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
    May 25 '18 at 2:24
  • 6
    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 May 25 '18 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
    May 25 '18 at 6:22

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
    May 25 '18 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
    May 25 '18 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) Feb 7 at 8:23

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