Sin’s Attraction – Proverbs 7:16

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

The Hebrew word for “bed” in Proverbs 7:16 is distinctly different from the Hebrew word translated as “bed” in Proverbs 7:17. In his commentary, Adam Clarke says that the Hebrew Word for “bed” in Proverbs 7:16 refers to a couch that a person would recline on for eating. In Proverbs 7:17, the Hebrew Word for “bed” refers to the bed in the bedchamber. During Old Testament times, people typically ate their meals sitting or squatting on the ground with the table being a mat on which the food was set. This was especially the case with those living in tents. Only royalty or the well-to-do would have furniture to sit on while they ate. Thus, the strange woman was offering this simple man a lavish and luxurious dinner experience. The couch on which she wanted this man to eat with her was well decorated, adorned with beautiful blankets, imported linen from Egypt, and carved works which many commentators actually believe refers to striped Egyptian linen coverlets.

Proverbs 7:16 contains part of the prostitute’s offer to the simple man. She has already presented herself to him as a somewhat spiritual person in her ploy to allure this young man to evil. In Proverbs 7:14-15 she says, “I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows.  15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.” The peace offering was a voluntary offering made to God of an animal without blemish in thanksgiving and praise to Him. The offering was split between the altar, the worshiper, and the priest. Therefore she may have had several good meats on hand since she offered peace offerings; notice the plural ending.
Whether this prostitute was lying or not, we do not know. The Bible says that the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination and even more so when brought with a wicked mind (Prov. 21:27).

The big three of the world are the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). This man wanted to indulge all three. This sly immoral woman sought to be the solution to his perceived need, but at a price not anyone can afford. Sexual sin destroys a person’s own soul (Prov. 6:32). The prostitute had already successfully appealed to the lusts of his eyes and now the lusts of his flesh through her flattery. The lust of the eyes was indulged by the simple man coming in hopes of possibly catching a glimpse of this woman (7:7-10), and the lust of his flesh by her kiss, offering this simple man an extravagant dinner experience, and a sensually appealing bedroom to do an immoral act (7:13-18). Then lastly she appeals to the pride of life in this young man by persuading him, he can get away with this pleasurable sinful act (7:19-20). However sin always has a price tag attached to it (7:23). This sin in particular has a higher price tag of self-destruction. While all sin is self-destructive, sexual sin is against one’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).

From this verse, we learn that sin is attractive. However, we know that under sin’s beautiful tapestries is a deadly trap that will destroy us spiritually and physically. Just as Solomon warned his son about loving/lusting for this strange woman, prostitute, our heavenly Father warns us against the love of this world. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments (1 John 5:3). Just as Solomon counseled his son to keep his commandments as the apple of his eye we ought to keep our Heavenly Father’s commands as the apple of our eye. Love and obedience to God is key to overcoming the attractiveness of sin in our lives. 1 John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Looking over the past week, month, or year, based on these verses, who have I chosen to love, the Father or the world? Let’s be faithful to live holy lives for the Father’s glory (1 Peter 1:13-16, Eph. 1:12). Do not let sin’s attraction side track you! Let us be one track focused on the Lord, His holiness, and His beauty (Mat. 6:33). God bless!

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