Proverbs 5:5
Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Take hold on hell.—They lead straight to it.

5:1-14 Solomon cautions all young men, as his children, to abstain from fleshly lusts. Some, by the adulterous woman, here understand idolatry, false doctrine, which tends to lead astray men's minds and manners; but the direct view is to warn against seventh-commandment sins. Often these have been, and still are, Satan's method of drawing men from the worship of God into false religion. Consider how fatal the consequences; how bitter the fruit! Take it any way, it wounds. It leads to the torments of hell. The direct tendency of this sin is to the destruction of body and soul. We must carefully avoid every thing which may be a step towards it. Those who would be kept from harm, must keep out of harm's way. If we thrust ourselves into temptation we mock God when we pray, Lead us not into temptation. How many mischiefs attend this sin! It blasts the reputation; it wastes time; it ruins the estate; it is destructive to health; it will fill the mind with horror. Though thou art merry now, yet sooner or later it will bring sorrow. The convinced sinner reproaches himself, and makes no excuse for his folly. By the frequent acts of sin, the habits of it become rooted and confirmed. By a miracle of mercy true repentance may prevent the dreadful consequences of such sins; but this is not often; far more die as they have lived. What can express the case of the self-ruined sinner in the eternal world, enduring the remorse of his conscience!Wormwood - In Eastern medicine this herb, the absinthium of Greek and Latin botanists, was looked upon as poisonous rather than medicinal. Compare Revelation 8:11. 5. feet … , steps—that is, course of life ends in death. Her feet; her course or manner of life. Her feet go down to death,.... The ways in which she walks, and in which she leads others, issue oftentimes in corporeal death; and always in eternal death, if grace prevent not; and unless men are brought to a sense of sin, to repent of it and leave it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "the feet of imprudence" or "folly", in opposition to wisdom; that is, the feet of the foolish woman, such an one the harlot is; and such is the whore of Rome, notwithstanding all her boasted knowledge and wisdom. And into perdition, or the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death, she goes herself, and hither she brings all that follow her idolatrous practices, Revelation 17:8;

her steps take hold on hell; make sure of it; hell is the certain portion of the harlot, and of all those that follow her lewd courses, unless reclaimed by the grace of God; and this will be the case of the worshippers of antichrist, or who give into the idolatries of the church of Rome, or commit fornication with her, Revelation 14:9. Or, "her steps support hell" (h); keep it up, and fill it with inhabitants; millions are carried into it by her means: or, reach unto hell; she stops not till she comes there, and her followers with her. The word may be rendered "the grave", and may respect such whores who haunted burying places, and prostituted themselves among the graves; and were called from hence "bustuariae moechae" (i).

(h) "sustentabunt", Montanus; "sustinant", Vatablus; "sustentent", Mercerus, Gejerus. (i) Vid. Turnebi Adversar. l. 13. c. 19. & Sept. vers. in Jer. ii. 23.

Her {c} feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

(c) All her doings lead to destruction.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. hell] Sheol, R.V. “which signifies the abode of departed spirits, and corresponds to the Greek Hades” (εἰς τὸν ᾅδην, LXX., ad inferos, Vulg. here). See R.V. Preface.Verse 5. - Vers. 5 and 6 continue the description of the harlot. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. She leads her victims to ruin. She hastens to death and the grove, and so do all those who listen to her. In all instances where the teacher speaks of the harlot at length he gives the same description of her (cf. Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18). An intensifying of the language is observable in the second hemistich. The descending progress to death becomes the laying hold of the grave, the underworld, as if nothing could turn her steps aside. And it is not only death, as the cessation of life, but death as a punishment, that is implied, just as the grave has in it the idea of corruption. (On "hell," sh'ol, see Proverbs 1:12.) The understanding of this rule is dependent on the right interpretation of פּלּס, which means neither "weigh off" (Ewald) nor "measure off" (Hitzig, Zckler). פּלּס has once, Psalm 58:3, the meaning to weigh out, as the denom. of פּלס, a level, a steelyard;

(Note: The Arabic word teflı̂s, said to be of the same signification (a balance), and which is given in the most recent editions of Gesenius' Lexicon, has been already shown under Job 37:16 to be a word devoid of all evidence.)

everywhere else it means to make even, to make level, to open a road: vid., under Isaiah 26:7; Isaiah 40:12. The admonition thus refers not to the careful consideration which measures the way leading to the goal which one wishes to reach, but to the preparation of the way by the removal of that which prevents unhindered progress and makes the way insecure. The same meaning appears if פּלּס, of cognate meaning with תּכּן, denoted first to level, and then to make straight with the level (Fleischer). We must remove all that can become a moral hindrance or a dangerous obstacle, in our life-course, in order that we may make right steps with our feet, as the lxx (Hebrews 12:13) translate. 26b is only another expression for this thought. הכין דּרכּו (2 Chronicles 27:6) means to give a direction to his way; a right way, which keeps in and facilitates the keeping in the straight direction, is accordingly called דּרך נכון; and "let all thy ways be right" (cf. Psalm 119:5, lxx κατευθυνθείησαν) will thus mean: see to it that all the ways which thou goest lead straight to the end.

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