Proverbs 9 – Reproving & Parallels Between the Law and Wisdom

1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

“hath builded her house” – both wisdom and folly have a house to which mankind is invited, but wisdom has built her house – for her there is no “sitting.”  Cf the virtues of the wife of noble character (31;10-27).

“seven pillars”  Indicating a large house.  Perhaps “seven” refers to seven major aspects of wisdom.

2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

See v 17.  The banquet prepared by wisdom contrasts with the perfumed bed made ready by the adulteress in 7:17.

“mingled her wine” –  with spices, to make it tastier (see Sol 8:2).

3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

”She crieth upon the highest places of the city” –  see the description in v 14; see also 8:1-3.

4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

The same invitation is given by folly in v 16.

5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

As in v 2, wisdom’s gifts to mankind are described symbolically as a great banquet.

Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat; yeah, come, buy wine and mild without money and without  price. 

Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?  And your labor for that which satisfieth not?  Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which  is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (Is 55:1-2)

Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that beleiveth on me shall never thirst (Jn 6:27, 35).

6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Verses 10-12 – Wisdom’s final words summarize the heart of the message in chs 1-9.

11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

”thou shalt be wise for thyself” – the wise person reaps the benefits of wisdom.  Some of wisdom‘s rewards  are given in 3:16-18; 4:22; 8:35; 14:14.

13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

”A foolish woman is clamorous” – “Clamorous” links the personified “folly” with the adulteress, the wayward wife of 2:16 and 7:11.

”simple, and knoweth nothing” – she lacks good Judgment, prudence, and fear of the Lord (see 1:3-4, 22, 29; 5:6).

14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:

”To call” – cf the appeal of wisdom in v 3; 8:1, 4.

16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Her invitation is identical to wisdom’s (v 4).

17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

”Stolen waters…bread eaten in secret” – the “banquet” prepared by “folly” seems poorer than the wine and meat of wisdom (v 2).  And it was stolen at that!  This “meal” refers to stolen pleasures, exemplified by the illicit sex offered by the adulteress (see 7:18; cf 5:15-16).

18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Parallels Between
the Law and Wisdom