Proverbs 7:14
I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
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(14) I have peace offerings with me.—Rather, upon me, i.e., I had vowed them, and to-day I have accomplished my vow. The peace-, or thank-offering as it is also rendered, was purely voluntary, in token of thanksgiving for some mercy. The breast and right shoulder of the victim were given to the priest, and the rest belonged to the offerer, who was thus admitted, as it were, to feast with God (Leviticus 3, 7), profanation of this privilege being punished with death. Peace-offerings were accordingly offered on occasions of national rejoicing, as at the inauguration of the covenant (Exodus 24:5), at the accession of Saul (1Samuel 11:15), and at the bringing up of the ark to Zion (2Samuel 6:17), &c. This turning of what should have been a religious festival for the family into an occasion for license, is paralleled by the desecration of the Agapæ at Corinth (1Corinthians 11:20 sqq.) and the history of Church-feasts among ourselves. (For the spiritual interpretation of this passage as symbolising false doctrine, see Bishop Wordsworth; and also Notes on Proverbs 2:16-19 above.)

Proverbs 7:14. I have peace-offerings with me — “I am a woman happy in many blessings, which God hath bestowed upon me, and for which I have given him solemn thanks this very day; and, as religion and custom bind me, I have provided as good a feast as those sacrifices, which I formerly vowed, and have now paid, would afford, having no want of any thing, but of some good company at home to rejoice with me.” This woman’s conduct was the more abominable, as she covered her lewdness with the mask of piety and devotion. There were three sorts of peace-offerings, as appears by Leviticus 7:11-16; and Bishop Patrick is of opinion that those here mentioned were offerings of thanksgiving for blessings already obtained, and not of prayer for blessings not yet received, because the woman was so solicitous to have company at her feast upon this very day. It is well known that such sacrifices were to be of the best, either of bullocks, or sheep, or goats, (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 3:6; Leviticus 3:12,) and that the greatest part of them fell to the share of the person who offered them that he might feast with God. “It will not appear wonderful,” says Mr. Scott, “that these sacred ordinances should give occasion to carnal feasts attended with every vice, when we reflect how all kinds of sensuality are indulged in,” among professing Christians in our day, “under pretence of commemorating the nativity of Christ, who was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.”

7:6-27 Here is an affecting example of the danger of youthful lusts. It is a history or a parable of the most instructive kind. Will any one dare to venture on temptations that lead to impurity, after Solomon has set before his eyes in so lively and plain a manner, the danger of even going near them? Then is he as the man who would dance on the edge of a lofty rock, when he has just seen another fall headlong from the same place. The misery of self-ruined sinners began in disregard to God's blessed commands. We ought daily to pray that we may be kept from running into temptation, else we invite the enemies of our souls to spread snares for us. Ever avoid the neighbourhood of vice. Beware of sins which are said to be pleasant sins. They are the more dangerous, because they most easily gain the heart, and close it against repentance. Do nothing till thou hast well considered the end of it. Were a man to live as long as Methuselah, and to spend all his days in the highest delights sin can offer, one hour of the anguish and tribulation that must follow, would far outweigh them.This pretence of a religious feast gives us an insight into some strange features of popular religion under the monarchy of Judah. The harlot uses the technical word Leviticus 3:1 for the "peace-offerings," and makes them the starting-point for her sin. They have to be eaten on the same day that they are offered Leviticus 7:15-16, and she invites her victim to the feast. She who speaks is a "foreigner" who, under a show of conformity to the religion of Israel, still retains her old notions (see Proverbs 2:16 note), and a feast-day to her is nothing but a time of self-indulgence, which she may invite another to share with her. If we assume, as probable, that these harlots of Jerusalem were mainly of Phoenician origin, the connection of their worship with their sin would be but the continuation of their original "cultus." 13-15. The preparations for a feast do not necessarily imply peculiar religious professions. The offerer retained part of the victim for a feast (Le 3:9, &c.). This feast she professes was prepared for him whom she boldly addresses as one sought specially to partake of it. I have paid my peace-offerings which I had vowed; whereby she signifies, either,

1. That she was no common harlot, but one of good repute for religion. Or rather,

2. That she had plentiful and excellent provisions at her house for his entertainment. For the peace-offerings were to be of the best flesh, Leviticus 22:21, and a considerable part of these offerings fell to the offerers’ share, wherewith they used to feast themselves and their friends; see Leviticus 2:3, &c.; Leviticus 7:31, &c.; Leviticus 19:6, &c.; Leviticus 22:30, &c.; whereas the burnt-offerings where wholly consumed, and the flesh of the sin-offerings and trespass-offerings belonged to the priest.

I have peace offerings with me,.... Meaning at her house. These peace offerings were of the eucharistic kind; they were offered by way of thanksgiving for favours received; the greatest part of which, all excepting the fat on the kidneys, the rump of the sheep, the breast and right shoulder, which were the priest's, were returned to the offerers to feast upon with their friends, and were to be eaten the same day, Leviticus 7:11. This she said to show that she was no common strumpet, or that prostituted herself for gain; that she was a sufficient housewife, had a considerable affluence of life, her substance greatly increased, for which she had made her thank offering that day; that she wanted nothing of him but his company, and the enjoyment of him; and that she had good cheer to regale him with. She was properly "a holy" religious harlot, as the word sometimes signifies; and such is the church of Rome, which makes great pretensions to devotion and religion, yet is the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth, Revelation 17:5;

this day have I paid my vows; not on account of the young man, and for his health, and for meeting with him; for those vows were not now made to be paid, but were made and paid already: but her vows of peace offerings and thanksgivings, which, as she had promised, she had performed. Under this point may be reckoned the vows of virginity and celibacy, through a show of which the most shocking iniquities are committed by the members of the church of Rome.

I have {e} peace offerings with me; this {f} day have I paid my vows.

(e) Because in peace offerings a portion is returned to them that offered, she shows him that she has meat at home to make good cheer with or else she would use some cloak of holiness till she had gotten him in her snares.

(f) Which declares that harlots outwardly will seem holy and religious: both because they may better deceive others, and also thinking to observe ceremonies and offerings to make satisfaction for their sins.

14. with me] Lit. upon me, as A.V. marg., which may either and more probably mean, I am, as it were, loaded with them, you have come just when I wanted you, because there is abundance of good cheer in my house; or, they were incumbent upon me, due from me (R.V. marg.).

The flesh of “peace-offerings for thanksgiving” was to be eaten on the day on which it was offered; but if it were “a vow, or a freewill offering,” what remained might be eaten on the morrow (Leviticus 7:15-16). She would represent him therefore as having happily lighted on her feast-day, when she was looking out and longing for his company.

It is most unnatural to suppose that a foreign woman would thus accommodate herself to Jewish religious customs and seasons, especially when it is remembered that the example of accommodation set by the Court was quite the other way (1 Kings 11:1-8). On the other hand, the desecration of sacred Seasons and religious Festivals to secular or even sinful purposes, which was only too common in Israel (Isaiah 1:11-15; Amos 5:21-22), might only too easily find a parallel in Christian times and countries.

Verse 14. - I have peace offerings with me. Shelamim, "peace or thank offerings," were divided between Jehovah, the priests, and the offerer. Part of the appointed victim was consumed by fire; the breast and right shoulder were allotted to the priests; and the rest of the animal belonged to the person who made the offering, who was to eat it with his household on the same day as a solemn ceremonial feast (Leviticus 3; Leviticus 7). The adulteress says that certain offerings were due from her, and she had duly made them. This day have I payed my vows. And now (the day being reckoned from one night to the next) the feast was ready, and she invites her paramour to share it. The religious nature of the feast is utterly ignored or forgotten. The shameless woman uses the opportunity simply as a convenience for her sin. If, as is probable, the "strange woman" is a foreigner, she is one who only outwardly conforms to the Mosaic Law, but in her heart cleaves to the impure worship of her heathen hems And doubtless, in lax times, these religious festivals, even in the case of worshippers who were not influenced by idolatrous proclivities, degenerated into self-indulgence and excess. The early Christian agapae were thus misused (1 Corinthians 11:20, etc.); and in modern times religious anniversaries have too often become occasions of licence and debauchery, their solemn origin and pious uses being entirely thrust aside. Proverbs 7:14She laid hold on him and kissed him, both of which actions were shameless, and then, assuming the passivity and modesty befitting the woman, and disregarding morality and the law, she said to the youth:

14 "To bring peace-offerings was binding upon me,

     To-day have I redeemed my vows.

15 Therefore am I come out to meet thee,

     To seek thy face, and have found thee."

We have translated זבחי שׁלמים "peace-offerings," proceeding on the principle that שׁלם (sing. only Amos 5:22, and on the Phoenician altar at Marseilles) denotes contracting friendship with one (from שׁלם, to hold friendly relationship), and then the gifts having this in view; for the idea of this kind of offering is the attestation and confirmation of communion with God. But in view of the derivatives שׁלמנים and שׁלּוּם, it is perhaps more appropriate to combine שׁלם with שׁלּם, to discharge perfectly, and to translate it thank-payment-offering, or with v. Hofmann, a due-offering, where not directly thank-offering; for the proper eucharistic offering, which is the expression of thanks on a particular occasion, is removed from the species of the Shelamim by the addition of the words על־תּודה (Leviticus 7:12-25). The characteristic of the Shelamim is the division of the flesh of the sacrifice between Jahve and His priests on the one side, and the person (or persons) bringing it on the other side: only one part of the flesh of the sacrifice was Jahve's, consumed by fire (Leviticus 3:16); the priests received one part; those who brought the offering received back another part as it were from the altar of God, that they might eat it with holy joy along with their household. So here the adulteress says that there was binding upon her, in consequence of a vow she had taken, the duty of presenting peace-offerings, or offerings that were due; to-day (she reckons the day in the sense of the dies civilis from night to night) she has performed her duties, and the שׁלמי נדר have yielded much to her that she might therewith regale him, her true lover; for with על־כּן she means to say that even the prospect of the gay festival which she can prepare for him moved her thus to meet him. This address of the woman affords us a glimpse into the history of the customs of those times. The Shelamim meals degenerated in the same manner as our Kirmsen.

(Note: Kirmse equals anniversary of the dedication of a church, village fte.)

Secularization lies doubly near to merrymaking when the law sanctions this, and it can conceal itself behind the mask of piety. Regarding שׁחר, a more exact word for בּקּשׁ, vid., at Proverbs 1:28. To seek the countenance of one is equivalent to to seek his person, himself, but yet not without reference to the wished-for look [aspectus] of the person.

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