My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep 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 insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.
For at the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense,
passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.
And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
“I had to offer sacrifices,
and today I have paid my vows;
so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
I have spread my couch with coverings,
coloured linens from Egyptian linen;
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”
With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
Comment: Solomon having reminded us to seek wisdom and listen to what we’ve been taught continues with an every day picture of himself, sitting maybe on an upper story of his palace looking out on the street below. He sees a young man, who has failed to learn his lessons well, turn around the corner into his view. As he looks a very attractive wayward woman catches his attention. As the two pass each other he is able to hear what she says to the young man. ‘I’m right with God, and I’m ready for you.’ She tells him that her husband is away; that her bed is very comfortable and prepared, and invites him to a night of sex, with the word made to sound so inviting. Like an ox to the slaughter or a stag standing in the sight of the hunter, or a bird caught in a trap, he is ensnared and there is no way out of the consequences.
Indeed he did see – a young man lacking in sense.
Prayer: Young or old, please help me to learn my lesson and live it out!