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Proverbs 7:22-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
22 Suddenly he goes after her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
like a fool to be punished in the fetters
23 till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his soul.
Suddenly he goes after her: Here suddenly (פִּתְאֹם pithom) might suggest that the young man was hesitant until the wayward woman’s seductive words in verse 20-21.
As an ox goes to the slaughter: An ox is an adult, castrated male cattle. Slaughter is when animals are killed for food. Here, the simile here is that the animal is oblivious (unaware or ignorant) to the idea that he is about to be killed and eaten. This is true of the young man as well, who is oblivious to the idea of the pain and suffering from the consequences that are coming.
Like a fool to be punished in the fetters: This young man has been caught by this wayward woman’s seductive, deceptive words, and he will be paying the consequences, as there is no escaping them.
Till an arrow pierces its liver: Syphilis is a severe sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirally twisted bacterium Treponema pallidum that affects many body organs (liver) and parts, including the genitals, brain, skin, and nervous tissue. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial disease that causes inflammation of the liver. The young man has been and is so naïve to the dangers of the trap that has been set before him.
As a bird rushes into a snare: Here the Hebrew word rendered rush (מָהִיר mahir or מָהִר mahir) means that this reckless, hurried, rash young man with no wisdom or sense is about to suddenly enter into the trap that has been laid before him. He is unaware of the trap that lies before him, and in but a single moment of time, it is too late to escape or go back, and his life is forever altered, if not destroyed.
He does not know that it will cost him his soul: This means that “it will cost him his life.” This statement is open-ended, as there is no specific way mentioned as to how the young man will lose his life—the only possible sense of how is found back in Proverbs 2:16-19.
The young man’s breaking point has been reached, as he dismisses his father’s insightful counsel, he suddenly goes after her “like an ox to a slaughter.” Just like the similes used by Solomon, this young man does not realize that his passionate frenzy is going to cost him his life. Hence, he hurries into a perilous death situation like a bird into a trap! “The figure of an arrow piercing the liver (an implied comparison) may refer to the pangs of a guilty conscience that the guilty must reap along with the spiritual and physical ruin that follows.”
 A simile is a figurative language drawing a comparison: a figure of speech that draws a comparison between two different things, especially a phrase containing the word “like” or “as,” e.g. “as white as a sheet.” Marilyn turned as white as a sheet when the police officer told her that her son had been in a car wreck. Did something scare you? You are white as a sheet!
 Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes, Pr 7:23 (Biblical Studies Press, 2006).
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