Title: "Proverbs Chapter 5 - A clear warning against adultery" Author: Unknown
Proverbs chapter 5 is a wonderful passage where King Solomon exhorts married men to not go out and commit adultery. Let's read Proverbs 5 verses 1 to 18 and then talk about them.
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
listen well to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave. [a]
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.
7 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
do not turn aside from what I say.
8 Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your best strength to others
and your years to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich another man's house.
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
or listen to my instructors.
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin
in the midst of the whole assembly."
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Solomon, a king with 1,500 wives and concubines (live-in prostitutes) writes these words of warning to men to not go out in the streets and commit adultery with strangers.
Sometimes verse 15 is misinterpreted to teach that married couples should not use erotic materials in their marriage. But if you read the context of verse 15 along with the verses after 15 it becomes clear that Solomon is exhorting the husband to not commit adultery.
It is ironic that some Christians would think that Solomon, with 1,500 wives and live-in prostitutes (concubines), would be suggesting in Proverbs chapter 5, that it is sinful for a married couple to use erotic resources, that our own culture provides, to help their marriage.
To the contrary, it is clear from the passage that King Solomon was telling married men to not cheat on their wife or wives, and Solomon obviously accepted the tolerances in marriage that were permitted in his society which included allowing men to have multiple concubines and multiple wives.
Today, Solomon would think that a husband and wife reading an erotic story or watching an erotic movie to help their marriage, are wise, in comparison with the culture of his day and age, when men took on additional wives and concubines to stabilize their marriages, and keep husbands from committing adultery.