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The Young Man Lacks Wisdom and Insight
Proverbs 7:8-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 passing along the street near her corner,
and he takes the road to her house,
9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day,
at the midst of night and darkness.
Passing along the street near her corner: We are given suggestive information that the young man has passed this way before or he at least has knowledge of who lies ahead. Solomon gives us this sense partly from his walking in that he says he is passing along the street near the corner, which is suggestive of directions that infers a certain place. When you reference a corner and a street, it suggests directions. The next line will add to this and verse 15 will show us that they knew one another.
And he takes the road to her house: Here the Hebrew verb taking (tsaad) has the sense “to stride,” which means “to step (walk); to march.” This too adds to our suggesting that the young man knew where he was going. Her house is referring back to the strange woman or wayward, adulterous, seductive woman of verse 5.
In the twilight, in the evening of the day: The Hebrew word (nesheph) rendered twilight has two meanings: dusk, the time at the end of the day but just before dark and dawn, the time at the end of the night, just before daylight. The context here is obvious right before the darkness of night, dusk.
At the midst of night and darkness: The RSV and the ESV try to deal with what they perceive to be a conflict between the first and second line of verse 9 by rendering the second line of verse 9 as “at the time of night and darkness.” Here Solomon is building our interest in the adulteress account in that he tells us that as the man walking in the twilight, the night of darkness is upon him. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word rendered time (ishon) literally means “the pupil (of the eye).” It is the black middle or center of the eye, which suggests a middle time, that is, the middle of the night. However, there is no real conflict from one line to the next here, as Solomon is simply building the story and, in the poetic, moving from one thought of twilight to another thought of middle of the night, this is quite normal in Hebrew parallelism.
The young man is in danger, because he lacks wisdom and insight, possibly not fully realizing the end consequences of what part of town he has entered, or maybe he does. Because of Solomon’s wisdom, he was able to see the outcome, knowing the young man did not have a chance. Solomon watches intently as the young man nears the strange woman’s corner, entering the road to her house. He is deliberately ambiguous as to whether the young man is purposely heading to her house, or simply passing through. It is like he is leaving bread crumbs to the listener or reader of the account, so as to not step on the part of the story that lies ahead.
 Lit pupil (of the eye)