I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Whores can be religious. They can even be found at church. Here Solomon described a strange woman – a whore, prostitute, or adulteress. She seduced her young victim by telling him of her religious activities: she was a good woman with high standards, including religious attendance; and she had the best of her sacrifices to share with him.
Peace offerings were split between worshipper and priest. Since the sacrificed item was perfect, the food resulting from it was of the highest quality (Pr 17:1; Lev 3:6; 22:21). It could have been equivalent to USDA Prime+. The part remaining with the worshipper was often shared with friends or used for feasts (Lev 7:15-16; 19:5-6; Deut 12:6-7).
Peace offerings were voluntary offerings to give thanks or pay vows (Lev 19:5). Even a whore can have a form of religion, which serves her selfish goals. It may sooth remains of her vexed conscience; it may disguise her immoral life with a show of religion; and it may assist her seduction of a virtuous young man (Pr 6:26). Or it may serve all three!
The strange woman in Solomon’s extended parable was no common street slut. She was a fine woman with financial means, of noble reputation, and good taste. She offered to share a joyful religious celebration with the young man. The Preacher did his best to warn his son that a whore may change conduct to seduce careful young men (Pr 5:6; Ec 7:26).
Here is a powerful seductress – an elegant and fine woman with character and spirituality to enhance her invitation to adultery. Men may fear prostitutes for their cold hearts, obvious financial motive, likelihood of disease, lack of cleanliness, frequent use, legal risk, and impersonal performance. The Preacher knew how to get to the heart of a matter.
What a fine invitation! She had no ulterior financial motive, for she provided the fare. She was a sensitive and sincere woman well received in the better circles of her city. She had much fine food, and her only ambition appeared a need for company. “Come,” she said, “I need you to complete this wonderful day and enjoy life’s fine things with me.”
Young man! Wake up! Open your eyes! Behind her invitation is a snare to take you down to death and hell (Pr 7:27). Once in the hold of her lascivious arms and under the spell of her flattering lips, you are lost without hope of recovery (Pr 5:22; 22:14; 23:27). Stay away! There are some temptations you can fight, but this temptation you must flee!
A form of religion to cover intentional sin compounds the crime (Pr 21:27). Rome offers many flattering pretensions of religion, but she is the great whore and mother of harlots and abominations of the earth (Rev 17:1-6), which has used vows of celibacy and poverty, both of which are contrary to the Bible, to defraud and destroy many. Beware!