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Forbidding Any Kind of
Unfaithfulness in the Marriage
Proverbs 5:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 Let them be for you alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let them be for you alone: This verse replicates and reinforces the command in verses 15–16. The pronoun them (Heb. hā·yā(h)) is a reference to the “cistern” and “well” of verse 15 and the “springs” and “streams” of verse 16, which are used to denote a source of the wife’s sexual affections for her husband in verse 15 and to denote a source of the husband’s sexual affections for his wife in verse 16. In other words, the water sources (sexual affections) of your household are for you alone and should not be shared with others.
And not for strangers with you: Stranger: (Heb. zār) was applied to those who forsook what was in harmony with the Mosaic Law and so were estranged from God. Thus, at Proverbs 2:16, the one morally estranged harlot or prostitute is referred to as a “strange (Heb. zār) woman.” (Prov. 2:16; 5:17; 7:5) The point being made here is simple, do not share your sexual affections with another.
Sexual intimacy should be for you and your spouse alone, which like life saving-water, it should not be wasted on strangers. May the sexual desires that the husband receives from his wife and the wife receives from her husband, be his and hers alone, never to be shared with another. These verses, 15-17, are forbidding any kind of unfaithfulness in the marriage, even flirting.