We have converted Daniel's bedroom into an office for me. It's on the second floor of our house.
I'm sitting at my computer and looking out the window at the two large Norway spruces in our front yard.
My routine is to read some of the book of Proverbs, and to read one of the Psalms.
I'm using the NIV Cultural Background Study Bible, edited by Craig Keener and John Walton. What a great resource this is!
This morning I read Proverbs 5:3-4:
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
The Study Bible has a link entitled "The "Strange" and "Foreign" woman." I click on it.
"The father often warns the son to avoid the “strange” woman (translated “adulterous” in Pr 5: 3; 7: 5; 22: 14; 23: 27) and “foreign” woman (translated “wayward” in 5: 20; 6: 24; 7: 5; 23: 27). But what makes the strange woman strange, the foreign woman foreign?
The Hebrew words for “strange” (zara) and “foreign” (nokriya) may be understood in a variety of ways. However, it is unlikely that foreign in parallel with strange would be used to indicate a non-Israelite woman.
The strangeness of this woman is seen in her willingness to operate outside the bounds of moral, legal and customary restraints— an idea that is developed further in the following chapters.
This lack of restraint is described in Pr 2: 17 as a failure to honor her commitments to the “partner of her youth” as well as to the “covenant she made before God.”
The first line of this verse thus accuses her of not sustaining her marriage vows, since the words “partner of her youth” refer to her own marriage. And by committing adultery, she is breaking her covenant with God.
The fact that she is described as having been in a covenant with God is further support for the view that this woman is an Israelite temptress, not an ethnically foreign one. And a temptress she is. Her primary strategy for seducing the man is through her flattering speech and secondarily through physical attraction."
The adulterous woman...
- has no problem with immorality
- has no problem with illegality
- lacks self-restraint
- fails to honor her commitment to the young man she pledged her life to
- breaks the covenant she made with God
- is out to seduce men
- kisses up to men with her words
- works hard on her physical appearance
Verses 5-6 say:
Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
The adulterous woman...
- walks the path of spiritual death
- pays no attention to the words and way of life
- is a lost soul who wanders, without a destination
- is ignorant of all the above
Do not hook up with her. Do not fall prey to her mindless flattery. Don't walk the road she lives on.
Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel. (Vv. 7-8)