Don’t have sex with someone’s else’s wife
Listen to me1 My child, listen while I share some wisdom.
Tune your ears to my voice because I have insights for you.
2 You’ll learn how to make good judgment calls.
And you’ll learn to watch what you say, by using what you’ve discovered.
Beware the shady lady3 The lips of someone else’s woman drip with honey.
She’s smooth. When she talks, her words flow like olive oil.
4 But when it’s over, she’s bitter enough to sour a drink.
And she’s as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 She’ll lead you to your death.
She’s headed to the Home of the Dead.
6 She doesn’t think about where she’s going in life.
She just wanders around, without realizing she doesn’t know where she’s going.
7 So, listen up, my sons.
Never fail to do what I’m about to tell you.
8 Stay the dickens away from her.
Don’t go anywhere near the door to her house.
9 If you do go, kiss your reputation goodbye,
And say hello to her husband.
10 Strangers will feed on your assets.
All your hard work will benefit them.
11 At the end of your days, you’ll scream,
As death consumes your body.
12 You’ll say, “I hated it when people corrected me.”
To the bone, I despised their advice.
13 I ignored my teachers.
I didn’t let them inside my head.
14 My life is a rockpile of ruin.
And everyone I care about can see it.”
Enjoy your own your wife15 Make love with your own partner.
Drink clean water from your own well.
16 Do you really want to be a stream from which anyone can drink,
Like drinking water from gutters in the streets?
17 Keep it to yourself.
Don’t share it with strangers.
18 May you find joy in your sexuality
And joy in the wife you married when you were young.
19 Your wife is a lovely deer, a sweet doe.
She’s got breasts. Make good use of them. Enjoy.
Stay drunk in love with her day and night.
20 Son, why should you get drunk in lust with someone else’s unfaithful wife,
And grab hold of those strange boobs?
21 God sees everything people do.
The LORD is watching us.
22 In time, sins capture sinners.
Sinners weave the rope that will tie them up in knots.
23 They have zero self-control, and it kills them.
They wander into danger because of foolish decisions they make.
Literally “strange” woman. Some scholars translate that as “forbidden” or “adulteress.”
Literally, the woman is “bitter as wormwood.” Wormwood is a plant used to add a bitter flavor to liquor and wine. The plant is Artemisia absinthium. Known also as Absinthe and Absinthium. It’s an ingredient in the spirit absinthe and in other alcoholic drinks such as vermouth.
Literally, Sheol, a word Old Testament writers used to describe the place of the dead. It is a kind of underworld where the dead are cut off from the living—and from God—and there is no coming back.
This is a tough verse to understand. It more literally says the young man committing adultery with the shady lady would sacrifice his “vigor” or “honor” to others and his “years to the cruel one” or “ruthless one.” Scholars speculate “vigor” might be self-respect, the money he wastes on the woman, or one of many other guesses. “The cruel one” sounds like the angry husband just showed up. But it could refer to anyone who treats the adventurous young man badly because of what he did with this woman.
Literally, “Drink water from your own cistern,” which is a pit for storing water. The implication in the context of the chapter, most scholars agree, is that gents should not drink their fill of kisses from someone’s wife. So to speak.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.