Proverbs 6:26

For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
– Proverbs 6:26

There are various takes on the first phrase of this verse. From the context, it is obvious the intention is to focus on the high price of this sin. The first devastation is to a man’s substance. This is a consistent warning in Scripture (Proverbs 5:10; 29:3; Luke 15:30). The second is to a man’s life or soul. The way of wisdom is the way of life and the way of folly is the way of death. The way of the adulteress is the way of extreme folly. She is compared to a hunter here who stealthily traps his prey. One might find here an underlying, ulterior motive that differs from her enticing speech and promises (Proverbs 7:13-21).

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Proverbs 6:25

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
– Proverbs 6:25

The word for lust means desire or to covet. The law forbade coveting your neighbor’s wife (Exodus 20:17). He means not to desire her nor think on her in the mind. Jesus taught that such thought is sin (Matthew 5:28) and can lead to further sin and consequences (James 1:14-15). Solomon proceeds from here to enumerate further consequences as well. He warns to not be taken or carried away by her eyes, her adornment and gestures. The presentation suggests the need to be on guard and avoid such a folly and trap.

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Proverbs 6:24

To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
– Proverbs 6:24

The design of keeping the father’s commandments and not forsaking the mother’s law that began in verse 20 is here explained as to keep from the evil woman. The flattery of the tongue, or smooth and alluring speech, is a strong weapon she uses to subdue her prey (Proverbs 2:16; 5:3). Speech enters through the ears and is pondered in the heart and mind. The evil woman appeals to the inner lust and that is where the battle is as per the next verse. Keeping wisdom as prescribed will also keep us away from such sinful enticement.

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Proverbs 6:23

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
– Proverbs 6:23

Solomon is not merely speaking of the homespun wisdom of the older generation. He is talking about God’s word and the wisdom in it. Commandment, law, and instruction are references to God’s word (Psalm 119:105). He is still mentioning benefits of wisdom and this verse explains the previous one. Lamp, light, and way of life speak of illuminating and guiding in the wise course of life. Reproofs are corrections that come through instruction, so wisdom provides a continual course corrective as we proceed through life.

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Proverbs 6:22

When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakes, it shall talk with thee.
– Proverbs 6:22

The intent of the keeping, not forsaking, binding, and tying is to exercise wisdom in life. The opening verses of this address parallel Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and this verse particularly reminds of Deuteronomy 6:7. Leading, keeping, and talking speaks of the continual presence of wisdom with the son who keeps it. Solomon speaks particularly of having wisdom in mind, thinking of life through wisdom as a filter, and being so fixed that even sleeping thoughts are of wisdom.

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Proverbs 6:21

Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
– Proverbs 6:21

This verse speaks of the way the son is to keep and not forsake the wise instruction of his parents. Binding upon the heart refers to holding them in the mind and meditating on them. It could even refer to memorization by rote. The point is for the son to take them as a permanent fixture of his mind and thinking. They should always be close at hand. A necklace, jewel, or some other ornament is often tied about the neck. On the one hand, this instructs the son to highly esteem wisdom. On the other, it reminds him to have it always with him.

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Proverbs 6:20

My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
– Proverbs 6:20

This verse begins a new address that goes through verse 35, the end of the chapter. The exhortation culminates in the warning against the evil woman. This address focuses on the life of the mind and fighting the battle there. To keep and to forsake not are familiar admonitions to the son to take pains to understand and guard the father’s commandment and the mother’s law. We see the importance of both father and mother instructing their children in the way of wisdom and the role of the early home life in preparing them for life outside the home.

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Proverbs 6:19

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
– Proverbs 6:19

False witness refers to deception but it is distinct from just lying. A false witness lies in order to condemn someone. It is a false accusation or report that gives evidence of guilt against someone. False witness was prohibited by the law (Exodus 20:16; 23:1) and punishable (Deuteronomy 19:16-20). Of course, this is in the range of the evil man with a forward mouth (Proverbs 6:12).

The list concludes with declaring the sowing of discord to be an abomination and this was also a mark of the evil man (Proverbs 6:14). Discord is strife or contention. Sowing discord refers to causing such strife where none existed, or where there’s no reason for contention. This sort is quick to enflame a contention (Proverbs 26:20-21), or keep one going.

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Proverbs 6:18

An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
– Proverbs 6:18

Devising wicked imaginations is to plan evil schemes. The evil man does this continually (Proverbs 6:14). The heart is often put for the mind and the will. It is deceitful (Proverbs 12:20) and brings forth all manner of sin (Mark 7:21-22). Being swift to run means quickly or easily going to mischief, or to cause calamity. This is another mark of the evil man (Proverbs 6:13). It speaks of a bent toward this and even a zeal in that direction. Again, God hates these things.

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