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Blog - Proverbs 2:17

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For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.

Proverbs 2:17

"Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God." (Pro 2:17)


The strange woman is here said to forsake the guide of her youth. Traditionally, women have married young in accordance with the command of scripture which says that "the younger women [should] marry, bear children, guide the house" (1Ti 5:14). Solomon exhorted his son to "rejoice with the wife of thy youth" (Pro 5:18), and Malachi likewise referred to a man's wife as "the wife of thy youth" (Mal 2:14). In that men and women married in their youth (especially in those days), and given the fact that "the husband is the head of the wife" (Eph 5:23), the guide of a woman's youth is therefore her husband.

A guide is "one who leads or shows the way" (OED). This verse implicitly teaches that a husband should fulfill the role of a leader for his young bride, directing and teaching her in the way of life. A Christian woman should cherish the opportunity to have a godly husband who is not only her lover and provider, but also her mentor; but such is not the case with the strange woman which forsaketh the guide of her youth (Pro 2:16-17). To forsake is to "abandon, leave entirely, withdraw from; esp. to withdraw one's presence and help or companionship from; to desert" (OED). Thus the strange woman, having been her husband's "companion" (Mal 2:14), forsakes him and withdraws her companionship from him that had stood by her side and led her for many years.

And forgetteth the covenant of her God. She is not only the wife of her husband's youth, but she is also "the wife of [his] covenant" (Mal 2:14). He had "made a covenant with [his] eyes [that he] should [not] think upon a maid" (Job 31:1). The covenant that she and her husband had entered together when they married was not merely an agreement between the two of them, but was also struck with Almighty God who joined them together and bound them to that covenant, as the scripture saith, "what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mat 19:6). Therefore, when the strange woman forsook her husband and the covenant that she made with him, she also forgot the covenant of her God. Having forsaken her husband, she turns away from him and turns toward another man whom she tries to seduce by "flatter[ing] with her words" (Pro 2:16).

Wisdom from the word of God will deliver the young man from an unfaithful woman, for it instructs him that just as "the Ethiopian [cannot] change his skin, [n]or the leopard his spots . . . [neither] then may [she] also do good, that [is] accustomed to do evil" (Jer 13:23). The young man should beware: if a woman forsakes her first husband, she is likely to forsake her next one also; if she forgot her first covenant, she is liable to forget subsequent ones as well. Thus the strange woman cannot be trusted, for "her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them" (Pro 5:6). The only sure way to protect oneself from the adulteress is to keep clear of her entirely and "remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house" (Pro 5:8). He that has wisdom will avoid such a woman like he would the plague, for he that flirts with her flirts with death.

Pro 7:25-27 - Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. 26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. 27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

If a Christian man is to protect himself from being swallowed up by the strange woman and having his life and soul destroyed by her, he must "receive [God's] words, and hide [His] commandments with [him]" (Pro 2:1), for "the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman" (Pro 6:23-24).



If you like this blog, then you will like Get Wisdom, Get Understanding which is Pastor Wagner's commentary on Proverbs chapter 1 which is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Find out more here.

For the previous blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 2:16.
For the next blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 2:18.

For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.

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