Proverbs 6:35

He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.
– Proverbs 6:35

The section and chapter closes with a completing thought. The thief may make restitution and thereby reconciliation but such is not the case with the adulterer. The rightly jealous husband’s rage will not be placated by any ransom or gift. History has proven that jealous rage to often be murderous and not to be reasoned with. This isn’t a treatise on what the defrauded spouse may or may not do in such a case, but rather a sober warning to the young man to have wisdom and keep away from such a woman at all costs.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:34

For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
– Proverbs 6:34

Whereas the starving thief may find sympathy from the man he has robbed and make restitution to him, the adulterer will not find any sympathy from the man whose wife he has taken. He will find rage, or furious anger fueled by his jealousy for his wife. He will show no leniency in vengeance. Vengeance could refer to seeking judicial punishment or exacting personal vengeance. Either way, the defrauded husband will not spare to press for all he can when the opportunity is given.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:33

A wound and dishonor shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
– Proverbs 6:33

The thief can make restitution and escape ignominy because of his hunger. The adulterer gets to himself a blot that cannot be wiped away. Wound, dishonor, and reproach could speak to social consequences and judicial ones. By the law, such a one should be put to death (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), though it doesn’t seem that law was ever faithfully upheld. Should he live, he will have to live with the consequent shame and reproach of his acts. Consider King David and how he is not spoken of except his adultery with Bathsheba is thought of.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:32

But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
– Proverbs 6:32

Understanding is from the word often translated “heart.” It can refer to the emotions, will, or intellect, and sometimes can take in all these meanings. Here a lack of understanding is the intention. A man who commits adultery demonstrates that he lacks wisdom. He demonstrates that he doesn’t fully grasp the consequences or depths of sin against others and the damage he does to himself. The consequences both immediate and in the future of this life are many, but if one goes on in this sin unrepentant, they inherit eternal damnation.

We also must never lose sight of the fact that Jesus taught adultery is also a sin within the heart, even if it never finds physical expression (Matthew 5:27-30). The lust he condemns is not merely a start of sin, but is sin itself. The warning accords with Solomon’s warnings to even stay away from the house of a strange woman (Proverbs 5:8).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:31

But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
– Proverbs 6:31

Restoring sevenfold is an expression that refers to the law of restitution (Exodus 22:1-4). Sevenfold expresses a severe penalty paid. Theft was a breach between neighbors and restitution was a means of reconciling them. Jesus taught the law was summed up in love for God first and love for neighbor second (Matthew 22:37-40). Coveting and stealing from your neighbor violates that love and restitution is designed to restore it. So a thief who steals because he is hungry, does not incur the utmost condemnation from society and restitution provides a means for him to be reconciled to his neighbor.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:30

Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
– Proverbs 6:30

Verses 30-35 end this section with a comparison between an adulterer and a thief. Solomon qualifies the theft that it is in order to satisfy the soul of the hungry man. A destitute and hungry man is not despised and cast out of society when he has stolen something in order to eat. Solomon is certainly not excusing the theft, but rather observing the consequences. The thief may be looked upon as a poor man, but he is not condemned by society the way the adulterer is (Proverbs 6:33). Even in our day of marriage confusion and the advocacy of same-sex marriage, adultery, or cheating, is still looked down upon as wrong and despicable.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:29

So he that goeth in to his neighbor’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
– Proverbs 6:29

The previous two verses are aimed at the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife. He has embraced fire and walked upon a path of burning coals. The consequential burning is obvious. Touch is euphemistic for physical passion. He who does so will not go unpunished, as the word for innocent indicates. Punishments come from different directions to the adulterer and he will receive some or all of them. Solomon enumerates many of those punishments in his warnings.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:28

Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
– Proverbs 6:28

This verse echoes the previous verse, giving an emphasis to the lesson. Hot coals are the burning coals or embers of a fire. Walking or going upon the coals indicates a continued action. Walking a path of hot coals will burn the feet. Both verses provide an inescapable conclusion, being burned. Fire is destructive and needs little to catch and burn (James 3:5). Fire can also quickly get out of control to where there is no putting it out. It is an apt description of the dangerous consequences of adultery.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 6:27

Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
– Proverbs 6:27

Solomon uses a metaphor of cause and effect to warn of the consequences of adultery. Of course, he poses an impossibility—a man cannot embrace fire without his clothes being burned. One implication would be that a man can never come out unscathed. He will feel some effect and likely a total ruin.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Next Page »