Wisdom is the chief subject of most of the sayings of Proverbs, but there is another woman spoken of almost as much as she. This woman is not nearly as virtuous as Wisdom; in fact, she is quite the opposite.
The Immoral Woman
The immoral woman is described in detail in all her various forms–the seductress, the harlot, the adulteress. The father warns his son about her many times, in Proverbs 2:16-19, chapter 5, 6:24-35, chapter 7, and 9:13-18. Every passage ends with the same warning.
To follow the immoral woman is to court death and none who go into her house ever rejoin the living.
The constant repetition of this warning increases its importance. The fact that the father returns to the subject so often means the immoral woman is likely the single greatest temptation his son will face in his lifetime. So great that the warning cannot be stressed enough.
“For the lips of an immoral woman drips honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 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 hell,” (Proverbs 5:3-5 NKJV).
A Lesson of Virtue for Both Men and Women
I do not believe that Proverbs is bashing women in these warnings. The immoral woman is not condemned for her womanhood, but for her immorality, her choices to act contrary to God’s moral standard. Elsewhere in Proverbs, prudent women are praised, and let none forget the Proverbs 31 woman.
These warnings are as much for young women as for young men–do not be like the immoral woman. Do not be one who tears men apart, but instead be the kind that builds them up. Be the woman that a virtuous man would want as a wife.
And young men, as you value your lives, do not be seduced by a pretty form. Look for a single virtuous woman to be your wife; make her your sole pursuit. You’ll thank yourself for it before the end.
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love,” (Proverbs 5:18-19 NKJV).
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