24 – More on the Pitfall of Impure Women

John teaches in the nights,
John in the evenings of the nights
John teaches in the night and says,
“I was in the house of my image, and it said:
‘I was not defective nor imperfect
and you have not found fault with my mind.
I was not imprisoned by their works
And I did not walk in their way.’
I call, I instruct my friends whose dwellings are in the world.
My chosen ones will not be impoverished and will not be diminished
and there will not be deceit in your speech.
Delivered from the Earth
and from water of the vain/transitory dwelling,
Choose a wife, and take a wife -
but do not take (as) a wife a wicked daughter
a wife, a wicked daughter
The fire will not devour you, which burns the woman who is embraced and yet not correct
Fire devours her, it burns the woman who is embraced and yet not correct
They give vain wombs to the woman who is embraced and yet not correct
She will have dead sons, she who is embraced and not correct
You curse heaven and earth
Because she polluted the pure water
and she revealed hidden secrets
and she went and threw them on the dung heap,
The Sun and Moon have risen upon her
and cursed her with a great curse.
By myself I saved your souls from the vain/transitory dwelling
When you approach your wives,
Wash yourselves in water and purify yourselves from the top of your heads.
Wash! If hair remains on your heads
while you have been purified, my brothers,
keep yourselves from the pits that women dig;
all their pits are filled in
and all the pits were smoothed over
and the pits that women dig shall not be joined
(for) years they shall not be stopped up.
Life is victorious.

About James F. McGrath

Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature, Butler University.
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