Proverbs 7:25

Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
– Proverbs 7:25

To decline is to deviate, to get off course. The heart refers to the mind where the battle is really fought. Once the mind deviates to her course, the person is astray in her way. The mind and heart must be guarded so that no thoughts of the strange woman are entertained. You go astray literally and physically, so Solomon warns to physically stay away, or keep clear of her paths.

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Proverbs 7:21

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
– Proverbs 7:21

The flattering of her lips and her fair speech were the most effective in her temptation. We see good reason for the repeated admonitions to hear and heed wise words. Doing so insulates and protects from being taken by the lips of the strange woman. To yield is to bend and indicates that his initial resistance was overcome. To force is to drive or impel. She pushed him over the edge and he had no strength to withstand her.

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Proverbs 7:20

He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
– Proverbs 7:20

The husband has money and business to conduct, so will not return soon. The day appointed refers to the full moon, so he will not return soon. All provision has been made and all obstacles removed.

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Proverbs 7:19

For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
– Proverbs 7:19

The last step of her seduction is to remove a final obstacle or objection in the youth’s mind. Fear of encountering an irate husband is a strong deterrent to the young man. She soothingly assures him that he is gone and not soon to return. She has appealed to his baser instincts, not persuading of the moral goodness but rather of the enjoyment and security of getting away with it. These verses provide a good primer on the way temptation comes to us and not just in this instance.

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Proverbs 7:18

Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
– Proverbs 7:18

She here uses the most direct appeal. Taking their fill refers to becoming drunk as with wine or strong drink. She is speaking to the young man of a complete satisfaction of all his appetites. Solace points to joy or rejoicing. She certainly hints at excitement and thrills promised. Until the morning suggests a long time without interruption. All these things are a part of her much fair speech that sways her quarry to follow.

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Proverbs 7:17

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
– Proverbs 7:17

She continues her appeal describing the luxurious delight of her bed. She has sprinkled it with spices designed to enhance mood and delight the senses. John Trapp commented that the young man would have been better served to think on how those spices are also used to put upon the bodies of the dead. He wrote, “serious thought of death will prove death to fleshly lusts.” It was want of this sober mindedness that brought Jerusalem to open and unrestrained sinfulness (Lamentations 1:9).

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Proverbs 7:16

I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
– Proverbs 7:16

Coverings, carved works, and fine linen from Egypt are expensive and lavish items. She is a woman of means and has made preparations, while not subtle, likely to impress and overwhelm the young man. The naïve young man will probably interpret these measures as indicative of something more long lasting than is intended.

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Proverbs 7:15

Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
– Proverbs 7:15

She claims to seek him urgently. It is already night and the peace offering must be eaten soon. We discover another angle she uses is urgency. She doesn’t want him to take time to consider, and again she has him thinking on the peace offering meal more immediately. She also flatters him as though he were the particular one she sought. This is an ancient deception but works so well as it appeals to pride. Everyone thinks they are unique and special. To have someone else acknowledge this flatters us irresistibly.

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Proverbs 7:14

I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
– Proverbs 7:14

The peace offering (Leviticus 7:11-18) involved a meal eaten from the leftover meat from the sacrifice. It was to be eaten that day by the offerer. Many commentators assume she wanted to put on an air of piety, but there is more to her appeal. I doubt she was trying to salve her own conscience for the whole description of her speaks of a severely hardened conscience. More likely, she is reframing the prospect of a night with her in terms of religious or holy things. This distracts from the awful sinfulness of what she wants and gives a veneer of legitimacy and wholesomeness.

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