The book reviews will be posted intermittently over the next month.
Having just concluded a research chapter on the culture’s attitude toward sex, I found Proverbs 7:6-27 striking. The chapter is a unique one, for the author uses a dramatic scene to make his point in place of a more, well, proverbial tone. The power in these words is palpable. It is made all the more so because we slowly observe the young man destroying himself. Do you ever feel this way as you observe American culture slowly twisting a knife into itself?
For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.
And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.”
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver;as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.
And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.