4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword.
Proverbs 5:3-4 (NLT) 3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
Proverbs 5:3-4 (ESV) 3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
Proverbs 5:3-4 (BSB) 3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords
Ecclesiastes 7:26 And I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a net, and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner will be ensnared.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
the lips - שִׂפְתֵ֣י (saphah, śip̄·ṯê) - Noun - fdc
Strong's Hebrew 8193: The lip, language, a margin
Brown-Driver-Briggs English Hebrew Lexicon adds: lip: usually human organ of speech
of the forbidden woman - זָרָ֑ה (zuwr, zā·rāh) - Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2114: To turn aside, to be a foreigner, strange, profane, to commit adultery
Brown-Driver-Briggs English Hebrew Lexicon adds: to be a stranger to the family/household and to the person
drip - תִּ֭טֹּפְנָה (nataph, tiṭ·ṭō·p̄ə·nāh) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5197: To ooze, distil gradually, to fall in drops, to speak by inspiration
honey - נֹ֣פֶת (nopheth, nō·p̄eṯ) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5317: Flowing honey, honey from the comb
and her speech - חִכָּֽהּ׃ (chek, ḥik·kāh) - Noun - masculine singular construct | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2441: Palate, roof of the mouth, gums
[is] smoother - וְחָלָ֖ק (chalaq, wə·ḥā·lāq) - Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2509: Smooth
than oil - מִשֶּׁ֣מֶן (shemen, miš·še·men) - Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8081: Grease, liquid, richness
I wanted to show you all the ways this woman is described in the different translations:
But it all comes back to its' definition: a woman who is not a part of the family or household. Another woman! Don't we often use that term about someone who is having an affair with "another woman"?
Before I go too much further, this is written from Father to son but applies to women as well. A "strange man," or adulterer, can flatter a woman and cause her to fall to the same temptation. So, if you are a woman, it applies to you as well as it does to a man.
Why does a person fall to flattery and smooth words? Don't we all have an image in our heads or who we are? We may still feel like a teenager, but our bodies have aged a bit! We may think we look like the young, gorgeous, goodlooker we did in college, but we actually have put on a few pounds and have a few wrinkles. Our mind's image of ourselves is jarred when we look at reality in the mirror. I barely recognize myself when I see a picture of myself or see a reflection of myself.
When someone comes on to us, flirting and using flattery, it makes us feel young again. We can forget that we are middle aged and feel 20 again. It works every time.
We know we are 50 yrs old and not 20, but if someone can make us feel young and desirable again, we can suspend reality for awhile and we like that.
It depends on how mature you are as to whether you give in to the flattery and flirting, or whether you use commonsense and realize there is nothing there when you come back to reality. Maturity says, "Hey, that's just a line. You and I both know that I'm not 20 years old any more. So go away and leave me alone."
Our spouses know all our stories, our baggage, our emotional problems, our triggers, our jokes, our weaknesses. Someone new doesn't know all these things. That can also suspend reality for awhile, but it comes crashing back. The new lover will soon enough learn the same things your spouse knew all along and you are just back to square one. There are no do-overs and fresh starts. You bring the same baggage no matter who you are with (and vice-versa) and will face the same problems eventually.
Mature, wise, clear, logical thinking will tell you, BEFORE you get into trouble, that suspension of reality is only temporary. Reality will come back and you only thought you had troubles before! You have just multiplied your troubles a hundredfold. Your "escape" from reality won't last and will make your new reality much harder.
Many people will use alcohol, and/or drugs, to remove clear, logical thinking so they can "live in the moment" and suspend reality so they can enjoy a very fleeting moment. But they wake up the next morning with a hangover, an addiction, and/or relationship problems that are the stuff of nightmares.
We all know the physical consequences that can come from a night of debauchery (an old fashioned word for partying without restraint): STDs, unwanted pregnancies, addiction, damage to your body by overindulging, black eyes, busted noses, a jail sentence, etc. But there are many emotional consequences also that you might not think about: relationships lost, bad relationships started, loss of respect (self respect as well as the respect of family/friends), loss of self image, loss of reputation, fights between friends/family, loss of trust and many more. There are also the financial consequences: money spent on liquor, drugs and prostitutes puts a big dent in anyone's budget. You might lose your job, you might have an accident that totals your car and your insurance skyrockets, a DUI will do the same. You might have your pocket picked while you are inebriated. Just recently an elderly man had been having prostitutes and their "friends" over to his home. They saw what he had inside and in his yard and outbuildings. One day he was coming home in one vehicle only to pass his other vehicle that was being stolen from his home! Another time a couple of men stripped his outbuildings while he was gone. Not counting what they may have seen and stolen from inside his home. That's the kind of thing you might not think about but is a very real consequence. Prostitutes have friends and pimps and they aren't to be trusted. He's a lonely, old man who thought he had made some friends. He's not thinking clearly if he thinks his paid companion is really a friend! And it's not just prostitutes. Any man or woman, who is disreputable, can feed you a line to con you and steal from you. It takes someone smart enough, mature enough and clear thinking to realize it's just flattery, flirting and conning. What's sad is some people have aging-related health problems that remove their ability to think clearly, rationally and make them targets. For some biological reason, they can no longer discern and be logical so they fall prey to people who would take advantage of that.
Recently, we've seen a lot of programs about women who fall victim to online relationships (it happens to men too) that aren't real. Catfishing is a conman or conwoman attempting to establish a "love" relationship with someone vulnerable and then they begin asking for money and favors, increasing their demands until they've taken everything, sucking them dry. They make up histories, lives, use someone else's photo or a doctored photo, and they use the Internet to make contact with lonely people. Then they take everything they can get from the poor person. How do rational thinking people fall into such an obvious scams? Some never matured and are still stuck in some younger, teenage mind. Some have a biological reason that causes them to be unable to think clearly such as Parkinson's dementia, Alzheimer's, early-onset-dementia, stroke, vascular dementia, etc. Some are just so lonely and depressed that they are vulnerable to anyone who pays them attention and says all the right things. Depression can make you think illogically. When I'm depressed, I'm not in my right mind and things can get blown up or diminished illogically. I can think nobody loves me even though I'm actually surrounded by family and friends who love me. I can feel lonely even though I'm in the middle of a family party!
For people who aren't in their right mind, for whatever reason, they need a keeper. I'm not just being funny. They need someone who is mature, logical, rational, objective and a clear thinker, to watch over someone who cannot think rightly for themselves. It may be a spouse, an adult child, a sibling, family attorney, etc. But many people are alone in the world with no one they can trust to watch out for their best interest. This is so sad! And those people are the ones that get taken advantage of. For someone to do that is disgusting. To take advantage of someone who cannot think for themselves, take care of themselves, defend themselves, protect themselves... it's the lowest of the low. But that is what evil is. It looks for someone to hurt, someone to destroy, someone to steal from and it looks for the easiest targets. Whether they are raping a woman just because they can and she is unable to defend herself, or kidnapping a defenseless child, or stealing from the elderly, or lying in wait to knock someone unconscious in order to steal from them... it's evil and it's low.
A man or woman who uses flattery and flirting to turn your head is evil and low. To target someone you want and start using flattery and flirting to get them into bed with you is low class. It's selfishness at its' worst. You are using someone just like you would use a public toilet. It's base. It's evil. It's nothing more than animals do. And if you target someone who is already married, you've reached a new low.
Let's say you go into your office today and they've hired a new person to man the switchboard. You introduce yourself, welcome them to the company and go to your office. But the new person (man or woman) begins to target you with flattery and a little flirting. It makes you feel desirable and young so you keep it up. Before you know it, you've developed a closer relationship and you think of yourselves as friends and it continues to escalate. You have opened yourself up to someone who is not your spouse, someone outside your family and household, a strange man/woman. You have begun to enjoy the suspension of reality. You like the flattery and feeling young again. You might begin disclosing things that is not their business and should only be between husband and wife. Opening up like that and revealing stuff is not the right thing to do with a strange man or woman. The other person has targeted you and used flattery and flirtation to get you to do things you wouldn't normally do and that you know are wrong. Both you and the other person are in great danger and doing sinful things even if it hasn't come to physical contact yet. You are supplanting the spouse(s) with someone else in your affections and desires.
Jesus said that anyone who would look at another woman (or man) is already committing adultery.
Matthew 5:27-28 (Jesus speaking) 27 You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
That seems harsh until you see it in all it's evil. When we begin supplanting our spouse with someone else in our affections, desires and confidences, we are in trouble already. When we begin discussing our marital problems and revealing secrets, we are in trouble already. When we begin to look forward to seeing this stranger rather than seeing our spouse and family, we are in trouble already. When we begin to arrange our schedule around the other person rather than our spouse, we are in trouble already. When we become addicted to the feelings aroused by the other person, we are in trouble already. And that's before you get physical! I.e. Jesus is saying you are already straying and finding a stranger more appealing than your spouse and that means it's involved your heart and has become very difficult to untangle. It's become easier to go ahead with the relationship than it is to back up, turn around and disentangle. The results and consequences of going ahead with the affair are far harder than disentangling yourself before it gets too far. It would be better for you to chop off the relationship now than to let it keep flowing on. So, let's look at what Jesus said in context.
Matthew 5:27-32 (Jesus speaking) 27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.
Notice, Jesus says if you look with lust, you've already got the heart involved: "has already committed adultery with her in his heart". Then He goes on to say, it's better to chop it off at the root rather than to go on and sin. Chop it off! You don't say, "I'm married, let's just be friends." Chop it off. You don't think, "I'll quit going to his/her office and talking." Chop it off! You don't justify, rationalize, make excuses. You chop it off. Even if it means leaving your job and finding another one, or moving to another town... chop it off. You think you can handle it without it getting physical... you can't, chop it off! If you have to be rude, chop it off! If you have to get mean, chop it off! Remove them from your cell phone, contact list, emails, chatrooms - chop it off! The relationship has to be chopped off! You cannot dabble and play with it, chop it off!
You see, God loves us. He is not a kill-joy trying to keep you from having a good time. There are very real reasons why he gave us sex and love but He also gave us boundaries and parameters in order for us to get the full enjoyment of it without sinful consequences. Sex and love are to be between a husband and wife. Otherwise, it falls into sin and becomes destructive. It may seem old-fashioned to you to keep your virginity until you are married (both men and women) and our peers may even mock and ridicule us and make us feel like some type of clown. But God has very specifically laid out the boundaries and parameters to sex and love. There is no other interpretation and no vagueness that allows us to misunderstand. God is specific. And God doesn't change with the times. If He did He might love us one day and hate us the next. No, I want God to be the immovable Rock. He's the only thing in my life that never changes and I like, and need, it that way. Otherwise I'd be lost to eternal hell by a capricious God. God is the Rock, He does not change and His Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It's how I know that once I except Jesus, I'm saved and marked as His child for eternity. So what He says about sex is always going to be the same. No matter how you want it different or how society changes, God's Word stays the same and He warns us that sex outside of marriage is a very dangerous and destructive thing. It is in our best interests to listen to Him and obey Him. He's not being mean, He's being real. He's being loving to warn us and give us guidelines to protect us.
We've talked about the adulterous person who would entice you into a forbidden relationship. We've talked about how it happens and why it's appealing. We've talked about the results and consequences of infidelity. We've discussed how both you and the strange person are to fault if you let it go and the best thing is to chop it off. We've talked about how God gave us guidelines to sex and marital love relationships in order to protect us and give us the fullness of joy that obedience brings rather than the bitter rottenness that a forbidden relationship brings. He wants us to enjoy love and sex but if we take it outside a marriage, we are opening ourselves up to the consequences and destruction of sin and it ruins it for us.
But now let's go one step further. This passage is definitely talking about infidelity. But there is another type of infidelity we can bring out here. God wants a relationship with us and it must be a relationship of fidelity. He says we can have no other god before Him. Idolatry, of any type, is infidelity to the one, true, living God who has done everything in order to give us a relationship with Him. He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die for us so we could be reconciled to God and have a relationship with God.
Satan would flatter and flirt with us in order to get us to sin. He is the stranger who is not of God's family and household. He will use all kinds of ways to tempt you to sin and to take your eyes off your Beloved! Do not listen to him. Do not let him into your heart. Give him no place in your affections and if you see yourself beginning to slide, chop it off!
- Had you ever thought about the temptress as a "stranger to the family and household"? Do you understand what that means now?
- Have you seen, or experienced, someone using flattery and flirtation to entice? Did you see it for what it was, just a line to con you, or were you taken in by it?
- Have you noticed all the different ways these people will appeal to you such as on your job, on the Internet, while playing video games, texting/sexting, chatrooms or facebook groups, at a party, at the grocery store in line, while you wait somewhere just sitting and passing the time? They intrude themselves on your attention and begin the fake come-ons. They call it flirting but it's just flattery and pretention. As long as it brings them attention, they will be encouraged to continue and get more aggressive and intrusive. If you pay attention, you will almost laugh at the silly things people will do or say to try and begin a flirtation with you. Chop it off.
- Have you been guilty of pressing yourself in on someone and trying to get them focused on you for one reason, sex? You have no real desire for a relationship, you aren't thinking of them as marriageable, you don't even think of them as a real person, you just want sex. Do you see how destructive that is to yourself and the other person? Do you see how selfish it is to use someone else like that? Do you see the damage it's doing to you? What kind of person does it make you? It's easy to repent and ask forgiveness. God still loves you.
- Have you ever encountered someone who doesn't seem to take NO for an answer and they keep on bothering you, bugging you, tempting you, pushing themselves on you? They are so desperate and needy. Did you ever stop to think of them as a person and why they may be so desperate and needy? Did you ever once think about praying for them? I'm not saying keep up a relationship with them. Like I said before, chop it off! Give no encouragement. Sometimes you have to be downright rude or mean to get through to them. But that shouldn't negate them as a person needing prayer. You can pray for them without being in a relationship with them. They are in a bad place and endangering themselves and they need God and God's help. So if someone has come to your mind, stop and pray for them right now. Pray that they know God and that God is able to get to those empty, desolate, damaged places in their heart and bring healing. Pray for their salvation.
- What excuses have you used or heard to justify losing your virginity?
- Do any of them negate God's Word?
- Look these scriptures up and read them for yourself: Genesis 2:24, Exodus 22:16, Leviticus 20:10, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40, 1 Corinthians 10:8-12:3, 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4, Jude 7. There are a lot more but these get you started.
- After reading these scriptures, it might be a good time to do some journaling. Thinking it through, meditating on how these apply and how hard it is in today's world and, yet, how necessary to follow God's way.
For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.