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unsuspecting youth.74 The reference to sacrifices (Mymlw-yHbz) and vows (yrdn) in verse 14 is, of

course, cultic and may indicate that her invitation to sexual intercourse is a cultic invitation. Such an inter- pretation is dependent upon translating verse 14b in a future perfect tense: "Today I shall have fulfilled my vows."75 Yet, the Hebrew probably translates more naturally, "Today I have fulfilled my vows.76 If this translation be correct then she is claiming that she has performed her cultic duties and now seeks the young man (ostensibly) to share her peace offerings. The communion meal is then a pretext.

Verses 6-7 of this didactic narrative pose another possible cultic reference. The Hebrew text presents the wisdom teacher77 looking out the window of his house

74 75 On ytp see Chapter 3 below. So Perdue, p. 149; cf. McKane, pp. 221, 339; R. Scott, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes: Introduction, Translation, and Notes (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1965), p. 64.


Taking the perfect verb ytmlw "to represent

actions, events, or states, which although completed in the past, nevertheless extend their influence into the present" (G-K 106g). Cf. RSV, KJV, NEB, JB, TEV, NASB and NIV.

77 Perdue, p. 149, states that "these verses describe either 'Mistress Wisdom' or the 'Strange Woman'." In fact, they describe either the "strange woman" (so LXX) or the wisdom teacher who is the antecedent of the first common singular forms in vv. 1-2 and 24 while "Mistress Wisdom" speaks she refers to herself in first person, not third; is referred to as a third person in v. 4. When Wisdom

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