Proverbs 2:16

To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
– Proverbs 2:16

Solomon here introduces the “strange woman,” of whom he has much more to say in chapters 5-7. The word for strange means foreign and refers to the pagan women of the nations outside of Israel. Through usage the term came to refer to any loose, immoral, and adulterous woman. Solomon will go on to sketch her character and her ways more fully. Mention of her is accompanied with appropriate warning. The strange woman represents a second kind of danger for fools lacking wisdom and is a complement to the evil man previously mentioned.

The strange woman has a prominent role in Proverbs as she is set as the anti-wisdom, or the opposite of lady wisdom. Wisdom will protect from and deliver from this dangerous adulterous. She flatters with her words, meaning she uses smooth speech to persuade the simple to go with her. Her smooth speech is appealing and designed to ignite passion in the man she seeks to ensnare. So she is a manipulator as well, using all her wiles to take her prey.

The strange woman is also contrasted with the virtuous woman of chapter 31. Strange women are presented as being plenteous and seemingly everywhere present. The virtuous woman is immediately described as being hard to find, but imminently valuable when found. Solomon knew by bitter experience the difference between the two and gave impassioned warnings against the strange woman.

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  • Seth R Bourn

    Very good Brother Short, but let us not forget also the spiritual application, and that is “Spiritual Adultery”, being delivered from the “Great Whore” and her daughters, which is all false religion.