This is actually the Seventeenth saying a series that has been ongoing over the past couple of chapters.
· The prostitute has been compared to a deep pit or well (in that she entraps a young man and he cannot escape; cf. note on 22:14)
· Likewise, this prostitute has been compared to a robber (in that she will cost him dearly).
For Solomon’s purposes, prostitution is used as a striking example of those “personal sins” that, far from affecting the sinner alone, corrupt and bankrupt society and so ruin communities. The first part of the verse, “give me your heart”, guides parents, and so by implication, all men, in their nurturing task: their/our target must ever be the deepest core of the child’s (or those whom we are striving to disciple in spiritual things) inner life. The phrase following, “Observe my ways” further guides the discipler’s path in accomplishing our task.. They must aim to embody the virtues they commend.
Solomon has two aims in the statement he makes here:
- First he urges his beloved “son” to yield his true affections and dedication to him, making him a sure and reliable relation in his family. This determination will also aid in making him (the one referred to as a “son”) pliable and submissive in the discipleship process and further our ability to lead him to the goal of godliness.
- Likewise, he urges this “son” of his to see to it that he follows after him in the matters of behavior and his “ways” or manner of living. The active sense here tells us that Solomon is not merely talking about attitude but also to the active pursuit of the goal.
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