Pitfalls of Immorality

My son, be attentive to my wisdom [godly wisdom learned by costly experience],
Incline your ear to my understanding;(A)

That you may exercise discrimination and discretion (good judgment),
And your lips may reserve knowledge and answer wisely [to temptation].

For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey [like a honeycomb]
And her speech is smoother than oil;(B)

But in the end she is bitter like [the extract of] wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death;
Her steps take hold of Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead),

So that she does not think [seriously] about the path of life;
Her ways are aimless and unstable; you cannot know where her path leads.

Now then, my sons, listen to me
And do not depart from (forget) the words of my mouth.

Let your way [in life] be far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house [avoid even being near the places of temptation],©

Or you will give your honor to others,
And your years to the cruel one,
And strangers will be filled with your strength
And your hard-earned wealth will go to the house of a foreigner [who does not know God];
And you will groan when your life is ending,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
And you say, “How I hated instruction and discipline,
And my heart despised correction and reproof!
“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor have I inclined my ear to those who instructed me.
“I was almost in total ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

[a]Drink water from your own [b]cistern [of a pure marriage relationship]
And fresh running water from your own well.
Should your [c]springs (children) be dispersed,
As streams of water in the streets?
[Confine yourself to your own wife.] Let your children be yours alone,
And not the children of strangers with you.
Let your fountain (wife) be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity],
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.(D)
Let her be as a loving hind and graceful doe,
Let her breasts refresh and satisfy you at all times;
Always be [d]exhilarated and delight in her love.
Why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an immoral woman
And embrace the bosom of an outsider (pagan)?
For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord,
And He carefully watches all of his paths [all of his comings and goings].(E)
The iniquities done by a wicked man will trap him,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
He will die for lack of instruction (discipline),
And in the greatness of his foolishness he will go astray and be lost.


  1. Proverbs 5:15 All of the Ten Commandments are reflected in the book of Proverbs; here it is the seventh, “You shall not commit adultery.”
  2. Proverbs 5:15 Vv 15-18 describe the purity of a man’s relationship in marriage. The cistern and well represent his wife.
  3. Proverbs 5:16 I.e. children of one’s promiscuity who are fatherless.
  4. Proverbs 5:19 Lit stagger (with passion).

Cross references

  1. Proverbs 5:1 : 1 Kin 4:29
  2. Proverbs 5:3 : Ezek 20:30; Col 2:8-10; 2 Pet 2:14-17
  3. Proverbs 5:8 : Prov 4:15; Rom 16:17; 1 Thess 5:19-22
  4. Proverbs 5:18 : Song 4:12, 15
  5. Proverbs 5:21 : 2 Chr 16:9; Job 31:4; 34:21; Prov 15:3; Jer 16:17; Hos 7:2; Heb 4:13