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Keep Your Way Far off from the Wayward Person
Proverbs 5:9-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
Lest you give your honor to others: Is there not a lack of (הוֹד hod) honor (reputation and self-respect) on the part of the young man, who gives his body, mind, and heart in the prime of his life, to one who is merely using him for her pleasures? Is it not shameful to seek out immediate gratification or the selfish passions of another?
And your years to the merciless: He will lose his years (early death or spent unwisely) to a woman who not only has no mercy (אַכְזָרִי akzari) for him but is also cruel in her ruthless pursuit of him. The blindness of his passion will cause him not to see the losses he is about to suffer because of following his physical desire.
Lest strangers take their fill of your strength: He will lose his (Heb. kōaḥ) strength (honor, physical health, sexual vitality, and self-worth). He will lose his labors (cost of adulteress). Bible scholar Longman states, “The point of these verses is clear: The price of infidelity may be high, for everything one has worked for, position, power, prosperity, can be lost either through the avaricious demands of the woman or the outcry for restitution by the community.”
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner: The Hebrew word (עֶצֶב etseb) rendered your labors means the product of hard, difficult or painful work, “toil, i.e., the active voice of giving hard labor to a task and so expending considerable effort (Ps 127:2; Pr 5:10; 14:23) It is the same as your strength in line 1. The phrase, to the house of a foreigner, refers to the family, household, or hands of a foreign resident. Foreign Resident: the Hebrew noun (גֵּר ger) refers to anyone who is not an Israelite by blood, who did not enjoy the civil rights of the nation of Israel. Some foreigners who settled in the land of Israel were considered proselytes or worshipers of the God of Israel. In contrast, others lived among Israel, obeying the laws but not fully worshiping the Israelite God. (Gen 15:13; Deut. 24:17, 19) So, in other words, all the good things that one has worked hard for, toiling in painful work will go into the hands of others.
 Longman III., Tremper; Garland, David E.; Ross, Alan P., vol. 6, Proverbs – Isaiah, The Expositors Bible Commentary, Rev. Ed., 78 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008).
 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
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