1My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.
2Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.
3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
And call understanding your intimate friend;
When the Bible keeps saying the same thing over and over, it is usually because it is extremely important. Here Solomon continues hammering the same theme home of loving wisdom and holding it dearly as the apple of one’s eye. The commandments of God are what will keep young men and women from making horrible mistakes with their lives. God’s commands are our protection, not a burden, and they give life, joy, and eternal blessings.
5That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.
6For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,
7And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
10And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
11She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
12She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
Solomon recounts a story of watching a naïve young man lacking sense and not heeding the commands of God. This young man did not treasure the wisdom of Christ, and he passed into a danger zone where an adulteress was known to frequent. He passed her corner, took the way to her house, and did so as it was getting dark so as not to be seen. As expected, she came out to meet her prey for the night dressed in seductive clothing clearly signifying that she was content to play the harlot. Her heart was cunning as she laid the trap, drawing her next victim in. She was boisterous and rebellious in that she was not content to love her husband and be faithful in her responsibilities to her home. She would rather be a loud-mouth, gossip, and harlot. She did not stay at home when her husband was away, for she went out on the prowl on the streets. Satan prowls like a lion seeking whom he might devour, and his minions do the same (1 Peter 5:8).
13So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
14"I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
15"Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
16"I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.
17"I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18"Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
19"For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home."
21With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.
Recognizing a ready victim, she makes the move and draws him in by kissing him and giving him the look that says “I’m available.” She couches her immoral lusts in language that self-justifies and rationalizes, and she tries to make her victim feel like she has real feelings for him such that she has actually sought after him. Making the young man feel that he is wanted and worth something to her, she baits the hook by painting a visual picture of what lustful pleasure they might have in her bed which she has purposely prepared for him. She says that they can be free to indulge sin without fear of being caught and enjoy the passing pleasures of sin all night long as they caress one another. After all, she says her husband is gone away and won’t be home for a while. She has to convince her prey that there will be no consequences and that they can get away with it. She keeps persuading him and enticing him with flattery such that his selfish ego is built up and confident enough to do something stupid.
22Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,
23Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.
26For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.
27Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.
Foolishly, this young naïve man who does not hold tightly to wisdom sets off with this woman to make a huge and dangerous mistake. Just as a bird flies into a trap or a wild animal is shot down with an arrow, this foolish young man goes like an ox to the slaughter. Death can literally come in many ways on account of sexual immorality, with disease or the wrath of the husband being but a couple examples. Likely, the supposedly secret act will come to light. Reputations will be ruined, and much scorn will take place. This passing relationship or one-night-stand can never satisfy, and it is like allowing Satan to get his claws hooked into the soul. An unbeliever is fast on the way to eternal destruction, for adultery usually happens again and gives birth to many other sins as well. Should a believer err as David did, forgiveness is possible (1 John 1:9). However, there are still consequences as David failed to lead his family and suffered divine punishment as well. Many have fallen victim to adultery, and the seductress has many slain to her credit. The world trains young women to play the seductress and to wear their shame as a badge of honor. But it is not becoming of a woman of God, and young men must choose their company wisely. Certainly, they must not venture into dangerous territory where they know temptation lies in wait.