This is a parental exhortation against impurity. It is expressed in words of great delicacy and beauty, but it is none the less urgent and searching. It recognizes one of the most subtle and natural temptations likely to assail the life of the young, and sets it in the light of true wisdom, which begins in the fear of Jehovah and expresses itself in perpetual recognition of Him. The allurement of the strange woman is vividly described, but it is put into immediate contrast with the issue of yielding thereto. It is a change from honey to wormwood, from the smoothness of oil to the sharpness of a sword, from the path of life to the highway of death. The woman's abode is to be shunned, lest the remorse of those who disobey become the portion of the soul. The paralysis caused by impurity is suggested in the advice that the ideal joys of the marriage relation must be hopelessly marred by all sinful indulgence.
Here, as everywhere, wisdom consists in recognizing that human life is ever under the observation, and within the government, of Jehovah. That government insures the taking of the wicked by the cords which they weave out of their own sins. Impurity of conduct may seem to be of silken texture in its enticement. It becomes a hard and unyielding cable when it binds the life in slavery.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25