Proverbs 7:1

Chapter 7 brings the capstone warning against adultery. The warning here comes in dramatic fashion as a tale of a young simpleton ensnared in this sin. Considering the weight of the warnings given, it is plain that such sin is only avoided through wisdom. It takes forethought, planning, and deliberate actions and habits to keep away from such sins. Verses 1-5 begin the fatherly address calling the son to attentiveness. Verses 6-23 illustrate the cunning of the evil woman and how she takes her prey. Verses 24-27 press the lesson home. Solomon’s primary method is to teach us wisdom by learning through experience and observation. Life furnishes an endless supply of lessons of folly. Wisdom learns from the foolishness of others and avoids it.

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
– Proverbs 7:1

Verses 1-5 are familiar, particularly throughout the first chapters of Proverbs. Keeping and laying up give the idea of guarding a hidden object. The words and commandments of the father are words and commandments of wisdom. Learning by paying heed to instruction and keeping the words so that you avoid the consequences of folly is far better than learning through bitter experience. Learning through instruction is an essential mark of wisdom (Proverbs 9:9).

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