Chapter five returns to the subject of the sexually loose woman from Proverbs 2:16-19, emphasizing that she is an adulteress. Solomon’s own mother, Bathsheba, committed adultery with King David (2 Samuel 11-12), of which union Solomon was the second-born. Solomon also had many wives during his life (1 Kings 11:3), and it does not take supernatural wisdom to see the issues associated with adultery. In this chapter, Solomon laid out the dangers of his son getting mixed up with a married woman, then offered a much better situation.
In Solomon’s example, the woman was the seductress, speaking words dripping with honey and oil (Proverbs 5:3). Anyone who was caught up with her, however, would find himself on the path of bitterness and death (Proverbs 5:4-5). As if that were not bad enough, Solomon warned that the man who has an affair with a married woman is wasting his strength, his years, and his wealth by investing them into another man’s home (Proverbs 5:8-11). Although it does not clearly state it, the wasting away of one’s body or strength could certainly apply to sexually transmitted diseases.
Instead of this potential life, Solomon encouraged his son to be satisfied at home: “Drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own well” (Proverbs 5:15). A married couple should fully satisfy each other, so there is no need to look elsewhere (Proverbs 5:16-20). In this case, as with many other examples that will arise in this book, the lack of discipline and structure leads to destruction, while obedience to God’s law brings life and a straight path (Proverbs 5:21-23).