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Forbidding Any Kind of Unfaithfulness in the Marriage
Proverbs 5:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 Let them be for you alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let them be for you alone: This verse replicates and reinforces the command in verses 15–16. The pronoun them (הָיָה hayah) is a reference to the “cistern” and “well” of verse 15 and the “springs” and “streams” of verse 16, which are used to denote a source of the wife’s sexual affections for her husband in verse 15 and to denote a source of the husband’s sexual affections for his wife in verse 16. In other words, your household’s water sources (sexual affections) are for you alone and should not be shared with others.
And not for strangers with you: Strangers (זָרִים zarim) generally refers to an outsider, a foreigner, persons who are unfamiliar or unknown, previously unencountered. It can also be used as a simple reference to “another person.” (Prov. 14:10) Also, it was applied to those who forsook what was in harmony with the Mosaic Law and so were estranged from God. Thus, in Proverbs 2:16, the one morally estranged harlot or prostitute is referred to as a “strange (Heb. zār) woman.” The point being made here is simple, do not share your sexual affections with another. (Prov. 2:16; 5:17; 7:5) “The strange woman,” the prostitute, is described as one “who forsakes the companion of her youth” (2:17), which is referring to the husband of her young womanhood. She has ignored and disregarded the prohibition on adultery that was a part of the covenant of her God, the Mosaic Law covenant. – Ex. 20:14; Jeremiah 2:25; 3:13.
Sexual intimacy should be for you and your spouse alone, which like lifesaving water, it should not be wasted on strangers. May the sexual desires that the husband receives from his wife and the wife receives from her husband be his and hers alone and should never be shared with another. These verses, 15-17, forbid any kind of unfaithfulness in the marriage, even flirting.
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