KJV Pro 30:20  Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.


If so, is this intended to correct the idea that fellatio isn't really "having sex"? IE: Bill Clinton's, "I did not have sex with that woman!" Similarly I read somewhere once that young girls would prefer anal sex because it "wasn't really doing it".

Or is "eating" a euphemism for coitus with a man besides her man and the point simply how brazen she is in her contempt for the 7th commandment?

Evil adulterous woman wiping her mouth

  • 5
    cf. Prov 9:17
    – Susan
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 2:24
  • 7
    I think it refers to an adulterous woman who removes all traces of her infidelity, like somebody who wipes her mouth after eating something forbidden so that there is no trace Commented May 25, 2018 at 3:34
  • I hadn't thought of that. (Maybe it's my dirty mind!) That seems to be the way the Brenton LXX takes it: Pro 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman, who having washed herself from what she has done, says she has done nothing amiss.
    – Ruminator
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 6:22

4 Answers 4


The idea of the verses 18-20 speaks about things that won't leave any "tracks" after they act: the eagle in the sky, the snake on the rocks, the ship in the water and relations between man and woman ( not a virgin one - עלמה so it won't leave tracks):

NIV Proverbs 30:

18“There are three things that are too amazing for me,

four that I do not understand:

19the way of an eagle in the sky,

the way of a snake on a rock,

the way of a ship on the high seas,

and the way of a man with a young woman.

Verse 20 provides an example of this kind of relation: a cheating wife. How women can cheat without feeling any shame, and continue with her life like nothing happen?:

NIV Proverbs 30:20 "This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'

The writer uses a metaphor from eating: it's like eating (forbidden food - IE: pork) and then wiping her mouth and continuing without any guilt saying to herself - "I didn't do anything bad."

And what is it that the writer of the proverbs finds so incomprehensible here? While the eagle, the snake, and the ship doesn't make any sin while they act - both a cheating wife and her fellow are sinning - and GOD sees everything ( also the one that eats non-kosher ). So how can they act like that?

Eating verbs/roots for sexual relations are often been used in the poetry part of the Bible - like Song of Songs etc..

  • I never noticed before that verse 20 is pointing back to verse 19 rather than forward when it says "This is the way of an adulterous woman..." biblehub.com/interlinear/proverbs/30-20.htm
    – Ruminator
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 12:18
  • 1
    Thank for your edit! And i think a good tip for non-hebrew readers is read the context cause after all the editing and dozens of people over the years copy it by handwriting - it can't be other than masterpiece of human literature.
    – A. Meshu
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:34

We read this in the context of a woman's infidelity or promiscuity, but I offer another angle to it: We are considered the Bride of Christ as a community of his church. We can see this as not an actual woman, but for us all as Christ's Bride.
It's a bit eye-opening if you stop and think about it in this way.

  • Hi Stan Skaggs, welcome. I think that's an interesting and valid take. (+1) Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 8:23

Man shall not eat by bread alone, but by every word that proceed the mouth of God.

We need food. To live(life -Christ)

Also, it’s enjoyable

But choosing any other food, is like eating a maggot infested Taco Bell dumpster burrito, guzzled down with tasty antifreeze.

Choosing death over life.

Sin seperates you from God, from Truth. Just like that movie men in black, where a wand taser erases your memory. Sin acts in the same manner. Pleasure makes you forget where you once were, oblivious to where you are now.

You used to be secure , in the care of the One who is Good.

Now you’re in a desolate land, unloved, out in the open , running the risk of being prey.

In lamentation …the righteous counterpart, the heart yells “why??!” “What have you done??!” (Directed more towards her, what have you done to YOURSELF!)

And as one who does those sort of things, they do not love themselves, the response is annoyance, frustration. She doesn’t even feel bad , knowing she needs to tell you something, fearing the brokenness And anger that will come out of your counterpart. A righteous person, even one who committed adultery, will be broken, and have a sense of urgency and worry , to have that talk.

But the adulterated spirit , she sleeps like a baby. If called out, she views you so small, to lie to you in the face, while not blinking an eye, so u can shut up like a parent does to their child from time to time, but with a “white lie”, sinless, as opposed to great sin.


She is influenced by a spirit of Jezebel. Just expose that spirit with the word and correct this woman with the word and give her a warning to stop along with those who are in sin with her. If she continues then the judgment of the sick bed will come upon her and those that continue on with her will receive their judgment as well, despite the warning. But it is the hope of Jesus Christ that all shall turn from their wicked ways and repent.

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