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10 Then the woman comes to meet him,
    dressed like a harlot, with secret designs.
11 She is raucous and unruly,
    her feet cannot stay at home;
12 Now she is in the streets, now in the open squares,
    lurking in ambush at every corner.
13 Then she grabs him, kisses him,
    and with an impudent look says to him:
14 “I owed peace offerings,
    and today I have fulfilled my vows;
15 So I came out to meet you,
    to look for you, and I have found you!
16 With coverlets I have spread my couch,
    with brocaded cloths of Egyptian linen;
17 I have sprinkled my bed[a] with myrrh,
    with aloes, and with cinnamon.
18 Come, let us drink our fill of love,
    until morning, let us feast on love!
19 For my husband is not at home,[b]
    he has gone on a long journey;
20 A bag of money he took with him,
    he will not return home till the full moon.”
21 She wins him over by repeated urging,
    with her smooth lips she leads him astray.[c](A)
22 He follows her impulsively,
    like an ox that goes to slaughter;
Like a stag that bounds toward the net,
23     till an arrow pierces its liver;
Like a bird that rushes into a snare,
    unaware that his life is at stake.
24 So now, children, listen to me,[d]
    be attentive to the words of my mouth!
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways,
    do not go astray in her paths;
26 For many are those she has struck down dead,
    numerous, those she has slain.
27 Her house is a highway to Sheol,
    leading down into the chambers of death.(B)

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  1. 7:17 Bed: a bed can designate a place of burial in Is 57:2; Ez 32:25; 2 Chr 16:14. Myrrh…aloes: the spices could be used for funerals as for weddings (Jn 19:39). It is possible that the language is ambivalent, speaking of death as it seems to speak of life. As the woman offers the youth a nuptial feast, she is in reality describing his funerary feast.
  2. 7:19–20 For my husband is not at home: the woman is calculating. She knows exactly how long her husband will be gone.
  3. 7:21 The verbs “to win over” (lit., “to lead astray”) and “to lead off” can be used of leading animals such as a donkey (Nm 22:23) or sheep (Jer 23:2 and 50:17). The animal imagery continues as the youth is compared to an ox, a fallow deer, and a bird in the moment they are slaughtered. None of the animals are aware of their impending death.
  4. 7:24–27 The father addresses “children,” a larger audience than his own son; the story is typical, intended for others as an example. The story is a foil to the speech of the other woman in chap. 8.