Proverbs 07 (Contemporary English Version)
- My son, pay close attention and don't forget what I tell you to do.
- Obey me, and you will live! Let my instructions be your greatest treasure.
- Keep them at your fingertips and write them in your mind.
- Let wisdom be your sister and make common sense your closest friend.
- They will protect you from the flattering words of someone else's wife.
- From the window of my house, I once happened to see
- some foolish young men.
- It was late in the evening, sometime after dark.
- One of these young men turned the corner and was walking by the house of an unfaithful wife.
- She was dressed fancy like a woman of the street with only one thing in mind.
- She was one of those women who are loud and restless and never stay at home,
- who walk street after street, waiting to trap a man.
- She grabbed him and kissed him, and with no sense of shame, she said:
- "I had to offer a sacrifice, and there is enough meat left over for a feast.
- So I came looking for you, and here you are!
- The sheets on my bed are bright-colored cloth from Egypt.
- And I have covered it with perfume made of myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
- "Let's go there and make love all night.
- My husband is traveling, and he's far away.
- He took a lot of money along, and he won't be back home before the middle of the month."
- And so, she tricked him with all of her sweet talk and her flattery.
- Right away he followed her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, or like a fool on the way to be punished
- and killed with arrows. He was no more than a bird rushing into a trap, without knowing it would cost him his life.
- My son, pay close attention to what I have said.
- Don't even think about that kind of woman or let yourself be misled by someone like her.
- Such a woman has caused the downfall and destruction of a lot of men.
- Her house is a one-way street leading straight down to the world of the dead.
In this lesson to his son, Solomon teaches him about the danger of being lured by a "forbidden woman." The account in verses 6-23 should be considered an example of how a young man might be snared by such a woman. We might wonder why Solomon mentions here only the seductiveness of a woman toward a young man. Don't men also attempt to seduce women? And the answer is "Yes, they do," but that is a different subject that falls more under the topic of the previous chapter regarding those who are constantly devising evil plots. Here Solomon is addressing the foolishness of an idle-minded young man who is confronted by a temptation and unsuspectingly drawn into that temptation. All the signs are there for him to recognize the situation for what it is, but as Solomon says, he is "lacking sense," and thus is drawn in by the woman rather than turning away from her.
Solomon wants his son to know that this is not just an innocent fling. It is dangerous. He says in verse 26, "For she has brought many down to death; her victims are countless." He is not just referring to the particular woman in his illustration, but to all those like her. Those who do not value wisdom or the instruction of the father will immediately question how this situation could possibly lead to death rather than reflecting on the potential dangers of such a situation. It will be a good first step for the immature to simply obey the instruction of the father. But in time it will be better and a more mature step to reflect on and understand the wisdom of such choices.