Friday, October 8, 2010

Proverbs 6:20-35, Background to Paul's Sexual Ethics?

I just came across this in my devotional reading recently and was kicking myself for not spotting it earlier as this may have been something that would contribute to my already submitted thesis.

In Prov 6:20-35, we have the interesting juxtaposition of the act of adultery with the stealing of a loaf of bread, and while the bread thief will have to answer for what he has done (v31), no one thinks any the worse of him (v30), but the adulterer's punishment and disgrace are endless (v32-35).  Interestingly the prostitute's fee (a loaf) is compared with the price of adultery - death (v26).

This passage could well be important background for 1 Cor 6;12-20 and 1 Thess 4:1-8.  In 1 Cor 6:12-20 Paul contrasts the eschatologically indifferent act of the consumption of food to sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:13-14).  In 1 Cor 6:12-20 it is not the prostitute who is condemned but the adulterous believer.  In 1 Thess 4:1-8 Paul warns against adultery with the promise of vengeance (v6).  In both cases the part of wronged husband from Proverbs is assumed by God as the one to whom the believer belongs (1 Cor 6:19-20, cf. Prov 6:29) and as the one who will avenge (1 Thess 4:6, cf. Prov 6:34). 

Obviously, to show any connection would require a good deal more work, but I think there are some interesting parallels there.  Let me know what you think.  :-)

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