Proverbs 23:33
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
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(33) Thine eyes shall behold strange women.—i.e., look out for them, impurity being the constant attendant of drunkenness. Or, the word may be translated “strange things,” referring to the strange fancies of a drunkard, the horrible and fantastic visions present to his disordered brain.

Perverse things.—His notions of right and wrong being completely distorted.

Proverbs 23:33-34. Thine eyes shall behold strange women — With evil intent: lustful, nay, adulterous desires will be excited in thee, which thou wilt neither have inclination nor power to restrain and govern; and thy heart shall utter perverse things — Will discover its wickedness by unseemly and perverse, perhaps, even by filthy, scurrilous, and blasphemous speeches. Thou shalt be as he that lieth down — To sleep; in the midst of the sea — That is, in a ship in the midst of the sea; as he that lieth upon the top of the mast — The worst part of a ship to lie down upon, because of its perpetual tossings, and the hazard of him that sleeps upon it. “Thou wilt grow so perfectly senseless, that not only thy most important business will be neglected, but thou wilt un-thinkingly run thyself into the extremest hazards, without any apprehension of danger: being no more able to direct thy course, than a pilot who sleeps when a ship is tossed in the midst of the sea; or to take notice of the peril thou art in, than he that falls asleep on the top of a mast, where he was set to keep the watch.”

23:29-35 Solomon warns against drunkenness. Those that would be kept from sin, must keep from all the beginnings of it, and fear coming within reach of its allurements. Foresee the punishment, what it will at last end in, if repentance prevent not. It makes men quarrel. Drunkards wilfully make woe and sorrow for themselves. It makes men impure and insolent. The tongue grows unruly; the heart utters things contrary to reason, religion, and common civility. It stupifies and besots men. They are in danger of death, of damnation; as much exposed as if they slept upon the top of a mast, yet feel secure. They fear no peril when the terrors of the Lord are before them; they feel no pain when the judgments of God are actually upon them. So lost is a drunkard to virtue and honour, so wretchedly is his conscience seared, that he is not ashamed to say, I will seek it again. With good reason we were bid to stop before the beginning. Who that has common sense would contract a habit, or sell himself to a sin, which tends to such guilt and misery, and exposes a man every day to the danger of dying insensible, and awaking in hell? Wisdom seems in these chapters to take up the discourse as at the beginning of the book. They must be considered as the words of Christ to the sinner.Adder - Said to be the Cerastes, or horned snake.33, 34. The moral effects: it inflames passion (Ge 19:31, 35), lays open the heart, produces insensibility to the greatest dangers, and debars from reformation, under the severest sufferings. Behold, with evil intent, or lustfully, which is the effect of drinking much wine, as is noted in Scripture, Genesis 19:31,35 Ho 4:18, and other authors.

Thine heart shall utter perverse things; thine heart, which, when thou hadst the use of thy wit, concealed, will then discover its wickedness by filthy and perverse speeches.

Thine eyes shall behold strange women,.... Being inflamed with wine, shall look upon women, other men's wives, and lust after them; or harlots, whom seeking after or meeting with, when in their cups, are drawn into their embraces; excess of wine leads to whoredom (w). So Aben Ezra supplies the word "women", and Jarchi interprets it to this sense; but the Targum renders it, "strange things"; and so many others: a drunken man, through the lunges and vapours that ascend into his brain, fancies he sees strange sights; he sees things double; imagines that he sees trees walk, and many such like absurd and monstrous things;

and thine heart shall utter perverse things; or the mouth, from the abundance of the heart, and imagination of it, shall utter things contrary to sense and reason, contrary to truth and righteousness, contrary to chastity and good manners, contrary to their own honour and credit, contrary to God and men; the mouth then utters all that is in the heart, which it at other times conceals. It may have a particular respect to the unchaste, filthy, and obscene words, uttered to strange women, into whose company men fall when in liquor.

(w) "Vina parant animos Veneri", Ovid. de Arte Amandi, l. 1.

Thy {o} eyes shall behold strange women, and thy heart shall utter perverse things.

(o) That is, drunkenness will bring you to whoredom.

33. strange women] This rendering, which is retained in R.V. marg. (comp. ἀλλοτρίαν, LXX.; extraneas, Vulg.), is in keeping with the usage of the word in this Book, and with the undoubted connection between excess of wine and lust; but strange things, R.V. text, preserves the parallelism better: the eye of the drunkard is haunted by strange visions; his mouth utters perverse words.

Verse 33. - The excitement occasioned by wine is now described. Thine eyes shall behold strange women. Ewald, Delitzsch, and others take זָדות to mean "strange things," as affording a better parallel to the "perverse things" of the next clause. In this case the writer intends to denote the fantastic, often dreadful, images produced on the brain by the feverish condition of the inebriated. But the often denounced connection between drunkenness and incontinence, the constant reference to "strange women" in this book, and the general consensus of the versions, lead one to uphold the rendering of the Authorized Version. It seems, too, somewhat meagre to note these illusions as one of the terrible effects of intemperance, omitting all mention of the unbridling of lust, when the eyes look out for and rove after unchaste women. Thine heart shall utter perverse things (comp Proverbs 15:28; Matthew 15:19). The drunkard's notions are distorted, and his words partake of the same character; he confuses right and wrong; he says things which he would never speak if he were in full possession of his senses. Septuagint, "When thine eyes shall see a strange woman, then thy mouth shall speak perverse things." Proverbs 23:33The author passes from the sin of uncleanness to that of drunkenness; they are nearly related, for drunkenness excites fleshly lust; and to wallow with delight in the mire of sensuality, a man, created in the image of God, must first brutalize himself by intoxication. The Mashal in the number of its lines passes beyond the limits of the distich, and becomes a Mashal ode.

29 Whose is woe? Whose is grief?

     Whose are contentions, whose trouble, whose wounds without cause?

     Whose dimness of eyes?

30 Theirs, who sit late at the wine,

     Who turn in to taste mixed wine.

31 Look not on the wine as it sparkleth red,

     As it showeth its gleam in the cup,

     Glideth down with ease.

32 The end of it is that it biteth like a serpent,

     And stingeth like a basilisk.

33 Thine eyes shall see strange things,

     And thine heart shall speak perverse things;

34 And thou art as one lying in the heart of the sea,


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