Author: Rob Anderson
So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words. (Proverbs 2.16, ESV)
The Hebrew word translated “forbidden” here in the ESV (The NIV uses the word “adulterous.”) can also be translated “strange.” That seems like an odd choice of word for someone engaged in a relationship with another. We may think of an adulterous relationship as wrong, but to those who are engaged in such a relationship, I doubt they look at one another and think: “You are strange.”
But they are. They are strange in the sense that they do not go together. One of the parties is (or is to be) spoken for by another. It is true also for the second party. Both have someone else to whom they are “normally” bound. When we seek the strange, or forbidden, or adulterous, or wayward woman (or man), we are seeking to bind ourselves to individuals that are strangers and we do not go together. It’s a little like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Seek instead wisdom, which guides you into right relationships with the right people and “save you from the ways of wicked men.” (2.12)