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Seducing the Senses
Proverbs 7:16-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17 I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
I have spread my couch with coverings: The Hebrew verb (רָבַד rabad) is found only here in the Hebrew Old Testament, which means to spread over or cover. This seductress is clearly a woman of great wealth, as the items from verses 16 and 17 are all exported goods. The Hebrew word rendered couch (עֶרֶשׂ eres) can refer to a wooden pallet on the floor in the home of the common people. However, here the term couch shows evidence of her wealth when it is considered with the rest of the items, which is used for both resting and sleeping and is found only in the homes of wealthy people.
Colored linens from Egyptian linen: There is an extra cost in adding color in manufacturing these linens, for it is an additional step in the process. Here, the temptress is flaunting her wealth and uses bright colors in an attempt at seducing this man into her bedchamber.
I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh: Here, the Hebrew verb (נוּף nuph) rendered sprinkled means that she perfumed her bed. Myrrh is a fragrant gum resin obtained from various thorny shrubs or small trees and is one of the ingredients for the holy anointing oil. (Ex. 30:23-25) It was highly valued for its fragrance. it was used to scent garments, beds, and other items. (See Ps 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Song of Solomon 3:6-7) It was often used with other spices like those below to cause sexual excitement.
aloes, and cinnamon: These spices, including myrrh, were also used for lovemaking and believed to possess a stimulant that causes sexual desires. (See Song of Solomon 4:6) The seductress describes these spices to entice the young man into having sexual relations with her. The adulteress uses these pleasant foreign sweet-smelling fragrances to transform her bedchamber into a striking colorful, eye-catching, perfumed, desirable trap.
She offers the young man more visuals, giving him images to motivate him to enter her home. Her revealing clothing has moved this young man along with the sensual sound of her pleasing words, the touch of her embrace, and the taste of her smooth lips on top of the scent of her perfume. This is a train wreck just waiting to happen. It is now all too clear to the young man that he is going into her home for a sexual experience. In the imperfect human condition, our senses can be used against us by Satan’s world that caters to the flesh. Wrong desires are gratifying to us in this condition. Just as the scent of a meal can contribute to a physical (salivating and hunger pains), mental (thinking on), and emotional reaction (desiring) from us, so too a young man can lose his self-control in a sexual frenzy and go after a prostitute.
Reviewing once more, this young man did not reach this sexual frenzy stage all at once; it came in the earlier stages. Now, let us talk about the initial steps involved (1) entertaining the thinking that moved him to (2) walking on her street at night, (3) permitting her to kiss him, and (4) paying attention to her immoral offers. As he entered each of these steps, turning back became far more difficult. He should have dismissed the thinking at step one (James 1:14-15) before finding himself on her street. Even then, once he was walking down her street, he needed to stop and turn back. – Galatians 5:22-23.
 That is, perfumed
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