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Keep Your Way Far off from
the Wayward Person
Proverbs 5:9-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
Lest you give your honor to others: Is there not a lack of (Heb. hôḏ) honor (reputation and self-respect) on the part of the young man, who gives his body, mind and heart in the prime of his life, to one who is merely using him for her pleasures? Is it not shameful to seek out immediate gratification, or the selfish passions of another?
And your years to the merciless: He will lose his years (early death or spent unwisely) to a woman who not only has no mercy (Heb.ʾǎḵ·zā·rî) for him but is also cruel in her ruthless pursuit of him. The blindness of his passion will cause him to not see the losses he is about to suffer because of following his physical desire.
Lest strangers take their fill of your strength: He will lose his (Heb. kōaḥ) strength (honor, physical health, sexual vitality, and self-worth). He will lose his labors (cost of adulteress). Bible scholar Longman states, “The point of these verses is clear: The price of infidelity may be high, for everything one has worked for, position, power, prosperity, can be lost either through the avaricious demands of the woman or the outcry for restitution by the community.”
 Longman III., Tremper; Garland, David E.; Ross, Alan P., vol. 6, Proverbs – Isaiah, The Expositors Bible Commentary, Rev. Ed., 78 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008).