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Temptation in Plain Sight Yet Hidden from the Foolishly Blind
Proverbs 7:10-12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 And look, a woman comes to meet him,
dressed as a prostitute, and guarded in heart.
11 She is loud and rebellious;
her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the square,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
And look, a woman comes to meet him: The Hebrew here for woman is just that an adult female. Of course, this is the same wayward woman that has been a part of the account all along. She and the young man have come to meet in the darkness of night, which now assures of our earlier suspicions that they know each other, and this young man had passed this way before or he at least has knowledge of the wayward woman who was to meet him.
Dressed as a prostitute, and guarded in heart: Well, the language is becoming plainer (clearer) and more obvious. Guarded in heart or secret of heart means that she is skilled at being deceitful, very cunning or crafty. The Hebrew term (natsar) means that she is evil and causes much damage by her deceptive, secretive, underhanded ways.
She is loud and rebellious: Her becoming loud (Heb. hemmah) and animated in speech and manner is likely a deflection from her wayward ways. Her being rebellious or wayward means that she is stubbornly refusing to change her ways. She was a wayward woman with a spirit of independence, who had no respect in her rebelliousness for God and her husband.
Her feet do not stay at home: This is a poetic way of saying that she does not stay at home. She was constantly roaming the streets looking for new lovers.
Now in the street, now in the square: This now … now is telling us that same as the previous line, she is never home. One moment she is in the street, the next moment she is in the public square (the central part of a city where people meet, and local activities took place), looking for her next lover.
And at every corner she lies in wait: The expression lies in wait is a military saying, which refers to setting an ambush so as to capture one’s prey, bringing them much harm.
The young man is now introduced to the strange woman and her character. We get the sense immediately that her manner is alluring, as she is dressed like a prostitute. While her close gives everything away, the text says she is guarded in heart (cunning of heart), meaning that she has a hidden agenda, secretive, crafty, and deceitful. She moves about loudly and stubbornly, looking for the next lover, in the street, in the public square, lying-in-wait at every street corner for her prey, seeking someone just like this young man. This wayward woman’s loud seductive behavior in the public square evidence her immodesty.