Warning Against the Strange Woman
1My child, guard my sayings;
store my commandments with you.
2Keep my commands and live,
and my teaching like the apple of your eye.#A single word meaning “pupil of the eye”
3Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to wisdom,#Hebrew “the wisdom” “you are my sister,”
and you shall call insight,#Hebrew “the insight” “intimate friend.”#Literally “one who is known.” To “know” is often a euphemism for intercourse. Therefore “intimate friend” may also be read “lover.”
5In order to guard yourself from an adulteress,#Literally “a strange woman”
from the foreigner who makes her words smooth.#Literally “causes to be smooth her words”
6For at the window of my house,
through my lattice, I looked down.
7And I saw among the simple,
I observed among the youth,
a young man lacking sense,#Literally “heart”
8passing on the street at#Literally “at the place of” her corner,
and he takes the road to her house,
9at twilight, at the day’s evening,
in the midst of night and the darkness.
10Then behold! A woman comes to meet him
with the garment of a prostitute#Or “whore” and a secret heart.#Literally “secret of heart”
11She is loud and stubborn;
her feet do not stay at her house.
12Now in the street, now in the square,
at#Literally “at the place of” every corner she lies in wait.
13She took hold of #Or “strengthened” him and kissed him.
Her face was impudent, and she said to him,
14“Sacrifices of peace offerings are upon me;
today#Literally “the day” I completed my vows.
15So#Hebrew “thus” I have come out to meet you,
to seek your face, and I have found you.
16With coverings I have adorned my couch,
spreads of the linen of Egypt;
17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us take our fill of love making,
until the morning let us delight in love.
19For there is no man#Or “husband” in his home;
he has gone on a long journey.#Literally “a journey from far”
20The bag of money he took in his hand,
for on the day of the full moon he will come home.”
21She persuades him with the greatness of her teachings;
with her smooth lips she compels him.
22He goes after her suddenly;
like an ox to the slaughter he goes,
and like a stag to the instruction of a fool,
23until an arrow pierces his entrails,#Literally “heaviness,” often referring to the liver
like a bird rushing into a snare,
but he does not know that it will cost him his life.#Literally “it is against his life”
Reiteration of the Warning Against a Strange Woman
24And now, my children, listen to me,
and be attentive to the sayings of my mouth.
25May your heart not turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her path.
26For many slain she has laid low,
and countless#Or “strong men” are all of her killings.
27The ways of Sheol#A term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the Underworld are her house,
descending to chambers of death.