(Proverbs 7:5 KJV) That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
The “they” referred to are in the previous verse: Wisdom and understanding. As we work through Proverbs we will see that these are available to anyone who seeks them but that many people will ignore them instead. They are the roots of discipline that lead to Godly lives. They lead to behavior and values which are not well regarded in our modern culture.
The “strange woman" (adulteress NASB) (802/2114a) seems to be juxtaposed to Wisdom. I again point out that this is rejected by our modern popular culture. Read any popular fiction. The leading characters will somewhere jump in bed with someone to whom they are not married and it will be the “wise” thing to do. I am reading Einstein by Walter Isaacson. It describes how Einstein was deliberately planning on having an affair with his cousin. He was going to do it while staying married. I may have missed it, but there was not a hint of criticism for this behavior, after all his wife was moody and depressed. We are surrounded by this kind of thinking.
There are two concepts in this compound word. It literally means foreign woman. Note that the word “stranger" (foreigner NASB) (5237) is translated adulteress in places. We may not like it, but Israel and the church are closed cultures. We are to keep to ourselves. Our goal is not to be like the world but like Jesus.
At this point I begin to wonder if there isn’t a figurative message here also. The author has been talking about wisdom as a person and a friend. Now, he warns us against the “stranger" (foreigner NASB) (5237). If we allow or minds to roam, we come up with the idea of foreign values, foreign logic, foreign priorities. We see how the world wants to cancel the wisdom of God with the wisdom of the world.