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Proverbs 5:15 meaning...

The metaphor of drinking water from one's own cistern and well is a poetic way of referring to marital intimacy. In the ancient context, a cistern and well were sources of water and sustenance. In this verse, they symbolize the exclusive and fulfilling nature of the marital relationship.

  • Purity and Exclusivity:

The call to drink from one's own cistern emphasizes purity and exclusivity. It encourages faithfulness and loyalty within the marriage, suggesting that the fulfillment of one's emotional and physical needs should be sought within the bounds of the marital covenant.

  • Marriage as a Covenant:

This proverb aligns with the biblical understanding of marriage as a covenant between a husband and wife. The imagery of drawing water from one's own source underscores the commitment to exclusivity and the importance of finding satisfaction within the covenant relationship.

  • Guarding Against Adultery:

Proverbs 5 addresses the dangers of adultery and the consequences of straying from the path of marital fidelity. The metaphorical language serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of guarding one's heart and actions to maintain the sanctity of the marital bond.

  • Wisdom's Call to Fidelity:

Proverbs is a part of the wisdom literature in the Bible, and this verse reflects the broader theme of wisdom's call to a righteous and virtuous life. In the context of relationships, it calls for wisdom in maintaining fidelity and seeking fulfillment within the boundaries set by God.

  • Contrast with Folly:

Throughout Proverbs, there is a recurring theme of the contrast between wisdom and folly. Following the wisdom of fidelity in marriage is contrasted with the destructive consequences of straying into forbidden relationships.

Biblical Context:

  • Echoes of the Decalogue:

The commandment against adultery in the Decalogue (Exodus 20:14) provides a foundational ethical framework for this proverb. The call to draw water from one's own cistern aligns with the broader biblical ethic of sexual purity within the context of marriage.

  • Prophetic Imagery:

In the Old Testament, prophets often used marital imagery to convey God's relationship with His people. The faithfulness expected in human marriages becomes a metaphor for the covenantal relationship between God and His people.

Application to Our Lives:

  • Marital Fidelity:

This proverb serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of marital fidelity. In a world where relationships are often threatened by various temptations, it calls for a commitment to exclusivity within the covenant of marriage.

  • Guarding Against Infidelity:

The metaphorical language prompts individuals to guard their hearts against the allure of forbidden relationships. It encourages intentional efforts to nurture and protect the sanctity of the marital bond.

  • Wisdom in Relationships:

Beyond the specific context of marriage, the proverb encourages wisdom in all relationships. It promotes the idea that true satisfaction and fulfillment are found in virtuous and righteous living, guided by the principles of wisdom.

Conclusion: Proverbs 5:15, with its metaphorical language of drawing water from one's own cistern, provides a powerful and evocative expression of the biblical ethic of marital fidelity. It stands as a wise counsel, urging individuals to find satisfaction and fulfillment within the covenant of marriage, guided by the principles of wisdom.

Proverbs 5:15. Drink water out of your own cistern, running water out of your own well.


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