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The Young Man Lacks Wisdom and Insight
Proverbs 7:8-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 passing along the street near her corner,
and he takes the road to her house,
9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day,
at the midst of night and darkness.
Passing along the street near her corner: We are given suggestive information that the young man has passed this way before or he at least has knowledge of who lies ahead. Solomon provides us with this sense partly from his walking in that he says he is passing along the street near the corner, which is suggestive of directions that infers a certain place. When you reference a corner and a street, it suggests directions. The next line will add to this, and verse 15 will show us that they knew one another.
And he takes the road to her house: Here the Hebrew verb taking (צָעַד tsaad) has the sense “to stride,” which means “to step (walk); to march.” This also suggests that the young man knew where he was going. Her house refers back to the strange woman or wayward, adulterous, seductive woman of verse 5.
In the twilight, in the evening of the day: The Hebrew word (nesheph) rendered twilight has two meanings: dusk, the time at the end of the day but just before dark and dawn, the time at the end of the night, just before daylight. The context here is obvious right before the darkness of night, dusk.
At the midst of night and darkness: The RSV and the ESV try to deal with what they perceive to be a conflict between the first and second line of verse 9 by rendering the second line of verse 9 as “at the time of night and darkness.” Here Solomon is building our interest in the adulteress account in that he tells us that as the man walking in the twilight, the night of darkness is upon him. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word rendered time (אִישׁוֹן ishon) literally means “the pupil (of the eye).” The black middle or center of the eye suggests a middle time, that is, the middle of the night. However, there is no actual conflict from one line to the next here, as Solomon is simply building the story and, in the poetic, moving from one thought of twilight to another thought of middle of the night, this is quite normal in Hebrew parallelism.
The young man is in danger because he lacks wisdom and insight, possibly not fully realizing the end consequences of what part of town he has entered, or maybe he does. Because of Solomon’s wisdom, he was able to see the outcome, knowing the young man did not have a chance. Solomon watches intently as the young man nears the strange woman’s corner, entering the road to her house. He is deliberately ambiguous as to whether the young man is purposely heading to her house or simply passing through. It is like he is leaving breadcrumbs to the listener or reader of the account to not step on the part of the story that lies ahead.
The young man sought to walk at night, who was about his business that could only take place in the cover of night. He even avoids the nights lit up by the moonlight but instead, he prefers the black and dark night, not to be discovered; he maneuvered his way to the house of a prostitute. He neared her corner, the way to her house, ignoring Solomon’s counsel, “keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.” (Prov. 5:8) He is likely telling himself the lie as he skulks around in the dark that he did not intend to end up at the scandalous house. But all would know that regardless of that lie, he knew it was an area that he should not visit. Satan will find him something to do when the young man has no focus in life, no purpose, plans, or hope. Therefore, the young man wants to be very cautious when he has downtime, be it during the day or the darkness of the night.
 Lit pupil (of the eye)