he has gone on a journey of some distance.
like an ox that goes to the slaughter,
like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare 15
like a bird hurrying into a trap,
and he does not know that it will cost him his life. 17
and pay attention to the words I speak. 19
7:25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways –
do not wander into her pathways;
and all those she has slain are many. 21
1 tn The form נִרְוֶה (nirveh) is the plural cohortative; following the imperative “come” the form expresses the hortatory “let’s.” The verb means “to be saturated; to drink one’s fill,” and can at times mean “to be intoxicated with.”
2 tn Heb “loves.” The word דּוֹד (dod) means physical love or lovemaking. It is found frequently in the Song of Solomon for the loved one, the beloved. Here the form (literally, “loves”) is used in reference to multiple acts of sexual intercourse, as the phrase “until morning” suggests.
3 tn The form is the Hitpael cohortative of עָלַס (’alas), which means “to rejoice.” Cf. NIV “let’s enjoy ourselves.”
4 tn Heb “with love.”
5 tn Heb “the man.” The LXX interpreted it as “my husband,” taking the article to be used as a possessive. Many English versions do the same.
6 tn Heb “in his house.”
7 tn Heb “in his hand.”
8 tn Heb “he will come back at.”
9 tn Heb “new moon.” Judging from the fact that the husband took a purse of money and was staying away until the next full moon, the woman implies that they would be safe in their escapade. If v. 9 and v. 20 are any clue, he could be gone for about two weeks – until the moon is full again.
10 tn Heb “she turned him aside.” This expression means that she persuaded him. This section now begins the description of the capitulation, for the flattering speech is finished.
11 sn The term לֶקַח (leqakh) was used earlier in Proverbs for wise instruction; now it is used ironically for enticement to sin (see D. W. Thomas, “Textual and Philological Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VTSup 3 : 280-92).
12 tn Heb “smooth of her lips”; cf. NAB “smooth lips”; NASB “flattering lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause representing what she says.
13 tn The verb means “to impel; to thrust; to banish,” but in this stem in this context “to compel; to force” into some action. The imperfect tense has the nuance of progressive imperfect to parallel the characteristic perfect of the first colon.
14 tn The participle with “suddenly” gives a more vivid picture, almost as if to say “there he goes.”
15 tn The present translation follows R. B. Y. Scott (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [AB], 64). This third colon of the verse would usually be rendered, “fetters to the chastening of a fool” (KJV, ASV, and NASB are all similar). But there is no support that עֶכֶס (’ekhes) means “fetters.” It appears in Isaiah 3:16 as “anklets.” The parallelism here suggests that some animal imagery is required. Thus the ancient versions have “as a dog to the bonds.”
16 sn The figure of an arrow piercing the liver (an implied comparison) may refer to the pangs of a guilty conscience that the guilty must reap along with the spiritual and physical ruin that follows (see on these expressions H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament).
17 tn The expression that it is “for/about/over his life” means that it could cost him his life (e.g., Num 16:38). Alternatively, the line could refer to moral corruption and social disgrace rather than physical death – but this would not rule out physical death too.
18 tn The literal translation “sons” works well here in view of the warning. Cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV “children.”
19 tn Heb “the words of my mouth.”
20 tn Heb “she has caused to fall.”
21 tn Heb “numerous” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT) or “countless.”
22 tn The noun “Sheol” in parallelism to “the chambers of death” probably means the grave. The noun is a genitive of location, indicating the goal of the road(s). Her house is not the grave; it is, however, the sure way to it.
sn Her house is the way to the grave. The young man’s life is not destroyed in one instant; it is taken from him gradually as he enters into a course of life that will leave him as another victim of the wages of sin. The point of the warning is to prevent such a course from starting. Sin can certainly be forgiven, but the more involvement in this matter the greater the alienation from the healthy community.
23 tn The Qal active participle modifies “ways” to Sheol. The “road,” as it were, descends to the place of death.
24 tn “Chambers” is a hypocatastasis, comparing the place of death or the grave with a bedroom in the house. It plays on the subtlety of the temptation. Cf. NLT “Her bedroom is the den of death.”