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Do Not Desire the Immoral Woman’s Beauty
Proverbs 6:25-26 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for because of a prostitute, a man is reduced to a loaf of bread,
but a wife of another man hunts down a precious soul.
26 [Although the price of a prostitute may be as much as a loaf of bread,
another man’s wife hunts the precious life].
Do not desire her beauty in your heart: Here (Heb. ḥā·mǎḏ) desire is being used in the bad sense in that the young man is being warned against strongly wanting, lusting after, coveting the beauty of another man’s wife.
And do not let her capture you with her eyelashes: Here (Heb. lā·qǎḥ) capture is referring to the young man being seduced or being led astray by the alluring eyes of another man’s wife. The Hebrew (ʿǎp̄·ʿǎp·pǎ·yim) is rendered eyelashes here but is literally “eyelids,” which is referring to how a woman uses her alluring eyes to attract the attention of men.
For because of a prostitute, a man is reduced to a loaf of bread: A prostitute is a person, in particular, a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment. It seems that Solomon is saying that an adulterous wife being referred to as a prostitute may cost as much as a loaf of bread.
But a wife of another man hunts down a precious soul: The adulteress wife endangers the “precious soul,” or life, of her adulterous partner. The Hebrew (ṣûḏ) hunts down is referring to the husband of the adulteress doing after the adulterous young man, who had sexual relations with his wife, intending to cause him bodily harm or kill him.
Exodus 20:14, “You shall not commit adultery,” which means that we need to value the sanctity of marriage, to remain faithful at times of temptation. At Matthew 5:28 Jesus states, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (ESV) Jesus identified the preliminaries, which was a sin in and of itself, that lead up to the sinful act of adultery, as “lustful intent.” Focus on the word “intent.” This is not a man walking along who catches sight of a beautiful woman and has an indecent thought, which he then dismisses (that is not lusting). It is not even a man in the same situation that has an indecent thought, who goes on to entertain and cultivate that thought (this is lusting and is a sin). No, this is a man that is staring, gazing at a woman with the intent of lusting, and is looking at the woman, with the intention of piquing her interest and desire, to get her to lust.
Verse 25 of chapter 26 in Proverbs warns the son against just that, do not get “lustful intent” in your heart because of her beauty. Yes, even when the evil woman is seeking to flame such desires. Aside from the fact that it violates God’s Law, for mere moments of immediate gratification at a very inexpensive price, you are risking your life on a wife, who has a husband that will take your precious life.
James 1:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
James states but each one is tempted, which signifies that temptation is on an individual basis. The temptation is not another individual’s problem but is an individual choice that one gives into or rejects. James also writes one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his desire, which exposes that the problem of temptation lies not with God, but rather it is in oneself. James says that temptation is always directed at the desire of one’s heart. Therefore, God is not the one who is causing the temptation, but the temptation comes through the enticement of one’s lust within his heart.
The Greek word James uses here for enticed is deleazo, which means to “lure as bait.” (Vine 1996, 203) James tells us in the passage that the underlying motivation for all temptation is selfish desire, that all temptations spring from man’s desire to satisfy his own flesh and personal forbidden desires. This means the temptation that Satan offers to people always deals with that which is pleasurable to man and appeals to his desires. This is not to say that human desires in and of itself are wrong. Moreover, human pleasure is not bad in and of itself. Satan has corrupted the desires of the flesh, which was perfectly natural before the sin of Adam. For example, there was a natural desire for a physical relationship between man and woman. After the fall, Paul tells us that it has become a standard practice “For their women [to] exchange natural relations for those that are contrary to nature,” i.e., homosexuality. (Rom. 1:26) Once the lust is manifested in the heart then the more it lingers there without being dealt with then it will begin to carry away the individual with the enticement of what that fulfilled lust can bring.
Temptation always begins with an enticement towards one’s lust or an unwarranted desire. If not cast down, one then is carried away by the bait of the enticement. Then soon after, one will take the bait, give in to the temptation, and satisfy the lust of his flesh. It is for this reason that James writes then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin. James continues with the progression stating sin when it is fully-grown brings forth death. Once the desire is conceived, or once the individual gives acts upon that temptation by giving into its evil desire, it gives birth to sin that can lead to death.
James is telling these believers that once sin is conceived and begins to take root in the heart if it is not dealt with, it will become full grown within the heart, to attain what their hearts desire. James makes it very clear that once we give in to the temptation of that lust, it will inevitably give birth to sin. What was meant to produce pleasure and satisfaction, now only causes chaos and devastation. James warns these believers that the only result of fulfilling their lust brought about death. This death could for some have led to physical death depending upon the lust they were giving into. James has a deeper meaning in the fact that it was causing spiritual death to these believers when they gave into sin.
Again, we can see from Adam and Eve that when they ate of the fruit, they did so out of their desire and pleasure for power and control that stemmed from their lust. When they ate of the fruit, the promise of fulfillment only resulted in death. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they faced spiritual death, in the fact that their sin had separated them from God. In turn, because of the curse, they would also suffer physical death due to their sin. James is warning these believers of the serious danger of temptation and the consequences if they were to give in to their lust. James wants his readers to understand that for the one who persisted in his temptation and living in that manner, and then, in the end, he would face eternal destruction. Paul wrote in Romans 7:20-21, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.”
 I.e. alluring eyes
 I.e. life
 Duane A. Garrett, vol. 14, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, The New American Commentary, 100 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993).
 Or “own lust”
 Thomas D. Lea, THE BOOK OF JAMES, vol. 17, CPH New Testament Commentary (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2017), 28-29.