Proverbs 7:16
I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
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(16) Carved works.—Rather, with coloured or striped coverlets. For another notice of the extravagance of the women of Jerusalem, see Isaiah 3, and for a description of the trade of Tyre, the great supplier of foreign luxuries, see Ezek. xxvii Myrrh is said to be a natural product of Arabia, aloes and cinnamon of the east coast of Africa and Ceylon.

7:6-27 Here is an affecting example of the danger of youthful lusts. It is a history or a parable of the most instructive kind. Will any one dare to venture on temptations that lead to impurity, after Solomon has set before his eyes in so lively and plain a manner, the danger of even going near them? Then is he as the man who would dance on the edge of a lofty rock, when he has just seen another fall headlong from the same place. The misery of self-ruined sinners began in disregard to God's blessed commands. We ought daily to pray that we may be kept from running into temptation, else we invite the enemies of our souls to spread snares for us. Ever avoid the neighbourhood of vice. Beware of sins which are said to be pleasant sins. They are the more dangerous, because they most easily gain the heart, and close it against repentance. Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it. Were a man to live as long as Methuselah, and to spend all his days in the highest delights sin can offer, one hour of the anguish and tribulation that must follow, would far outweigh them.The words point to the art and commerce which flourished under Solomon.

Carved works - Most commentators take the original as meaning "striped coverlets of linen of Egypt."

16, 17. my bed—or, "couch," adorned in the costliest manner. She designs to inflame his lust by the mention of the bed, and by its ornaments and perfumes. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry,.... Made use of by the ancients (o) for bed clothes: beautiful ornaments, as Gersom; and precious garments, as Jarchi. She had adorned her bed with curtains and clothes, very delightful to the eye, and inviting; and had well corded it, as some interpret it, with cords of fine linen, and all to allure her lovers; she soon discovered her lustful inclinations, what her heart was upon, and says this, and more, to fire the young man's lust, and cause him to follow her: so the church of Rome adorns her places of worship in the most pompous manner; which are the beds in which she commits adultery, Revelation 2:22; and also her images to strike the minds of people, and draw them into her idolatrous worship;

with carved works; perhaps the bed's head, tester, and posts, were all carved, and cut out of cedar wood and others, as Gersom observes; though some think: this refers to the variety of work in tapestry, which look like incisions and carvings, or the network, and agnet holes made therein: this may be very well applied to the carved work, and carved images, set up in the Romish churches;

with fine linen of Egypt; the sheets, pillows, and bolsters, made thereof, and so soft to lie upon; which was reckoned the best and finest, though not the strongest. Pliny says (p), of the linen of Egypt, that it had less strength and firmness in it (it being so fine); but bore the best price, and was the most gainful and profitable. The word used is not what is elsewhere met with, even when the linen of Egypt is mentioned, and indeed is nowhere else used: the Targum renders it, an Egyptian covering; and so most of the Oriental versions interpret it of bed coverings of tapestry painted, brought out of Egypt. The word is used in the Chaldee language for cords; and may here signify threads of linen twisted together, or linen cords, with which the harlot's bed was corded, and looked beautiful. Pliny (q) says, there were four sorts of linen in Egypt; Tanitic, Pelusiac, Butic, and Tenterytic; so called from the names and provinces where they were cultivated; and perhaps the Etun of Egypt may be the Tanitic: the fine linen, called "byssus", was brought out of India into Egypt; and is said to grow upon a tree as high as the poplar, and its leaves like a willow (r). Egypt is very properly made mention of in this account; it being one of the names of the city of Rome, of the great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, and equal to both for lust and luxury, Revelation 11:8.

(o) Vid. Homer. Odyss. 4. c. 299. & Odyss. 7. prope finem. (p) Nat. Hist. l. 19. c. 1.((q) Ibid. (r) Philostrat. Vit. Apollen. l. 2. c. 9.

I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
16. deckt … with. coverings] Lit. covered … with coverings, or cushioned … with cushions, the words being two forms of the same Heb. root, which does not occur elsewhere.

bed] or, couch: a different and more poetic word than that in Proverbs 7:17. It is used for a couch of moss and flowers, “also our couch is green,” Song of Solomon 1:16.

with carved works &c.] Rather, with striped cloths of the yarn of Egypt, R.V.

If the rendering of A.V., “And king Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt and linen yarn” (1 Kings 10:28), could stand, we should have an interesting historical light thrown upon this verse. It is now, however, generally thought that the Hebrew word (lit. string) does not mean yarn, but a string, or drove of horses. “And the horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; and the king’s merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price,” R.V. (See note there in this Series.) The historical notice, however, is still relevant, as showing the commercial relations of Palestine with Egypt in the time of Solomon.

linen] or, yarn, R.V. The Heb. word occurs only here, and is thought by Lange and others to be akin to the Greek word ὀθόνη, fine linen in classical Greek, but in later Greek used more widely, Acts 10:11; Acts 11:5. The LXX. render, ἀμφιτάποις (with cloths hairy or shaggy on both sides) ἔστρωκα τοῖς ἀπʼ Αἰγύπτου.Verse 16. - She describes the preparation she has made for his entertainment. Coverings of tapestry; marbaddim, "cushions," "pillows." The expression occurs again in Proverbs 31:22. It is derived from דָבַד "to spread," and means cushions spread out ready for use. The Septuagint has κειρίαις; Vulgate, funibus, "cords." These versions seem to regard the word as denoting a kind of delicate sacking on which the coverlets were laid. Carved works, with fine linen of Egypt; literally, striped, or variegated, coverings, Egyptian linen. The words are in apposition, but the latter point to the material used, which is אֵטוּן, etun (ἅπαξ λεγόμενον), "linen yarn or thread," hence equivalent to "coverlets of Egyptian thread." This was of extreme fineness, costly, and much prized. By "carved works" (Hebrew, חֲטֻבות chatuboth) the Authorized Version must refer to bed poles or bed boards elaborately carved and polished; but the word is better taken of coverlets striped in different colours, which give the idea of richness and luxury. Vulgate, trapetibus pictis ex Aegypto, "embroidered rugs of Egyptian work;" Septuagint, ἀμφιτάποις τοῖς ἀπ Αἰγύπτου, "shaggy cloth of Egypt." The mention of these articles denotes the foreign commerce of the Hebrews, and their appreciation of artistic work (comp. Isaiah 19:9; Ezekiel 27:7). The Prophet Amos (Amos 6:4) denounces those that "lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches." Finally, the young man devoid of understanding sees his waiting rewarded: like meets like.

10 And, lo, a woman coming to meet him,

     In the attire of an harlot and of subtle heart.

11 Boisterous is she, and ungovernable;

     Her feet have no rest in her own house.

12 At one time before her door, at another in the street,

     And again at every corner she places herself on the watch.

"Pro 7:12 (Hitzig) expresses what is wont to be, instead of a single event, Proverbs 7:11, viz., the custom of a street harlot. But she who is spoken of is not such an one; lurking is not applicable to her (cf. Job 31:9), and, Proverbs 7:11, it is not meant that she is thus inclined." But Hitzig's rendering of Proverbs 7:11, "she was boisterous ... in her house her feet had no rest," is inaccurate, since neither היאו nor שׁכנוּ is used. Thus in Proverbs 7:11 and Proverbs 7:12 the poet gives a characteristic of the woman, introduced by הנּהו into the frame of his picture, which goes beyond that which then presented itself to his eyes. We must with Proverbs 7:12 reject also Proverbs 7:11; and even that would not be a radical improvement, since that characteristic lying behind the evident, that which was then evident begins with וּנצרת לב (and subtle in heart). We must thus suppose that the woman was not unknown to the observer here describing her. He describes her first as she then appeared. שׁית Hitzig regards as equivalent to שׁוית, similitude (from שׁוה), and why? Because שׁית does not mean "to lay against," but "to place." But Exodus 33:4 shows the contrary, and justifies the meaning attire, which the word also has in Psalm 73:6. Meri less suitably compares 2 Kings 9:30, but rightly explains תקון (dressing, ornament), and remarks that שׁית elliptical is equivalent to בּשׁית. It is not the nominative (Bertheau), but the accusative, as תבנית, Psalm 144:12, Ewald, 279d. How Hitzig reaches the translation of ונצרת לב by "and an arrow in her heart" (et saucia corde)

(Note: Virgil's Aeneid, iv. 1.)

one can only understand by reading his commentary. The usage of the language, Proverbs 4:23, he remarks, among other things, would stamp her as a virtuous person. As if a phrase like נצר לב could be used both sensu bono and sensu malo! One can guard his heart when he protects it carefully against moral danger, or also when he purposely conceals that which is in it. The part. נצוּר signifies, Isaiah 1:8, besieged (blockaded), Ezekiel 16:12, protected, guarded, and Isaiah 48:6; Isaiah 65:4, concealed, hidden. Ewald, 187b, refers these three significations in the two passages in Isaiah and in the passage before us to צרר, Niph. נצר (as נגל); but (1) one would then more surely take צוּר (cf. נמּול, נבכים) as the verbal stem; (2) one reaches the idea of the concealed (the hidden) easier from that of the preserved than from that of the confined. As one says in Lat. homo occultus, tectus, abstrusus, in the sense of κρυψίνους, so it is said of that woman נצרת לב, not so much in the sense of retenta cor, h.e. quae quod in corde haberet non pandebat, Fr. retenue (Cocc.), as in the sense of custodita cor, quae intentionem cordis mentemque suam callide novit premere (Mich.): she is of a hidden mind, of a concealed nature; for she feigns fidelity to her husband and flatters her paramours as her only beloved, while in truth she loves none, and each of them is to her only a means to an end, viz., to the indulgence of her worldly sensual desire. For, as the author further describes here, she is המיּה (fem. of המה equals המי, as Proverbs 1:21; Isaiah 22:2), tumultuosa, externally as internally impetuous, because full of intermingling lust and deceit (opp. ἡσύχιος, 1 Peter 3:4; 1 Timothy 2:11), and סררת, self-willed, not minding the law of duty, of discretion, or of modesty (from סרר, Arab. sharr, pervicacem, malum esse). She is the very opposite of the noiseless activity and the gentle modesty of a true house-wife, rude, stubborn, and also vagrant like a beast in its season (Hosea 4:14): in domo ipsius residere nequeunt pedes ejus; thus not οἰκουρός or οἰκουργός (Titus 2:5), far removed from the genuine woman - like εἴσω ἥσυχον μένειν δόμων

(Note: Eurip. Herac.) - a radt, as they call such a one in Arab. (Wnsche on Hosea 12:1)

or as she is called in Aram. נפקת בּרא.

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