Proverbs 7:24
Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 7:24-27. Hearken unto me now therefore — “This is a true representation, my dear children, of the folly and danger of these lewd courses, in which youth is prone to be engaged; and therefore do not look upon it as an idle speculation, but give diligent heed unto it, and be ruled by my advice.” Let not thy heart decline, &c. — “Let not one of you so much as entertain a thought of going to such a woman, much less of consenting to her enticements.” Go not astray in her paths — Do not leave the right and straight way, to go into such crooked paths as hers are. For she hath cast down many wounded — “Do not presume on being safe in such courses, and of making a good retreat at last; for many have been the examples of no mean persons who have fallen in their reputation, their estates, their health, their comforts of life, and, in truth, have utterly perished” by an adulterous woman. “Innumerable are the mighty whom she hath brought to ruin.” The translation of the LXX. is, “She hath cast down many whom she hath wounded; and they whom she hath slain are innumerable.” Her house is the way to hell — “In short, to follow her unto her house is the direct way to hell: every step taken to her bed is, in truth, a going down to the dismal chambers of death, and to the most horrid miseries.” — Bishop Patrick. Calmet justly observes, that “Solomon had no need to go further than his own family for unhappy examples of the ill effects of lust. He was, indeed, himself, afterward, a sad proof of what he here says. How many lions hath the weakness of woman tamed, who, though mean and miserable herself, makes a prey of the great ones of the earth!”

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 first clause does not connect itself very clearly with the foregoing, and is probably affected by the corrupt text which makes it perplexing. 24. The inferential admonition is followed (Pr 7:26, 27), by a more general allegation of the evils of this vice. No text from Poole on this verse.

Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children,.... The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, read, in the singular number, "my son", in the same manner as the chapter begins; but it is in the plural number in the Hebrew text; and so read the Targum and Syriac version, "children", the children of Solomon; not only those of his own body, but all such that put themselves under his instruction, or were willing to take his advice: it may be extended to all the children of men, for all are interested herein; especially such who profess to be the children of God and of Christ, the followers of wisdom. This is the epilogue, or application of the above story. Since this is the case, that young men are in danger of being ensnared and brought to ruin by this harlot, therefore take the advice of the wisest of men, even of Wisdom herself;

and attend to the words of my mouth; the doctrines of Christ; the best preservative from the allurements of the whore of Rome.

Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. ye children] Rather, Now, therefore, my sons, &c., R.V. It is the same word as that which opens this appeal (Proverbs 7:1), and is constantly used by the Teacher throughout these addresses. See Proverbs 1:8, note.

Verse 24. - The narrative ends here, and the author makes a practical exhortation deduced from it. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children. He began by addressing his words to one, "my son" (ver. 1); he here turns to the young generally, knowing how necessary is his warning to all strong in passion, weak in will, wanting in experience. The Septuagint has "my son," as in ver. 1. Proverbs 7:24With ועתּה, as at Proverbs 5:7, the author now brings his narrative to a close, adding the exhortation deduced from it:

24 And now, ye children, give ear unto me,

     And observe the words of my mouth!

25 Let not thine heart incline to her ways,

     And stray not in her paths.

The verb שׂטה (whence jēst, like jēt, Proverbs 4:15, with long ē from i) the author uses also of departure from a wicked way (Proverbs 4:15); but here, where the portraiture of a faithless wife (a סוטה) is presented, the word used in the law of jealousy, Numbers 5, for the trespass of an אשׁת אישׁ is specially appropriate. שׂטה is interchanged with תּעה (cf. Genesis 21:14): wander not on her paths, which would be the consequence of straying on them. Theodotion: καὶ μὴ πλανηθῇς ἐν ἀτραποῖς αὐτῆς, with καί, as also Syr., Targ., and Jerome. The Masora reckons this verse to the 25 which have אל at the beginning and ואל at the middle of each clause (vid., Baer in the Luth. Zeitschrift, 1865, p. 587); the text of Norzi has therefore correctly ואל, which is found also in good MSS (e.g., the Erfurt, 2 and 3).

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