The Wiles of the Wicked Woman

Paraphrase by Wanda I. Gonzalez-Crespo

4Q184

She speaks emptiness
and in […]
She is always looking for mistakes,
sharpening the words that come from her mouth,
and she flatters men with nonsense and leads them to uselessness.
Her heart sets traps,
and her kidneys cast nets.
Her eyes have been invaded by evil,
her hands have a tight grip on the Pit.
Her feet come down to do evil
and only walk towards crime.
Her thighs are the foundations of the dark,
and many sins are under her skirt.
Her […] are the gloom of night.
Her clothes are dreary night,
and her jewelry is drenched in evil.
Her couches are beds of corruption,
and her […] are the ditches of Hell.
Her houses are a home to darkness,
she resides within the heart of the night.
She pitches her tents on a foundation of darkness,
she rests in the tents of silence,
amidst the everlasting flames.
She does not associate with those who shine.

She is the beginning of all paths to evil.
She will ruin all those who possess her,
and destruction will come to all those who take hold of her.
Her paths are the paths of death,
and her ways are roads to sin,
her trails lead toward wickedness,
and her pathways, to evil wrongdoing.
Her doors are the doors of Death,
and in through her doorway is Hell.
Those who enter there will never return,
and those who partake of her will fall into the Pit.

She hides in secret all […].
She disguises herself in the city streets,
and she plants herself by the city gates.
No one will keep her from her never-ending fornication.
Her eyes dart here and there,
looking for a virtuous man to catch,
an important man to lead astray,
a just man to make unjust,
to draw the righteous from obeying the commandments,
to bring the good man down,
to cause the honest to break the law.
She causes the meek to rebel against God,
and turn their steps away from justice,
to put vanity in their hearts so that they do not stay on the path of righteousness.
She seeks to lead men to the paths of the Pit,
to flatter the sons of men with smooth words.

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