Proverbs 7:15
Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 7:15-20. Therefore came I forth to meet thee — As not being able to take any pleasure in my feast without thy company; and I have found thee — By a happy providence of God complying with my desires, to my great joy, I have found thee speedily and most opportunely. Thus this wicked woman pretended that she came forth on purpose to meet this youth, from a peculiar affection, as if she had had a prior acquaintance and intimacy with him. I have decked my bed, &c. — She desires to inflame his lusts by the mention of the bed, and by its ornaments and perfumes. The good man is not at home — Whom she does not call her husband, lest the mention of that name should awaken his conscience or discretion. He hath taken a bag of money with him — Which is an evidence he designs to go far, and to stay a considerable time; and will come home at the day appointed — Or, at the day of full moon, as Dr. Waterland translates יום הכסא, Houbigant renders the clause, Nor will he return to his house before the full moon. The woman plainly gives this as a reason for removing all apprehensions and fears of detection from the simple youth she is soliciting to destruction.

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. Diligently to seek thy face; as not being able to take any pleasure in my feast without thy company.

I have found thee, by a happy providence of God complying with my desires.

Therefore came I forth to meet thee,.... Having so much good cheer at home, and none to eat of it with her; and having so fond and affectionate a regard to this young man, as she pretended; he being the only person in her thoughts, whom she hoped to meet with, and whose company she desired, and his only; though, had she met any other, she would have said the same things to them. Aben Ezra, upon Proverbs 7:14, says, she told him lies; probably that might be true; but this was no doubt a lie; and it is no unusual thing for the whore of Rome to speak lies in hypocrisy, 1 Timothy 4:2;

diligently to seek thy face; which of all faces she desired to see, being most lovely to her; with the comeliness of which she was exceedingly taken and ravished, and got up betimes in the morning, as the word (n) signifies, even before day, to seek for him;

and I have found thee; which she speaks with a rapture and ecstasy of joy; blessing herself on this happy occasion, that she should come out so opportunely, and find him so quickly; intimating, that it was a kind providence, and that the thing was of God: so conversions to the antichristian church, which are the artifice of hell, are ascribed to the divine Being.

(n) "ad quaerendum mane", Montanus.

Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 15. - Therefore came I forth to meet thee. As though she would invite the youth to a pious rite, she speaks; she uses religion as a pretext for her proceedings, trying to blind his conscience and to gratify his vanity. Diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee (see on Proverbs 1:28). She tries to persuade her dupe that he is the very lover for whom she was looking, whereas she was ready to take the first that offered. Spiritual writers see in this adulteress a type of the mystery of iniquity, or false doctrine, or the harlot described in Revelation (Revelation 2:20, etc.; Revelation 17:1, etc.; Revelation 18:9, etc.). Proverbs 7:15She 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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