The Importance of Self-Discipline
Proverbs 5:22-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
22 The errors of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held in the cords of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of discipline,
and because of his great foolishness he will go astray.
The errors of the wicked ensnare him: Error: The Hebrew noun of the Old Testament (ʿāwōn) and the Greek (anomia, paranomia) of the New Testament relates to “erring,” “acting illegally” or “wrongly.” This aspect of sin refers to committing “perverseness,” “wrongness,” “lawlessness,” “law-breaking,” which can also include the rejection of the sovereignty of God. It is an act or a feeling that steps over the line of God’s moral standard, as something God forbids, or the person ignores carry out (doing) something that God requires, whether it be by one’s thoughts, feelings, speech, or actions. It also focuses on the liability or guilt of one’s wicked, wrongful act. This error may be deliberate or accidental; either willful deviation of what is right or unknowingly making a mistake. (Lev. 4:13-35; 5:1-6, 14-19; Num. 15:22-29; Ps 19:12-13) Of course, if it is intentional; then, the consequence is far more serious. (Num. 15:30-31) Error is in opposition to the truth, and those willfully sinning corrupt the truth, a course that only brings forth flagrant sin. (Isa 5:18-23) We can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. – Ex 9:27, 34-35; Heb. 3:13-15.
The Hebrew (lā·ḵǎḏ) translated ensnare here means, in essence, to be captured, to be taken over, to be overthrown, to be caught, the sense being seized and to be taken control of without authority. The person is taken control of by force, which here means the force can come from two places: an outside source or internally. He is taken control of by the force (influence) of the wicked one, or he is taken control of by the force (influence) of his own sinful desires, which overcome his lack of self-disciple, this being the case based on the first line of verse 23.
He will die for lack of discipline: He is taken control of by the force, i.e., ensnared, (influenced) by his own sinful desires, which overcome his lack of self-disciple. Self-disciple and self-control (Heb. mû·sār) are the moral qualities of a wise person. (Prov. 1:3) A servant of God is obligated to be satisfied with his one wife.
And because of his great foolishness he will go astray: The foolishness (Heb. ʾiw·wě·lěṯ) of the foolish one, who has the trait of acting stupidly or rashly because he is devoid of wisdom or understanding, the Hebrew noun focusing on the evil behaviors which occur in this state. The Hebrew verb (šā·ḡā(h)) means to go astray, wander, stray, err, to sin either intentionally or unintentionally by being led astray due to the wicked one’s influence or one’s own lack of self-discipline or self-control.
An unwise person lacks discipline, the ability to control oneself. His life is led by his fleshly desires. His wife no longer captivates this foolish young man, as he is spellbound by his own sinful desires, which lead him to ruination.