Verses 1-23 Discourse on the Virtues of Monogamy
In a day when marriage comes and goes with ease, when serial monogamy is a polite way of saying one can have several wives in the course of a lifetime at the convenience of divorce, the foundation of society is at great risk. It becomes all the more important that Bible believing people should read Proverbs 5:1-23. This poem begins with the customary “My son, listen, pay attention.” When God tells us to pay attention it is very important for us to listen. He says pay attention and then he teaches.
Sexual immorality must have been a problem back in the days of Solomon and the writing of Proverbs. The subject is taken up in several sections of the book of Proverbs. (2:16-19; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 9: 13-18) At first we have a loose statement of the enticement of a loose woman. The use of the word loose to describe a woman is not averse to passing out sexual favors to various men is most appropriate. The Hebrew word here means strange and suggest a foreign woman, but it is more likely the writer is saying that the woman does not belong to the man.
The woman give a strong enticement with her lips that “drip with honey,” she is very alluring, her speech is smoother than that of olive oil to the skin. The end result of such an association is bitter and sharper than a two edged sword. To follow her path may seem to be on a primrose path but in reality it leads to death. She is a silly woman who tempts men to follow her but her path is the road to destruction and she takes the gullible men with her.
We see a stern graphic warning that expresses the terms of consequence to become involved with a woman who has no moral. You first give up your honor. Many a man has made fools of themselves and thrown away what respect they had in the community for the loose woman. Second you are giving up what wealth you have to a foreign woman who is a predator that dangles her body before the eyes of a man. She leads him away from family and then takes him to the cleaners and drains his wealth. Third at last and in the end you have realized the fool you have been and you are now left with nothing. All the warnings you received gave no avail. You paid no attention and now it is too late. Such is the sad story for many a foolish man.
We now look to the virtues of fidelity in marriage in verses 15-23. We see an image of drinking from you own cistern and water from your own well. Marital love is intended to be a nurturing and refreshing experience. We see a picture of the husband or the wife going about the town giving out the water of their sexual love to whoever wants it. Such a precious possession is not for others but are reserved for the covenant partners only.
In verses 18-19 we see a beautiful description of the proper place for sensuality in married love. A woman as a wife is lovely and the most desirable. The husband should look only to his wife and see only her beauty. It is not a vice of sexual enticement when expressed within the sacredness of the marriage covenant.
We return in conclusion to where the lecture began. One my think that they can get away with sneaking around and being unfaithful to their spouse, you may fool your mate, you may fool the public, but you can never fool God. God watches all the paths a person takes. Those that go to your door and those that go to the doors of others.
Marriage and Sexuality
In Proverbs, the wise teacher frequently warns naïve young men to avoid the temptations of sexual expression outside of the marriage. While a young man might find other women physically attractive and seductive, the consequences of acting on these temptations are dire: His family and professional aspirations might be destroyed. Proverbs teaches young men to cultivate a strong relationship with their own wives. They are counselled to have healthy marital sex rather than sleeping with other women. Although Proverbs was originally written to instruct young men, women readers can think in the same categories and consider the same important issues.
From the beginning of Scripture, marriage is sacred, and appropriate sexual expression is an important part of marriage. The fall created a rupture in all relationships, first between God and humans, and then between husband and wife. The division between Adam and Eve was expressed in terms of their sexuality; they could no longer stand naked in the Garden without feeling shame. Proverbs urges young men and women to reclaim the beauty of marital love and guard its sanctity as God, the wise Creator, intended it.