Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you…to deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words; that leaves the companion of her youth (Jesus), and forgets the covenant of her God; for her house sinks down to death, and her tracks lead to the dead; none who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.
My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion, and your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol (Hell). She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it (she is deceived even as she is deceiving others, 2 Tim 3:13).
My son, observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her (supposed, spiritual) beauty in your heart, nor let her catch you with her eyelids (which seem so sincerely to keep watch for your presence). For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread (to be swallowed up by her, cf. Prov 30:20 below, and Is 9:16 which is translated literally, “Those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are swallowed up”), and an adulteress hunts for the precious life (of those who are just escaping from the ones who live in error, cf. 2 Pet 2:18).
This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wrong.”
The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is under the Lord’s wrath will fall into it.
My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your intimate friend; that they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner (to God’s covenant, cf. Eph 2:12) who flatters with her words.
For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, and I saw among the naive, I discerned among the youths, a young man lacking sense (a foolish virgin), passing through the street near her corner, and he takes the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the middle of the night and in the (spiritual) darkness (notice that the closer he gets the darker it becomes). And behold, a woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot (i.e., with the outer trappings of a form of godliness that appeals to the carnal lusts of men, cf. 2 Tim 3:5) and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious (she does not live a peaceful, quiet life in godliness and holiness); her feet do not remain at home (with the Lord); she is now in the streets, now in the squares (because she loves the world and the things in the world), and lurks by every corner (“many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many”, Matt 24:11). So she seizes him and kisses him (with those flattering lips), and with a brazen face (cf. Is 3:9, Jer 3:3, 6:15, 8:12 and Zeph 3:5) she says to him: “I was due to offer peace offerings; today I have paid my vows (she has a form of godliness). Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly (she sounds so very sincere), and I have found you (with her smooth tongue she convinces the one who lacks sense that she really cares about him). I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt (where Israel was enslaved as a type of one’s bondage to sin). I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning (for we need not worry about our sin in this time of darkness); let us delight ourselves with caresses. For the man (Jesus) is not at home, he has gone on a long journey (cf. Matt 21:33, 24:48, 25:5,14, Lk 12:45); he has taken a bag of money with him, at full moon he will come home” (she is convinced that none will see her wickedness, cf. Is 47:10 and its context, and Job 24:15). With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her (into the lair of her harlotry, which is Babylon, the harlot church, cf. Rev 17:1-6, 18:1-8), as an ox (an unreasoning beast, born as a creature of instinct to be captured and killed, 2 Pet 2:12) goes to slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare (this is The Lord’s Net, cf. Ecc 7:26, Ez 12:13, 17:19-21, 19:8-9, 32:2-3,11), so he does not know that it will cost him his life (for she has completely deceived him, even as she herself is deceived).
Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain (again, “many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many“, Matt 24:11). Her house is the way to Sheol (Hell!), descending to the chambers of death.
The woman of folly is boisterous, she is naive, and knows nothing, and she sits at the doorway of her house, on a seat by the high places of the city, calling to those who pass by, who are making their paths straight (cf. again 2 Pet 2:18-20): “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,” and to him who lacks understanding she (the adulteress) says, “Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant” (cf. Ps 50:16-21 below). But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol (Hell).
To the wicked (that adulteress who flatters with her lips) God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes (this is the water of the word which she stole, cf Eph 5:26), and to take My covenant in your mouth (this is the bread eaten in secret)? For you hate discipline, and you cast My words behind you. When you see a thief (who comes to kill and steal and destroy), your part is with him, and you associate with adulterers. You let your mouth loose in evil, and your (flattering) tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you, and state the case in order before your eyes.”
As an aside, let us here make special note that the flattering lips of an adulteress are a cheap counterfeit to the true love and life and eternal pleasure offered by Jesus. Notice especially that the context of this passage is that of Proverbs 9:13-18 above.
Wisdom (Jesus) has built her house (the true Church), she has hewn out her seven pillars (of truth, see 1 Tim 3:15); she has prepared her food (the word of God, cf. Dt 8:3), she has mixed her wine (the sound doctrine of the truth, with which contrast Rev 14:8, 17:2, 18:3); she has also set her table (cf. Matt 22:2-14, Lk 14:16-24); she has sent out her maidens (the wise virgins), she calls from the tops of the heights of the city: “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks understanding she (Wisdom) says, “Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed (cf. Is 55:1-2). Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding.”
Listen now as the early disciples speak in the light what had previously only been heard in the darkness, and proclaim from the housetops what had only been whispered in the ear, (Matt 10:27). For “Whatever was written in earlier times (like these passages from the book of Proverbs) was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but their own appetites (just like a harlot); and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep….But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin (contrast Rom 6:1‑2, 15-23, 1 Jn 3:5-10), enticing unstable souls (just like the adulteress), having a heart trained in greed, accursed children….These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm, for whom the blackness of darkness (Sheol, Hell) has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity (with flattering lips) they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality (just like the harlot), those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
2 Peter 2:1-3,12-14,17-19
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed (because they are dressed like a harlot, having an outward appearance of the beauty of godliness although they have denied its power), those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into a license for sin and deny our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ (by their actions, Tit 1:16)….But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals (like an ox going to slaughter), by these things they are destroyed….These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts (just like a harlot); they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage (to entice them to jump into bed with the whore, harlot church of Babylon). But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”
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