"For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread. And an adulteress hunts for the precious life."
This is the Hebrew word zanah which means to commit fornication, to be a harlot, to commit adultery. Solomon is trying to get you to see this temptation for the economic bad deal it is. Look at what you are trading. You are giving up all you have and all you have worked for to chase after a few minutes of pleasure in the arms of someone that you don't even know.
Solomon is trying to frame the discussion of giving into adultery as an economic equation and to allow you to evaluate its merits before the power of the temptation is on you. Sexual temptation is a very powerful force and can make you do things that you would not normally do. So it is best to evaluate this temptation that is surely coming – when you have a clear head. It is a bad economic deal.
Once the adulteress has got you, then it is never without entanglements. There are relational, financial, medical, emotional, spiritual, and moral entanglements.
loaf of bread
This is the Hebrew word lechem which is bread, food. There will be nothing left after you have started to pursue sexual unfaithfulness – only the bare minimum to survive: a loaf of bread. Solomon is pointing out to us: Look at what happens to people who go down this road. They have two houses to maintain; two relationships to maintain. There will be nothing left for you. You think this is an answer; it is not. It is a financial and emotional prison cell that you can avoid by being faithful to your spouse.
This is the Hebrew word ishshah which means woman, wife, female, adulteress. The idea here is that Solomon notices that the adulteress is doing some calculating and is going after the deeper pockets, so you should calculate yourself out of this mess entirely by never entering into it.
This is the Hebrew word yaqar which means precious, rare, splendid. The idea here is that the more valuable your life is, the more the sexually unfaithful people will make themselves available to you. They are parasites looking for a rich place to hook on. Those who are sexually unfaithful are selfish and looking for what is best for them. They do not love you. They are using their techniques to hook deep into your life and drain it dry.
Solomon is really saying: Before you get under the spell of a temptation you should examine it under the bright light of day. Let me give you a few examples:
"I will feel a pull to steal something that isn't mine and that I haven't paid for." No matter what I feel at the time, it is wrong and will make me a thief. I could get caught and have those penalties. I will resist this because it is a stupid idea, even though it may present itself as the coolest thing to do at the time.
"I will feel a pull to be sexually unfaithful at some point in my life." It will expose me to disease, guilt, shame, unwanted relationships, other sins, and lies." No matter how good it may seem at the time, it will be a bad deal. "Avoid it.
"I will someday feel like trumpeting how wonderful I am and believing, because of something I have done, that I am better than some people that I know." This will not be true. If I allow this idea that I am somehow a more valuable person than others, I will begin to treat them differently and this will damage my relationships. No matter how significant what I have done, it does not make me a better person than someone else; it allows me to fulfill the personhood that I am.