At the beginning of Chapter 9, we are invited to the home of wisdom. At the end of the chapter, we will fall into Sheol if we do what Folly wants for us. There are already many who have fallen due to listening to Folly. Who are you going to listen to? Let’s look at Proverbs 9 today to figure this out.
Wisdom Opens Her Home
Wisdom has built her house, she has carved out her 7 pillars( what are the 7 pillars)? I did my best to study what these are. James 3:17 states that the wisdom that is from above is first pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without wavering and without hypocrisy.” https://www.biblestudytools.com/. The book of James has often been called the Proverbs of the New Testament.” Another reference I have, (biblescholars.org),states that the 7 pillars of wisdom are counsel, knowledge, understanding, might or strength, power or authority, riches and honor. These pillars are mentioned all throughout Proverbs in what we have read so far. My instinct is to believe that the 7 pillars are those mentioned throughout Proverbs since this is where we are studying right now. This is the immediate context on the topic of wisdom.
We see here in these first six verses of chapter 9, that wisdom is preparing a place for people to come. She(wisdom) is specifically preparing a meal and set the table. Then she sends servants out to call so as many people as possible can hear and come to the table. When I look at these first few verses and think about someone preparing a meal and mixing wine, calling for people to come, I think first of someone welcoming others to come. I think of hospitality.
Inexperienced, Come Get Some Sense
Wisdom says “whoever is inexperienced, come here, eat, drink, come get some sense.” She also says, “Leave this inexperience behind and you will live. Pursue the way of understanding.” Wisdom wants people who don’t have wisdom to do away with what they have behind them and gain wisdom. Learn from experience. They will gain a better life. Pursue the way of understanding. Yesterday, in chapter 8, I used the definition of understanding being “the accurate knowledge of how the world works in fundamental ways. (joshkaufman.net)
She has prepared meat, mixed wine, set the table
Wisdom sent out servants to call from the highest points of the city(so everyone can hear her)
“Whoever is inexperienced, enter here,” She says, to the one who lacks sense, come eat my bread(food) and drink the wine I prepared.
Leave this inexperience behind, and you will live, pursue the way of understanding. We see it says here, “leave inexperience behind.” Leave what you didn’t know before, the mistakes that you made before and join in the company of wisdom.
Rebuke A Mocker VS A Wise Man
The one who corrects a mocker will bring dishonor on himself; the one who rebukes a wicked man will get hurt. Don’t rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; Instruct a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will learn more.
Have you ever tried to give advice or teach a person something and they just got very nasty and defensive? Has this happened over and over with this person? Does it hurt? You just want to tell them something for their own good, don’t you? I have had this happen before. It definitely hurts. In these verses, the one who is hateful when he/she is corrected is called a “mocker.” They are also considered wicked. They try and get back at us. Self-improvement is not something they appreciate and they make an issue out of us helping them. In that, they make a fool out of themselves. I actually felt bad that I even said something to a person that didn’t want to hear anything to help them. I think that this is what “the one who corrects a mocker will bring dishonor on himself”, means.
The opposite of a mocker in this section of the chapter is considered wise. Even if you don’t know a person ahead of time or know how they will react when you try and tell them something for their own good, these few verses can tell you what kind of person they are just by how they respond to something they are taught.
Continuous Improvement, The Mark of A Wise Man or Woman
A wise man(or woman), for instance, will love being taught something new or learn how they can improve their life, whereas, a mocker or wicked person is furious with you when you try and help them by pointing out how they can improve. Do you see what I mean? When a wise person is instructed and taught, they will become wiser, they will learn more. I can say honestly, that I haven’t always liked when someone points out something I can learn. But with wisdom, we should always want to gain from someone helping us improve, not be angry at them.
The Fear Of The Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom
These 3 verses speak to how being wise, will benefit us. The fear(respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by wisdom, your days will be many and years will be added to your life. Do you really think this is true in a literal sense? Why?
I believe it will bring years to our life. Think about stress, anger, bitterness. These three things alone can cause illness that can shorten our lives and cause health problems for us. If we use the wisdom that we are given, we will live longer. We will live more content lives, and lives that are more fulfilled by applying wisdom.
If you are wise, you are wise for your own benefit; if you mock, you alone will bear the consequences. Wisdom benefits us! Mocking will bring consequences, bad consequences.
This section of the chapter is about Folly. Proverbs impersonates Folly as a woman. Verse 13 states that she is rowdy, gullible and knows nothing. She will believe anything and knows nothing. She sits by her house and calls out loud so that people can hear her, everyone who passes by and those who are on the straight path(going on, doing right) “whoever is inexperienced, enter here!” To the one who lacks sense, she says “stolen water is sweet and bread eaten secretly is tasty.”
What does this mean to you?
A Tempting Secret
I see this as someone who of course is foolish, but also one who is sneaky, they don’t want people to know what they are up to. They don’t talk to the wise, because she will be “found out” and corrected. She tempts them and tries to get them to do something fun or “tasty”. But the person who enters her home doesn’t know that departed spirits are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. In other words, others have fallen and they will all fall when they taste of her foolishness.
Look at the difference now between the beginning of the chapter where Wisdom invites people to her house and at the end of the chapter where Folly invites people to her house. Both call out to those who pass by to either gain wisdom or come by and do some things that are foolish. Wisdom says “leave inexperience behind” and with Folly, people who follow, don’t know the damage that will be done. Wisdom is honest and wants the best for people, Folly is dishonest and doesn’t tell people the bad consequences that they will encounter.