A A A A A
Bible Book List

Proverbs 7:1-5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

The Seduction[a]

[b]My son, keep my words,
    and treasure my commands.
Keep my commands and live,[c]
    and my teaching as the apple of your eye;
Bind them on your fingers,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to Wisdom, “You are my sister!”[d]
    Call Understanding, “Friend!”
That they may keep you from a stranger,
    from the foreign woman with her smooth words.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–27

    The third and climactic instruction on adultery and seduction is an example story, of the same type as the example story in 24:30–34. By its negative portrayal of the deceitful woman, who speaks in the night to a lone youth, it serves as a foil to trustworthy Wisdom in chap. 8, who speaks in broad daylight to all who pass in the street.

    As in 6:20–24, the father warns his son to keep his teaching to protect him from the dangerous forbidden woman. The father’s language in 7:4 (“Say to Wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call Understanding ‘Friend’”) sets this admonition apart, however; it is the language of courtship and love. If the son makes Woman Wisdom his companion and lover, she will protect him from the other woman. As in chap. 5, loving the right woman protects the man from the wrong woman.

    As motivation, the father in vv. 6–23 tells his son of an incident he once observed while looking out his window—a young man went to the bed of an adulterous woman and wound up dead. As in chap. 5, the realistic details—the purposeful woman, the silent youth, the vow, the perfumed bed—have a metaphorical level. Ultimately the story is about two different kinds of love.

  2. 7:1–3 Verses 1–3 are artistically constructed. “Keep” in v. 1a recurs in v. 2a; “commands” in v. 1b recurs in v. 2a; the imperative verb “live” occurs in the very center of the three lines; v. 3, on preserving the teaching upon one’s very person, matches vv. 1–2, on preserving the teaching internally by memorizing it.
  3. 7:2 Live: here as elsewhere (Gn 20:7; 42:18; 2 Kgs 18:32; Jer 27:12, 17; Ez 18:32), the imperative (“Live!”) is uttered against the danger of death, e.g., “Do such and such and you will live (= survive the danger); why should you die?”
  4. 7:4 You are my sister: “sister” and “brother” are examples of love language in the ancient Near East, occurring in Egyptian love poetry and Mesopotamian marriage songs. In Sg 4:9, 10, 12; 5:1, the man calls the woman, “my sister, my bride.” Intimate friendship with Woman Wisdom saves one from false and dangerous relationships.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 7:1-5 New International Version (NIV)

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

My son, keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes