“Now as they went
On their way,
A certain village.
Into her house.”
Ἐν δὲ τῷ πορεύεσθαι αὐτοὺς αὐτὸς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς κώμην τινά· γυνὴ δέ τις ὀνόματι Μάρθα ὑπεδέξατο αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν.
Luke uniquely among the synoptics has this story of Martha and Mary. However, John, chapters 11 and 12 have these two, Martha and Mary, as sisters to Lazarus in Bethany. Here the story is just between the two sisters and their different roles. Luke said that as they went on their way (Ἐν δὲ τῷ πορεύεσθαι αὐτοὺς), Jesus entered a certain unnamed village (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς κώμην τινά). There a woman named Martha (γυνὴ δέ τις ὀνόματι Μάρθα) welcomed him (ὑπεδέξατο αὐτὸν) into her house (εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν). There was no indication if any of his disciples or apostles went with him into the house. Could this unnamed village be Bethany? Are you afraid to mention the name of your town?
“The foolish woman is loud.
She is ignorant.
She knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house.
She takes a seat at the high places of the town.
She calls to those who pass by.
They go straight on their way.
‘You who are simple,
Turn in here!’
To those without sense,
‘Stolen water is sweet.
Bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’
But they do not know that the dead are there.
Her guests are in the depths of Sheol.”
Now we are back to the foolish woman. She is the loud, ignorant, and stupid woman who sits at her door or at the high places in town. She tries to get those passing by her to turn into her house. However, they go straight past her. Her sales pitch is that stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. This is a subtle form of seduction. Thus this first introduction to the proverbs ends with this admonition to avoid the evil ladies, as if men had nothing to do with it, as if men were not interested in sex without this enticement.
“At the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice.
I saw among the simple ones.
I observed among the youths.
There was a young man without sense.
He passed along the street near her corner.
He took the road to her house,
In the twilight,
In the evening,
At the time of night and darkness.”
Now we find out about the simple person who does not have wisdom. This wonderful father looked out his window. He then saw a simple young man without sense. What was he going to do? This simple one, in the twilight of the evening when night and darkness was coming, passed along the street near the corner that led to her house. Stay tuned for further adventures.
“You will be saved from the loose woman.
You will be saved from the adulteress
With her smooth words.
She has forsaken the partner of her youth.
She has forgotten the covenant of her God.
Her house or way sinks down to death.
Her paths lead to the shades.
Those who go to her
Never come back.
They never regain the paths of life.”
The loose or strange woman was always a problem for young men. Notice this is specifically for young men, since there is no equivalent advice for young women to watch out for males who might want to commit adultery. This is an adulterous woman who uses smooth words to lure young men. Interestingly enough, the emphasis is on the wickedness of the woman, since the assumption was that the good young men would have to be led astray. She has forsaken the partner or companion of her youth for another young man. Actually that is what middle aged men do, not middle aged women. She has forgotten her covenant with God. She and her house would lead to death, as she lives in the shadows of life, not in the bright sunlight. Now came the big warning. Those who went to her would never return. Their whole life would be ruined. They would never regain the path of life. This was a strong warning to be aware of smooth talking middle aged women.