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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 5:20

"For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner"

This proverb is a question of reasons for going to the arms of an adulteress when you can get all you want and need from the wife of your youth.

The term my son is an interesting insertion here. It suggests that you have been trained and mentored by Solomon's teaching and, therefore, know better than to be led astray by a mistress.

Remember that a mistress actually does what a wife can and should do, and she aims her attention in a lazer-like focus on a man until he is drawn almost irresistibly to her.

My wife and I were commenting the other day on the exploits of a Hollywood starlet who has been very good at breaking up marriages and drawing any man she wanted into her clutches. She focuses her attention on him and meets his top seven relational needs until he is completely hers, and then after a while she just seems to get bored with him and discards him to go after another man.


This is the Hebrew word shagah, which means to go astray, err, to commit error. It is something of a mistranslation to use the word exhilarated when all of its meanings are to err or to go astray. The import of this verse seems to be Solomon's probing question. Why would you go astray with a strange woman? You have a wife at home that can supply all that you need.

The power of what Solomon is saying is in the words go astray. No man wants to be said to be going astray. These words alone will bring him up short and cause him to look at what he is doing. Remember that a man who is beginning to be with an adulteress thinks that he is doing the right thing because it feels so right to him. He finally has a woman who is giving him focused attention on his top seven relational needs.


This is the Hebrew word zur, which means to be a stranger. It is regularly used of a person who is not your spouse. This person is strange to you because it is not the person who you are supposed to be with. This idea of a strange person can also apply to the unmarried. When you are dating or spending time with a person that you know will not be or should not be your marriage partner, then this is a strange person. The more you try and make it work with this person, the more convoluted and involved your life becomes. Do not spend time with a person who is "good for now" but clearly not someone you would marry. Sometimes singles will stay in a relationship with someone who they know and will admit is strange to them just because they don't want to be lonely. They don't want to give up this one person until they can see the next person. This is short-sighted. If they are strange to you then, do not stay in a relationship with them. It will take you astray.


This is the word habaq, which means embrace or fold. The idea is of an expression of love and affection. When you allow your relational needs to be met by a person who clearly is not or should not become your spouse, then you are playing with fire and you will get burned.

Solomon is screaming at us: Don't let your emotional and relational needs be met by someone other than your spouse; it is the way of error! It may be exhilarating. They may meet your needs at a deeply emotional level, but it is wrong. It is the way of error and it will break you.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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