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I’ve been reading in Psalms and we have now moved into Proverbs and I’m finding the difference in the translations intriguing.

Proverbs talks a lot about “immoral’ women…mainly to stay away from them.  The Complete Jewish Bible(CJB) translates this as “unknown” or “strange” women.

Proverbs 5:20 read in the NKJV:

For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?

But the CJB reads this way:

My son, why be infatuated with an unknown woman?
Why embrace the body of a loose woman?

The verse in the CJB changes the focus, at least in my mind from the woman to the man.  In the NKJV the woman is the one who is doing the evil, seduction & enrapture are things that happen TO you, not things you do to yourself.  Where as YOU become infatuated, and YOU do the embracing…

I think it make it more personal, and invokes the idea that YOU are responsible for your actions, versus it being a warning to stay away from the evil women/men out there.

This difference is repeated again Proverbs 6:23-26

For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
24 To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
26 For by means of a harlot
A man is reduced to a crust of bread;
And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.

Here is the CJB of the same verses:

For the mitzvah is a lamp, Torah is light,
and reproofs that discipline are the way to life.

24 They keep you from an evil woman,
from a loose woman’s seductive tongue.
25 Don’t let your heart lust after her beauty
or allow her glance to captivate you.
26 The price of a whore is a loaf of bread,
but the adulteress is hunting for a precious life.

Definitely gives a different feel to the reading.