Original Research - Special Collection: African Hermeneutics

Sexually transmitted wealth: Proverbs 2:16–22

Favour C. Uroko
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2468 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2468 | © 2022 Favour C. Uroko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2022 | Published: 17 May 2022

About the author(s)

Favour C. Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


A woman who engages in sex for money is referred to in Proverbs 2:16–22 as a forbidden woman or a prostitute. Anyone who engages in sex for wealth or advancement is shown as a loose and confused lady in the pericope. This describes the commercial sex workers in Nigeria’s Edo State. In Edo State, some women and girls no doubt consider their bodies as the surest and easiest way of acquiring instant wealth, esteem and progress. This is seen in the number of brothels, motels, hotels and other prostitute homes and sanctuaries situated in different parts of the state. Some of these women who engage in sex for wealth do it for money, position, prestige and also jobs. As a sapiential-based intervention, this article argues that Proverbs 2:16–22 can offer stakeholders a unique approach to address the problems of an increasing spate of those who engage in sex for wealth, fame, and positions. A rhetoric-based pedagogy therapy is presented as an intervention in this looming crisis based on Proverbs 2:16–22. The rhetor in Proverbs 2:16–22 emphasised that sex under any guise apart from marriage only leads to unhappiness, curses and poverty. It classifies sex for wealth as an immoral way and distinguished it from the moral way, which is a tradition among writers of sapiential literature.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research focuses on the current sexual promiscuity prevalent in Edo State. It was discovered that some women and girls pursue sex work for money, position and power. There are increasing HIV cases, rapes and the use of these women for rituals by their customers. Disciplines implicated are Old Testament studies and practical theology.


Proverbs 2; wisdom; loose woman; prostitution; immorality; sex; AIDS


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