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Proverbs 5:3

Context

5:3 For the lips 1  of the adulterous woman drip honey,

and her seductive words 2  are smoother than olive oil,

Proverbs 5:20

Context

5:20 But why should you be captivated, 3  my son, by an adulteress,

and embrace the bosom of a different woman? 4 

1 sn “Lips” is a metonymy of cause, referring to her words. Dripping honey is an implied comparison between the product and her words, which are flattering and smooth (cf. Song 4:11). See M. Dahood, “Honey That Drips. Notes on Proverbs 5:2-3,” Bib 54 (1973): 65-66.

2 tn Heb “her palate.” The word חֵךְ (khekh, “palate; roof of the mouth; gums”) is a metonymy of cause (= organ of speech) for what is said (= her seductive speech). The present translation clarifies this metonymy with the phrase “her seductive words.”

3 tn In the interrogative clause the imperfect has a deliberative nuance.

4 tn Heb “foreigner” (so ASV, NASB), but this does not mean that the woman is non-Israelite. This term describes a woman who is outside the moral boundaries of the covenant community – she is another man’s wife, but since she acts with moral abandonment she is called “foreign.”



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