1Wisdom # 9:1 Lady Wisdom is a poetic personification representing Christ, the Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:30). This is a classic form of a synecdoche. The Hebrew word chokmah (“wisdom”) can also mean “sacred sense.” It is the understanding and insight given only by God. has built herself a palace # 9:1 There is a fascinating word play in the Hebrew text. The verb meaning “to build” and the word translated “son” come from the same root. “Build” is banah and “son” is ben. The house Wisdom is building is a son. You and I are sons of God who are being built into a spiritual house. There is also a verb in the Hebrew for “hewn” (as in stones). We are living stones raised up to be God’s temple. See Ps. 127:1; Matt. 7:24–27; 16:18; Heb. 3:5–6.
upon seven pillars to keep it secure. # 9:1 The seven pillars of wisdom (plural, “wisdoms”) point us to the seven days of creation, the seven spirits of God, and the seven components of heavenly wisdom given in James 3:17–18.
2She has made ready a banquet feast
and the sacrifice has been killed. # 9:2 As translated from the Aramaic. The sacrifice points us to Calvary. Wisdom’s pillar is a cross. The Hebrew phrase here literally means “she has prepared her meat.”
She has mingled her wine, and the table’s all set. # 9:2 Wisdom’s feast will teach us the ways of God. We feed our hearts on revelation-truth that transforms us; then we implement with wise strategies the understanding we have learned at the feasting table.
3She has sent out her maidens,
crying out from the high place,
inviting everyone to come
and eat until they’re full.
4“Whoever wants to know me and receive my wisdom,
5come and dine at my table and drink of my wine.
6Lay aside your simple thoughts and leave your paths behind.
Agree with my ways, live in my truth,
and you will find righteousness.”
7If you try to correct an arrogant cynic,
expect an angry insult in return.
And if you try to confront an evil man,
don’t be surprised if all you get is a slap in the face!
8So don’t even bother to correct a mocker,
for he’ll only hate you for it.
But go ahead and correct the wise;
they’ll love you even more. # 9:8 See Ps. 141:5.
9Teach a wise man what is right
and he’ll grow even wiser.
Instruct the lovers of God
and they’ll learn even more.
10The starting point for acquiring wisdom
is to be consumed with awe as you worship Yahweh.
To receive the revelation of the Holy One, # 9:10 Literally “holy ones.”
you must come to the one who has living-understanding.
11Wisdom will extend your life,
making every year more fruitful than the one before.
12So it is to your advantage to be wise.
But to ignore the counsel of wisdom
is to invite trouble into your life. # 9:12 The Aramaic adds here “The liar feeds on the wind and chases fantasies, for he has forsaken what is true to travel in a barren wilderness; forgetting the right paths, he leaves his own vineyard to walk with thirst and gather nothing.” The Septuagint adds here “If you forsake folly you will reign forever. Seek discretion and your understanding will bring you knowledge.”
A Spirit Named Foolish
13There is a spirit named Foolish,
who is boisterous and brash;
she’s seductive and restless.
14And there she sits at the gateway to the high places,
on her throne overlooking the city.
15She preaches to all who walk by her
who are clueless as to what is happening: # 9:15 Or “who are walking straight ahead on their paths.”
16“Come home with me.”
She invites those who are easily led astray, saying,
17“Illicit sex is the best sex of all.
Our secret affair will be sweeter than all others.” # 9:17 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” This is an obvious metaphor of finding sexual pleasure with someone other than your spouse and trying to get away with it. Finding pleasure in your relationship with your spouse is like drinking from a pure, clean fountain. But stolen water from someone else’s fountain is yielding to foolishness. Adultery is always sin.
18Little do they know when they answer her call
that she dwells among the spirits of the dead,
and all her guests soon become citizens of hell! # 9:18 Older Aramaic and Septuagint manuscripts add a verse here not found in the Hebrew: “But turn away; linger not in the place or even look at her. Don’t drink from a strange fountain. Abstain and drink not from an alien fountain, so that you will enjoy a long life.”