extremest ruin, literally, “into entireness of misery, into completeness of destruction !” As the second clause shows, the allusion is to the danger of condemnation before the assembled congregation, and of execution by stoning; see above on Proverbs 5:10.—Assembly and congregation—Hebrew קָהָל and עֵדָה—stand in the relation of the convened council of the elders acting as judges (Deut. 33:4, 5), and the concourse of the people executing the condemning sentence (Numb. 15:35; comp. Ps. 7:7). For קָהָל is in general always a convened assembly, convocatio; עֵדָה on the contrary is a multitude of the people gathering without any special call, coetus sive multitudo.
4. Proverbs 5:15–20. To the detailed warning set forth in Proverbs 5:8–14 there is now added a corresponding positive antithesis, a not less appropriate admonition to conjugal fidelity and purity.—Drink waters out of thine own cistern, etc., i.e., seek the satisfaction of love’s desire simply and alone with thine own wife. “The wife is appropriately compared with a fountain not merely inasmuch as offspring are born of her, but also since she satisfies the desire of the man. In connection with this we must call to mind, in order to feel the full power of the figure, how in antiquity and especially in the East the possession of a spring was regarded a great and even sacred thing. Thus the mother Sarah is compared to a well spring, Is. 51:1, and Judah, the patriarch, is spoken of as ‘waters,’ Is. 48:1; as also Israel, Num. 24:7; Ps. 68:26” (UMBREIT). Compare also Song Sol. 4:12.—AND FLOWING STREAMS FROM THINE OWN WELL SPRING—With בּוֹר, i.e., properly “cistern,” an artificially prepared reservoir, there is associated in the second clause בְּאֵר, fountain, i.e., a natural spring of water conducted to a particular fountain or well spring. Only such a natural fountain-head (comp. Gen. 26:15–20) can pour forth נוֹזְלִים, i.e., purling waters; living, fresh, cool water for drinking (Song Sol. 4:15; Jer. 18:14).
Proverbs 5:16. Shall thy streams flow abroad as water brooks in the streets?—To supply פֶּן (GESENIUS, UMBREIT) or אַל (EWALD, BERTHEAU, ELSTER [STUART], etc.) is needless, if the verse be conceived of as interrogative, which, like Prov. 6:30; Ps. 56:7 sq., is indicated as such only by the interrogative tone. So with unquestionable correctness HITZIG. A purely affirmative conception of the sentence, according to which it is viewed as representing the blessing of children born of this lawful conjugal love under the figure of a stream overflowing and widely extending (SCHULTENS, DÖDERLEIN, VON HOFMANN, Schriftbew., II. 2, 375 [HOLDEN, NOYES, MUENSCHER, WORDSW.], etc.) would seriously break the connection with Proverbs 5:17. As to the subject, i.e., the description of a wife who has proved false to her husband and runs after other men, comp. especially Proverbs 7:12.
Proverbs 5:18. Let thy fountain be blessed.—יְהִי “attaches itself formally to the jussive יִהְיוּ of the preceding verse” (HITZIG), and so adds to the wish that conjugal fidelity may prevail between the married pair, the further wish that prosperity and blessing may attend their union. בָּרוּךְ doubtless used of substantial blessings, i.e., of the prosperity and joy which the husband is to prepare for his wife, as an instrument in the favoring hand of God. This, which is HITZIG’S view, the connection with the second clause recommends above that of UMBREIT, which explains בָּרוּךְ as here meaning “extolled,” and also above that of BERTHEAU, which contemplates “children as the blessing of marriage.”—And rejoice with the wife of thy youth.—Comp. Deut. 24:5; Eccles. 9:9. “Wife of thy youth,” i.e., wife to whom thou hast given the fair bloom of thy youth (UMBREIT). Compare the expression “companion of youth” in 2.17. In a needlessly artificial way EWALD and BERTHEAU have regarded the entire eighteenth verse as a final clause depending on the second member of Proverbs 5:17: “that thy fountain may be blessed, and thou mayest have joy,” etc. HITZIG rightly observes that to give this meaning we should have expected וַיְהִי instead of יְהִי, and likewise וְשָֽׂמַחְתָּ instead of וּשְׂמַח, and that in general Proverbs 5:18 does not clearly appear to be a final clause. [STUART makes the second clause final, depending on the first, which is also unnecessarily involved.]
Proverbs 5:19. The lovely hind, the graceful gazelle.—Fitly chosen images to illustrate the graceful, lively, fascinating nature of a young wife; comp. the name “gazelle” (צְבִי, Tαβιθά and its equivalent Δορκάς as a woman’s proper name; Acts 9:36; also Song Sol. 2:9, 17; 8:14. UMBREIT refers to numerous parallels from Arabic and Persian poets, which show the popularity of this figure in Oriental literature. [“These pretty animals are amiable, affectionate and loving by universal testimony—and no sweeter comparison can be found.” THOMSON, The Land and the Book, I., 252—A.]—Let her bosom charm thee always.—Instead of דַּדֶּיהָ, her breasts, the Versio Veneta reads דּדֶיֽהָ her love (αἱ ταύτης φιλίαι), which reading HITZIG prefers (“ihre Minne”). A needless alteration and weakening of the meaning, in accordance with Song Sol. 1:2; Prov. 7:18, as rendered by the LXX. Comp. rather the remarks below on Proverbs 5:20.—In her love delight thyself evermore. שָׁגָה elsewhere used of the staggering gait of the intoxicated (Proverbs 20:1; Isa. 28:7), here by a bold trope used of the ecstatic joy of a lover. That the same word is employed in the next verse for the description of the foolish delirium of the libertine hastening after the harlot, and again in Proverbs 5:23 of the exhausted prostration of the morally and physically ruined transgressor,—and is therefore used in each instance with a somewhat modified meaning, indicates plainly a definite purpose. The threefold use of שָׁגָח is intended to constitute a climax, to illustrate the sad consequences of sins of unchastity.
Proverbs 5:20. Emphatic sequel to the foregoing, concisely and vigorously summing up the admonitory and warning contents of Proverbs 5:8–19. And embrace the bosom of a wanton woman. This expression (תַּחְבֵּק חֵק) testifies to the correctness of the reading דַּדֶּיהָ in Proverbs 5:19.
5. Proverbs 5:21–23. Epilogue for the monitory presentation of the truth that no one is in condition to conceal his adultery, be it ever so secretly practiced,—that on the contrary God sees this with every other transgression, and punishes it with the merited destruction of the sinner.—For before Jehovah’s eyes are the ways of man, and all his paths He marketh.—(פִּלֵּם here also not to “ponder,” but to “mark out,” see note on Proverbs 5:6.) An important proof text not merely for God’s omniscience, but also for His special providence and “concursus” [coöperation in human conduct]. Comp. Job 34:21; 24:23; 31:4, etc.
Proverbs 5:22. His sins overtake him, the evil doer. The double designation of the object, by the suffix in יִלְכְּדֻנוֹ and then by the expression “the evil doer,” added far emphasis, gives a peculiar force. Comp. 14:13; Ezek. 16:3; Jer. 9:25.—By the cords of his sin. Comp. Isa. 5:18, and in general, for the sentiment of the whole verse, Proverbs 1:31, 32; 11:5; 18:7; 29:6; Ps. 7:15; 40:12; John 8:34; 2 Pet. 2:19.
Proverbs 5:23. For lack of correction. This is undoubtedly the explanation of בְּאֵין מוּסָר, and not “without correction” (UMBREIT). The בְּ is not circumstantial, but causal (instrumental), as in the 2d member.—As to the meaning of שָׁגָה see above, remarks on Proverbs 5:19.
DOCTRINAL, ETHICAL, AND HOMILETIC
That our chapter holds up in opposition to all unregulated gratification of the sexual impulses, the blessing of conjugal fidelity and chastity, requires no detailed proof. It is a chapter on a pious marriage relation, appropriately attached to the preceding, on the right training, of children; for pious and strict discipline of children is impossible, where the sacred bonds of marriage are disregarded, violated and trampled under foot. In conformity with the thoroughly practical nature of the doctrine of wisdom (the Hhokmah), the author, as Proverbs 5:15–20 show, completely overthrows all the demands and suggestions of a sensual desire that has broken over all the sacred bounds prescribed by God, and so, as it were, has become wild and insane, by exhibiting the satisfaction of the sexual impulse in marriage as justified and in conformity with the divine rule. An important hint for a practical estimate of the contents of this chapter, from which evidently there may be drawn not merely material and arguments for a thorough treatment of the Christian doctrine with respect to the sixth commandment in general, but specially for the exhibition of the true evangelical idea of marriage, in contrast with the extravagant asceticism of Romish theology, and also of many sects both of ancient and modern times (Montanists, Eustathians, Cathari, Gichtelites, etc.). In this connection 1 Cor. 7 must also, naturally, be brought into the account, especially the 5th verse of this chapter, which exhibits the fundamental idea of Proverbs 5:15–20 of our section, reduced to the briefest and most concise form that is possible; with the addition of the needful corrective, and the explanation that is appropriate in connection with the “always” and “evermore” of Proverbs 5:19, which might possibly be misunderstood.
As a homily, therefore, on the entire chapter: On the right keeping of the 6th commandment, a) through the avoidance of all unchastity; b) through the maintenance of a faithful (Proverbs 5:15–20) and devout (Proverbs 5:21–23) demeanor in the sacred marriage relation.—MELANCHTHON: The sum of the matter is: Love truly thine own wife, and be content with her alone, as this law of marriage was at once ordained, in Paradise (Gen. 2): “they shall be one flesh,” i.e., one male and one female united inseparably. For then also, even if human nature had remained incorrupt, God would have wished men to comprehend purity, and to maintain the exercise of obedience by observing this order, viz., by avoiding all wandering desires. Comp. AUGUSTINE: Marriage before the fall was ordained for duty, after the fall for a remedy.
Proverbs 5:1–4. EGARD:—A harlot is the devil’s decoy, and becomes to many a tree of death unto death. The fleshly and the spiritual harlot most fill hell (Proverbs 7:27). The devil comes first with sweetness and friendliness, to betray man, afterward however with bitterness, to destroy the soul.—[Proverbs 5:3. TRAPP: There is no such pleasure as to have overcome an offered pleasure; neither is there any greater conquest than that that is gotten over a man’s corruptions.]—STARKE: Beware of the spiritual anti-christian harlot, who tempts the whole world to idolatry, and to forsaking the true God (1 John 5:21).—There are in general many allegorical interpretations in the old writers, in which the strange, lascivious woman is either partially or outright assumed (as, e.g., more recently in the Berleb. Bible) to be the designation of “the false church,” of antichrist, of worldly wisdom, etc. [See also WORDSW. in loc. and also on Proverbs 5:19, together with his citations from BEDE, etc.—A.]. For Evangelical preaching, naturally, only a treatment that is partially allegorical, can be regarded admissible, and in the end expedient; such a treatment as consists in a generalization of the specific prohibition of unchastity into a warning against spiritual licentiousness or idolatry in general.
Proverbs 5:15–23. STARKE: An admonition to hold to one’s own wife only; 1) the admonition (Proverbs 5:15–17); 2) the motives: a) the blessing on such conjugal fidelity (Proverbs 5:18, 19); b) the dishonor (Proverbs 5:20, 21) and c) the ruinous result of conjugal unfaithfulness (Proverbs 5:22, 23).—[Proverbs 5:15. ARNOT: God condescends to bring His own institute forward in rivalry with the deceitful pleasures of sin. All the accessories of the family are the Father’s gift, and He expects us to observe and value them.—H. SMITH (quoted by BRIDGES): First choose thy love; then love thy choice.]—EGARD: A married life full of true love, joy and peace, is a paradise on earth; on the other hand, a marriage full of hate, unfaithfulness and strife is a real hell.—VON GERLACH: The loveliness and enjoyment of a happy domestic relation as the earthly motive, the holy ordinance of matrimony watched over by God with omniscient strictness, as the higher motive to chastity.—Calwar Handbuch: Be true to thine own wife; therein is happiness ! Sin against her, and thou becomest through thine own fault wretched!—[Proverbs 5:21. TRAPP: A man that is about any evil should stand in awe of himself; how much more of God!—ARNOT: Secrecy is the study and hope of the wicked. A sinner’s chief labor is to hide his sin; and his labor is all lost. Sin becomes the instrument of punishing sinners—retribution in the system of nature, set in motion by the act of sin].
My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: