Christianity According to Christ

A Harmony and Consolidation of the Gospel of Jesus from Old and New Testaments - WordsInRed.com


The Sum of Man
The Words of the Teacher
Son of David, King in Jerusalem

Wisdom's Song

At the gateways leading into the city
Wisdom takes her stand,
And nothing you desire can compare with her.
She has built her house
And hewn out its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and set her table.
She has sent out her maids on the heights
Along the way, where the paths meet.
And, in the noisy streets and public squares of the city,
She herself calls out to all mankind:

"Listen, O men,
For I have worthy things to say to you!
Leave your simple ways,
And walk in the way of understanding.
Come into my house
And drink the wine I have mixed.
Let all come in,
And eat the food I have prepared.
Choose my instruction
Instead of refined silver and gold or choice rubies,
For what I yield is more precious.

"I am Wisdom.
From eternity, before his deeds of old,
The Lord brought me forth.
From the beginning,
I was appointed as the source of his works.
Before he settled the heavens in place;
Before he made the substance of the earth
And laid its foundations;
Before its mountains and hills and fields;
When there were no oceans
Or springs abounding with water,
I was given birth.

"I was there when the world began:
When the Lord marked out the horizon
Between the face of the deep
And the clouds above;
When he established the fountains of the sea,
And fixed its boundary
So the waters would not overstep his command:
Then I was the craftsman at his side.

"I was filled with delight day after day;
Rejoicing always in his presence;
Rejoicing in his whole world,
And delighting in mankind.

"Now then, my children, listen to my instruction
And do not ignore it.
Guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers
And write them on the tablet of your heart,
For all good and true counsel
And sound judgement are mine.
To those who are simple,
I offer knowledge and understanding.
To the discerning -
You who already have these things
But are foolish or lack judgement -
I offer prudence and discretion.

"With me, are all power
And honor and enduring riches.
By me, reign all kings,
Princes and nobles who rule on earth.
Through me, rulers govern wisely
And make laws that are just.

"Blessed is the man who listens to me,
For all of my words are faultless;
Not one of them is crooked.
My lips detest perverse speech,
And I open my mouth to speak
Only of what is right and true.

"Blessed are those who keep to my ways:
Watching daily at my doors; waiting at my doorway.
For I shun pride and arrogance,
Wickedness and evil behavior,
And I walk in the way of righteousness
Along the paths of justice.

"Those who seek me, find me.
And whoever finds me finds life
And receives favor from the Lord.
Those who love me, I love,
Bestowing true wealth on them
And making their treasuries full.
Those who fail to find me harm harm only themselves,
And those who hate me love death,
For only through me will you live wisely and well.
Those who embrace me and keep my commands
Will be blessed.
Years will be added to their lives:
Their days will be many,
And filled with peace and joy."

Ec 1:1
Pr 3:13-21
Pr 1:20-21
6:16
8:1-36
9:1-6, 11 and 16

The Teacher

I am Solomon, son of King David who reigned over all of Israel for forty years; seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. Then - at a good old age and having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor - he rested, and we buried him with his fathers in the city he had made his own: Jerusalem.

Now I was but one of King David's many sons. The very next day, I called them together, along with all the officers and powerful men in Israel: the judges, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the heads of the great families. And I led the whole assembly up to the high place in Gibeon to the bronze altar that was the most important in the land, for it stood before God's Tent of Meeting which his servant Moses had made in the desert. There, I sacrificed in abundance: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams and a thousand male lambs. And on that altar, together with drink and other sacrifices, I presented them as burnt offerings to the Lord. Afterward, I gave a feast for the entire court. They ate and they drank, and when they were filled with great joy, they pledged their submission to me. And there, in the presence of the Lord, I was anointed as their king.

That night in my tent at Gibeon, God himself appeared to me in a dream. And he said to me, "Ask me for whatever you want me to give you." I answered, "O, Lord, you have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David. And because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart, you promised him that his descendants - if they were careful to walk faithfully before you with all their heart and soul as he did - would never fail to sit on the throne of Israel. And, by your hand this very day, you have fulfilled that promise by making me king in his place.

"But now, O Lord, here I am: ruler over your chosen people Judah and Israel, a people too numerous to count or number. Who can govern so great a nation? And I am like a child, young and inexperienced, and do not know how to carry out my duties. Lord, grant me a discerning heart so that I may distinguish between right and wrong, and the wisdom and knowledge to lead your people."

And God said to me, "I am pleased that you have not asked for a long life, or wealth and honor for yourself or for the death of your enemies, but for wisdom and knowledge and discernment in administering justice. Therefore, since this is your heart's desire, I will do what you have asked: I will give you knowledge, and a wise and discerning heart to govern my people over whom I have made you king. Moreover, if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as did your father David, I will also give you what you have not asked for. You shall have long life, and riches and honor such as no ruler who was before you ever had, and none in your lifetime or after you will have. Among kings, you shall have no equal. There will never have been, nor will there ever be, another like you."

Then I awoke. And although I realized that it had been only a dream, I took it as a sign that God was with me. I came down from Gibeon and returned to Jerusalem, and there I took my place upon the throne of the Lord.

1Ki 2:10-12
3:4-10 and 14
4:20 and 29
8:20 and 24-26
1Ch 29:21-22 and 24-28
2Ch 1:2-3 and 6-13

Power and Honor

So it was that I succeeded, in the place of my father David, as king. And I immediately set out to establish myself firmly over my kingdom. As the time of his death drew near, King David had charged me to deal with Shimei son of Gera, a kinsman of my father's predecessor King Saul, and Joab son of Zeruiah who was in overall command of the army. Shimei had called down bitter curses on my father and pelted him with stones when he was driven out of Jerusalem for a time by my rebellious older brother Absalom. Joab, for personal reasons and without King David's knowledge, had attacked and killed Abner and Amasa - the commanders of the armies of Israel and Judah - after the king had promised to spare their lives.

And now Joab conspired with the high priest Abiathar to make my brother Adonijah king in my place. At their urging, Adonijah presented himself to my mother, Bathsheba. And he pleaded with her to help him gain my approval for his marriage to Abishag; the beautiful and popular young Shunamite woman who took care of King David in his declining years. I told my mother, "I may as well give him the kingdom!" For, as my older brother, Adonijah was - in the eyes of many in Israel - the legitimate heir to the throne, and this marriage would further strengthen his claim.

And so I gave orders to my servant Benaiah son of Jehoiada to strike down Adonijah, Joab and Shimei. This was done, and I put Benaiah in Joab's position as commander of my armies. Because of his past service to my father David, I allowed Abiathar the priest to retire to his estates in Anathoth and I replaced him with my own man, Zadok.

I also installed my own men as governors over the twelve districts of Israel. To ensure that none of them became too wealthy and powerful, I required each one to provision the king's table for one month of the year. They saw to it that that nothing was lacking, and supplied the royal household daily with 185 bushels of fine flour, 375 bushels of meal, ten head of stall-fed cattle and twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as choice fowl and wild game. With this, my rule was firmly established, and all Israel acknowledged me as King David's rightful successor and obeyed my commands.

With my kingdom in hand, I turned my attention to its borders. I made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married his daughter. To celebrate the occasion, Pharaoh attacked and captured Gaza - setting it on fire and killing its Canaanite inhabitants - and gave it to us as a wedding gift. I negotiated a treaty with Hiram king of Tyre which gave me control over all the kingdoms to the north from Dan to Tiphsah. And I, myself, captured Tadmor and the Arabian settlements in the eastern desert. Throughout my life, all of these countries remained subject to my command.

I settled Israelite fighting men throughout this new territory to serve as my chief government officials and military commanders. And all the people who lived there, those whom we did not exterminate, I conscripted as slave labor. With this work force I built up Gaza, the villages that Hiram had ceded to me, and other strategic sites into fortified cities; with walls, gates and facilities to accomodate horses, chariots and charioteers. (I did not use Israelites for any of this work, but put them in charge of the projects and of supervising the laborers.)

God was with me in all this and, during my lifetime, Judah and Israel - from Dan to Beersheba - had peaceful relations on every side. No adversary or disaster befell us, and each man lived in safety under his own vine and fig tree.

I thought to myself, "The Lord has kept the promise he made to me in my dream at Gibeon, and more! I have succeeded my father and sit securely on the throne of Israel. All who live and walk under the sun follow me and regard me as king David's true successor. The Lord has highly exalted me in the sight of all the people who, as he promised our father Abraham, are as measureless as the dust of the earth or the sand on the seashore. And, as he also promised Abraham, I rule over all the land from the river Euphrates to the border of Egypt. I am greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me!"

Yet my eyes were not content because, as he had also promised me, the Lord gave me wisdom. I looked again at all this abundance, and I saw something else. God had granted me the death of my enemies, and those of my father David, and thereby firmly established my rule over Israel. But I saw that there was no end to this miserable business and that I was now a man all alone. I had neither son nor brother. "For whom am I toiling?" I asked. "And why am I depriving myself of the enjoyment of family and friends? This is meaningless!"

The Lord had made me exceedingly great, but wisdom continued to nag at me. "There's no end to the great men of old who preceded me," I thought, "yet now there's no remembrance of them. And what more can their successor do than what's already been done? Will those who are yet to come be any more pleased with me? Will I even be remembered?"

I looked out over a land of peace and plenty. But there, in the place of judgment and justice, I saw wickedness and oppression. I saw the tears of the oppressed and they had no comforter, because all power under the sun was on the side of their oppressors. I saw that, even though the man who works his field may produce abundant food, injustice sweeps it away. For the increase is taken by all who are over him, and it is the king himself who profits most from his labor. And I saw that those who oppress these poor souls are worse than a driving rain that leaves no crops at all.

I tried to reassure myself, saying: "Don't be surprised when you see such things: the poor oppressed, and justice and rights denied. It's the way of the world that one official is eyed by a higher one and over both are others higher still, and they are all entitled to their tribute." But then I thought, "The powerful and the weak have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all, and he will bring judgment to both. Then, if a man has shut his ears to the cry of the oppressed, he too will cry out and not be answered. So, in the end, a man lords it over others to his own hurt. Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed, than to share plunder with the proud."

2 Sa 16:5-6 and 13
20:23
1Ki 1:1-5
2:1, 5-8, 12-26, 32, 34-35 and 46
3:1 and 11-13
4:7 and 20-27
5:1, 4 and 12
8:20
9:15-23
1Ch 29:23 and 25
2Ch 1:1;9
8:2-10
Pr 12:11
13:23
16:8 and 19
21:1
28:3

Ec 1:11 and 14
2:9 and 12
3:17
4:1, 8 and 15-16
5:8-9
8:9

Wealth

Thus, I determined that all of the power and honors that the Lord had bestowed on me were meaningless; a chasing after the wind. And, although these things continued to come my way, never again did I seek or take pleasure in them. I looked for some other way to fulfill the great promises and exercise the wisdom the Lord had given me. And it came to me that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children; that the crown of the wise is their wealth. And so I set out to build a great treasury for the people God had entrusted to me.

From the kings of Arabia and governors of my outlying provinces alone, I demanded and received tribute of twenty-five tons of gold yearly. And this did not include the vast revenues brought in by my merchants and traders. For I built a fleet of trading ships at Ezion Geber, which is on the Red Sea near Elath in Edom, and manned it with experienced sailors sent to me by King Hiram as well as with my own men. Once every three years or so, the ships returned carrying yet another sixteen tons of gold; as well as great cargos of silver, ivory, precious stones, exotic animals and valuable timber not found in Israel. Cedar, for example, became as plentiful as sycamore trees in the Judean foothills.

I accumulated fourteen hundred chariots, and twelve thousand war horses imported from Egypt and the Arabian countries, which I kept - along with stores of weapons - in the fortified cities and close by my side in Jerusalem. I bought male and female slaves and had many others who were born in my house. And I owned more herds and flocks, and draft horses and mules, than anyone before me dreamed of.

And wealth brings many friends. As news of my power and riches spread, all the kings of the earth sought audience with me. And every one of them who came brought gifts; artifacts of gold and silver, royal garments and spices. The goblets on my table and all the household articles in my palace were of purest gold. Nothing was made of silver because I made it as common in Jerusalem as stones and, throughout my days, it was considered of little value.

By every measure, I became greater in riches than any other king on earth before or since. But, in my wisdom, I saw grievous evil in it all:

- Wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner: Of what benefit is it to him locked away, except that he feast his eyes on it?

- Wealth lost through misfortune: Cast but a glance at riches and, like eagles, they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky. They are gone; and there's nothing left for a man's inheritors.

- The love of wealth for wealth's sake: Whoever loves money never has money enough. Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. For, as goods increase, so do those who consume them.

- The cares of wealth: The abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. His riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat. And, whether he eats little or much, the sleep of one who labors for his bread is sweet.

And I said to myself, "This, too, is meaningless. A man comes naked from his mother's womb and, as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. And what does one gain toiling for the wind? Don't wear yourself out to get rich. Show your wisdom by exercising good judgment, and use this fleeting and meaningless wealth for something that endures."

1Ki 4:22-23
9:20-28
10:11, 14-15, 21-22 and 25-27
2Ch 1:14-15
9:13-14, 20-25 and 27-28
Pr 13:8 and 22
14:24
23:4-5
Ec 2:8
5:10-16

Monument

And so it was that I undertook great construction projects. I established gardens and parks and, in them, I planted vineyards and groves of all kinds of fruit trees. And I constructed reservoirs to water them and make them flourish.

And I built dwelling places for myself. My wife, Pharaoh's daughter, and I had been living in the palace built by King David in Jerusalem. This had attracted unfavorable comment, because the ark of the Lord had been kept there for a time (the places the ark has entered are holy, and must not be defiled by the presence of foreigners). And so I determined to build a majestic royal pavilion in the Forest of Lebanon, to include individual palaces for myself and Pharaoh's daughter and a Hall of Justice where I would judge disputes.

I spent months laying out the design and making preparations for this grand project before I gave orders to commence building. I decided that the palaces were to be set back from the Hall, and of similar design: 150 feet long, 75 wide and 45 high. Their foundations and supporting terraces would be laid with large stones of good quality, measuring some twelve to fifteen feet in length. Above, from foundation to eaves, the building walls would be made of blocks of higher-grade stone, cut to size and trimmed with a saw on their inner and outer faces. The roofs of these structures, as well as their interior walls, columns and beams, would be made entirely of costly imported cedar. And outside a great paved courtyard, surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, would provide a suitable setting for the royal estate.

Then I designed the interior decor for the buildings. For the great hall, I directed the construction of an ornate but comfortable throne; inlaid with ivory and overlaid with fine gold leaf. The throne itself would have armrests, a rounded top and back, and an attached footstool. It would be imposingly situated on a platform atop six graduated steps, with a sculpted lion standing on either side of the throne and at both ends of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other king. I also directed my craftsmen to make 200 large shields and 300 smaller shields of hammered gold to decorate the royal palaces. Seven and a half pounds of gold went into each of the large shields, and nearly four pounds into each of the smaller ones: all told, more than a ton of purest gold.

Next I took a census of all the aliens in Israel, similar to one my father David had taken, and found them to number 153,600. I conscripted them all: 80,000 to serve as stonecutters in the hills, and 70,000 to carry the quarried stone to the construction site. I placed the remaining 3,600 over the others as foremen, to supervise the project and keep the people working. I also conscripted laborers from among the Israelites, 30,000 men, for the actual construction. I sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. My man Adoniram was in charge of this forced labor.

Finally, I sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: "I'm about to begin construction of a great palace complex in the Forest of Lebanon, so I ask you to send me cedar and pine logs as you did for my father David when he built his palace in Jerusalem. As you know, we have no one so skilled in felling timber as your Sidonians; so give them orders that the trees be cut for me, and I will pay you whatever wages you set for your woodsmen's service. My men will work with yours to ensure that we have plenty of lumber."

Hiram sent word back to me: "I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and pine logs you have requested. My men will haul them down to the sea and float them in rafts to the place you specify. There I will separate them, and you can take them to your construction site. And I ask in return that you grant my wish by providing food for my royal household."

And so I agreed to give Hiram 125,000 bushels each of barley and ground wheat, in addition to 115,000 gallons each of wine and pressed olive oil, as food for his household. I continued to do this for Hiram year after year, and he kept me supplied with all the cedar and pine logs I required.

It took me thirteen years to complete this construction. After I at last brought my wife up from Jerusalem to the palace I had built for her, however, my God-given wisdom again took hold of me. I saw that all labor and achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. And, while a heart at peace gives life to the body, envy rots the bones. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun; for a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This, too, then was meaningless and a great misfortune: a chasing after the wind.

The time had come to fulfill the words the Lord had spoken to my father David, when he said: "Your son, whom I will put on the throne in your place, will build the temple for my Name." Surely it was for this that the Lord had given me all these blessings. And no sooner had this thought but crossed my mind, than the Word of the Lord came to me for the second time: "As for this temple you are about to build: If you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will will live among the Israelites and not abandon my people Israel."

I immediately wrote again to Hiram king of Tyre: "You know that because of the wars waged against my father David, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord our God. But now, God has put his enemies under my feet. He has given me rest on every side, and no other adversary has reared his head or disaster befallen us. I intend, therefore, to build his temple.

"This temple I will build must be large and magnificent because our God, who made heaven and earth, is greater than all other gods. And so I ask you to send me - in addition to the cedar and pine I am already receiving from you - logs of sandalwood, so that the Lord's house might be filled with its fragrance. Also send me, if such a man exists, one who is skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood, and with purple, crimson and blue yarn and fine linen. He should be experienced in the art of engraving, and willing to work in Jerusalem supervising and training my own skilled craftsmen and those my father David provided me. Most important, he must be an Israelite by birth because foreigners must not set foot in the temple for the Name of the Lord."

And Hiram replied to me by letter: "Praise be to the God of Israel! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, and your God must love his people because he has made you their king. You will indeed build His temple for, as impossible as I thought it to be, I have found the exact man for whom you are searching. I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill who is trained to work in all the mediums you listed. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. And he is eager to work in Jerusalem with your craftsmen and those of your father David because - most improbable of all - although his father was a man from Tyre (and himself a craftsman in bronze), his mother is from from the Israelite tribe of Naphtali and was born in your province of Dan. Only your Lord could have brought this about!" I immediately sent a man to Tyre to escort Huram to Jerusalem. He was everything King Hiram claimed, and never failed to accomplish any task I assigned to him.

1Ki 5:2-11 and 13-16
7:1-3, 7-12a and 13-14
10:16-20
2Ch 2:1b-3, 5 and 7-18
8:11
9:15-19
Pr 14:30
Ec 2:4-6, 18-23
4:4

The Temple of the Lord

And so it was that - in the spring of 967 BC, as you now reckon time - I began to build the temple of the Lord on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, at the place designated by the Lord when he appeared to my father David on the threshing floor of Aruanah the Jebusite. If I had labored long and hard on plans for the royal estate in the forest of Lebanon, I outdid myself in preparations for building the House of the Lord. Every aspect of the structure, surroundings and appointments - down to the last door hinge and embellishment - was laid out in detail in advance of the actual construction.

The dimensions of the elevated temple foundation and the temple itself were modest: Ninety feet long, thirty feet wide and forty-five high. I designed narrow windows, set high in the temple walls, which would let in the light but afford no inward view. Offset ledges around the outside ensured that nothing could be inserted into crevices in the walls. All around the walls of the temple, attached by beams of cedar, was a three-storied structure in which there were low-ceilinged side rooms: The rooms on the lowest floor were seven and a half feet wide, on the middle floor nine feet, and on the third ten and a half. These rooms were to serve as places for meetings and solitary contemplation and prayer, and as housing for the priests and temple musicians, who would have to work day and night.

The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the temple. A broad stairway led up from there to the middle level, and then to a thirty-foot high portico which extended across the width of the temple and projected outward fifteen feet. This opened into the main hall, which occupied the front two-thirds (sixty feet) of the interior. At the rear of the temple, I partitioned off an area thirty feet in height, width and length - the Most Holy Place - in which to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord.

The floor of the temple was covered with resilient planks of pine. Its interior walls were paneled with cedar boards from floor to ceiling, and it was roofed over with sturdy beams and cedar planks. Everything within was cedar; no stone was to be seen. I designated the sandalwood Hiram sent me to make steps and supports for the temple, and harps and lyres for the temple musicians: So much sandalwood has never been seen in Judah, or anywhere else, since that day.

With the aid of my man Huram Abi, I designed:

- an imposing altar of cedar and bronze for burnt sacrifices.

- An elevated, bowl-shaped, cast metal pool - fifteen feet in diameter and seven and a half feet at its deepest point - to be used by the priests for washing (It held more than eleven thousand gallons of water). The pool was supported by twelve bronze bulls, in groups of three facing north, west, south and east.

- Four intricately carved doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets, to provide enty into the inner sanctuary: Two in the center made of olive wood, for major occasions; and two of pine at either side for daily observances.

- Behind the doors, a curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen with images of angels worked into it, to prevent glimpses of the Most Holy Place from the main hall when the priests entered and exited.

- A pair of angels with their wings spread, also sculptured from olive wood, at the rear of the inner sanctuary. Each fifteen feet tall, their outstretched wings reached from wall to wall and touched each other in the middle of the room.

And so on. Every aspect, furnishing and appurtenance of the temple was firmly established befor the actual construction began. But what was to set the temple of the Lord apart from all other structures was its rich decor. The exterior walls were studded with precious gems; and Huram decorated every inch of the cedar on the inside walls with beautifully-carved chain designs of palm trees, gourds, open flowers and angels. And, finally, the interior walls of the temple and the portico - ceilings, walls; even the floors - were overlaid with more than twenty tons of the purest beaten gold. The gold nails alone weighed more than a pound apiece.

At my command, my craftsmen cut and prepared the timber to size at the place the logs from Hiram and his men came ashore. And, at the quarry, they removed and dressed large blocks of quality stone for the temple foundation, walls, inner courtyard and portico. Only such finished materials were used in the building of the temple, so that no noise of hammer, chisel or other iron tool might profane the temple site while it was being built.

And so it was that I built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. It was finished in all its details according to my specifications in the autumn of 760 BC. All told, twenty years had passed since I had set about building the temple and the royal palaces, and I had achieved all I desired to do in the way of construction.

1Ki 5:17
6:1-10, 14-32, 34-35 and 37-38
7:23 and 25-26
9:1 and 10
1Ch 9:33
2Ch 3:1-14
4:1-2 and 4-5
8:1

Dedication and Assent

When the work was completed, I brought in the things my father David had dedicated - the silver and gold and the furnishings - and placed them in the temple treasuries.

The Tempter

The tempter appears as a woman,
Loud and defiant,
Undisciplined and without knowledge.
Sometimes she sits at the door of her house
Or on a seat high in the city,
But her feet never stay in one place.
Now in the street, now in the squares,
At every corner she lurks with crafty intent,
Calling out to innocent passers-by:

"Let all who hunger and thirst come in to my home.
Today I fulfilled my vows, and have set my table
With fellowship offerings for your delight."

Little do they know
That hers is the dwelling-place of the dead
That all of her guests end up in the depths of the grave.

Once at twilight, as the day was fading
And the dark of night set in,
I looked out through the lattice
At the window of my house.
And I noticed among the young men
Walking down the street
A simple youth heading
In the direction of her house.
The woman, dressed like a prostitute
Came out to meet him.
She took hold of him and kissed him
And with a brazen face she said:

"I came out to look for one just such as you,
And I have found you!
My husband has gone on a long journey,
His purse filled with money,
And will not be home until the full moon.
I have covered my bed
With colored linens from Egypt
And perfumed it with myrrh,
Aloes and cinnamon.

"So, come! Let's enjoy ourselves!
Stolen water is sweet;
Food eaten in secret is delicious.
Let's drink deep with love till morning."

Her persuasive words and smooth talk
Readily seduced him.
And like an ox going to the slaughter,
A deer stepping into a noose
Or a bird darting into a snare,
The young man followed her:
Little knowing,
Until an arrow suddenly pierced his liver,
That it had cost him his life.

Now then, my sons, listen to me!
Pay attention to what I say!
My words will keep you from this adultress;
This wayward wife with her seductive words.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
Her slain are a mighty throng.
None who go to her return,
Or regain the Way of life.
Do not let your heart stray into her paths,
For her way is a highway
Leading down to the grave:
Her house but a chamber
Of the spirits of the dead.

Pr 7:5-27
9:13-18


(Incomplete - See Notes for Wayne's latest thoughts on this topic)

 

All original text © 2003 by The Wayne Chaffer Estate
The Holy Bible, New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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