16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden[a] woman, from the adulteress[b] with her smooth words, 17 who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; 18 for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed;[c] 19 none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it. Footnotes: Proverbs 2:16 Hebrew strange Proverbs 2:16 Hebrew foreign woman Proverbs 2:18 Hebrew to the Rephaim
ESV - 18 For her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I would say that Solomon is speaking of the possibility of both spiritual and physical death. He has indicated in the cited passage that the woman in question has already sinned by forsaking the companion of her youth (which I interpret to mean committing adultery against her husband) and also disregarding God's explicit prohibition of adultery in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14). The man with whom she commits adultery joins her in this sin, thus endangering his own spiritual welfare and potentially leading to eternal separation from God after this life. However (as Solomon made more explicitly clear in other passages in Proverbs, such as Proverbs 6:32-35), the man's peril is not only spiritual but also physical (including possible death) as a result of the vengeance that the woman's betrayed husband will seek against him as a result of being a party to her adultery. (And that does not even consider the more modern perils or consequences (also including potential death) of disease that one might contract as a result of sexual activity with someone who is promiscuous.)
I agree with Tim and would add that this "strange" (foreign), that is, the forbidden woman, knows how to use flattery to her advantage. ISBE says, “The Hebrew zar, translated "stranger," meant primarily one "who turns aside," i.e. to visit another country; then a "sojourner," "stranger." The "strange woman" of Proverbs 2:16 is a technical term for "harlot"; compare Judges 11:1,2, where "son of a strange (the Revised Version (British and American) "another") woman" (11:2, 'acher) is parallel to "the son of a harlot" (11:1).” She doesn't respect God b/c she breaks his law (Exodus 20:14), the 7th Commandment. Too, she disrespects her husband b/c she violates the vows she made to her husband, her wedding vows. She's lost the Lord and her hubby as her guide and friend b/c she's chosen the path of sin. All who listen to what she says or does what she wants is heading to the cemetery.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.