Proverbs 5:16

Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.
– Proverbs 5:16

Expositors are divided over whether this verse should be taken negatively as a warning against promiscuity, or positively as extolling the blessing of faithful marriage. I take the latter view because of the immediate context. Verses 15-19 are extolling the blessings of faithful marriage, while verses 20-23 close the chapter with warnings and consequences against the strange woman.

Fountains and rivers in this verse are both the result, or product of a source. A fountain is a spring, or the stream issuing from a spring. The river or channel of water is also the result of flow from a source. The contrast remains between the commonality of the strange woman and her affairs and the privacy and committedness of the faithful wife. A faithful marriage results in the offspring of children and the building of a stable family that is a proper focus of time and energy. Liaison with the strange woman will dissipate and waste a man.

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